Bitcoin is experiencing tough times as it has suffered a severe correction of over 70 percent from the point of its peak value. Now is the time to worry about its future, so we decided it’s about time to turn to the anonymous trader MasterLuc, whose fantastic prediction skills made him a legend on Bitcointalk.
What made MasterLuc famous was his 2016 prediction of Bitcoin price all-time high at 20k, which was done at a time when no one could even imagine such figures.
MasterLuc shared with us his vision of the future of the crypto market, he explains why Bitcoin is strongly undervalued, and why most altcoins are going to die.
The interview was organized with the help of the blockchain scoring platform Prosphero.io.
CryptoComes: Right now, we see a profound correction of the Bitcoin price. Are you going to give up on your famous prediction of Bitcoin continuing its significant rise in price?
ML: Are you interested in the technical answer to your question, or the emotional answer? From a technical point, everything is alright up until the 2,990 mark, any lower than that and you can start feeling strained. From an emotional side, the answer is no; bubbles don’t burst like that.
Enough of those bear traps need to pass so that the bulls сan principally lose their fear of a bitcoin dump.
When the vast majority of bulls stop straining over a dump of Bitcoins, then you can expect trouble. However, at the time being people continue to be tense. This is merely a correction.
On the other hand, I expect a new strong bullish trend in Bitcoin not earlier than 2019.
CC: How do you comment on the skeptics who are predicting the next death of Bitcoin… will it really survive under the pressure of these newer alts that are equipped with the latest modern technology “on steroids”?
ML: You can visit the cemetery of dead alts here.
But you won’t find Bitcoin there. Instead, there are hundreds of alts, and they will all eventually get there. Partly because no one yet has brought a revolutionary technology that resembles the scale of Bitcoin to the table. If we were to compare Bitcoin to the invention of the internal combustion engine (ICE) and cars, then yes, you could say that alts are attempting to improve something.
Like the car industry, they’re repainting the red to green, removing a piece from the edge, building up the wing of this new car, adding a liter to the tank, cramming in extra bells and whistles. But the ICE remains the only revolutionary invention that gave civilization a breakthrough.
And still, with so many alts, the next revolutionary step is for Bitcoin. I’m talking about Lightning Network. So why do we need these alts? I have many friends in the CryptoParty, and no matter whom I ask “why are you mining alts?”, the answer is always: “To sell them for Bitcoins.”
Alright, we’re pretty clear about altcoins, let’s say that they are an unnecessary part of the evolution of Bitcoin…
ML: … Hold on, I’m not saying that altcoins are unnecessary. It’s just that most alts are created and used for one goal—to get more Bitcoins.
There is also a quite functional form of alts, for example, Litecoin. It appeared at a time when people were tweaking some constant in Bitcoin’s source code to quickly release a new alt. Litecoin did precisely that, but it also changed the basic hashing algorithm from SHA2 to the experimental algorithm Scrypt.
In theory, Litecoin would have died just as the others had. But what makes it special? People are actively testing new features on it and then merging them into Bitcoin. The most significant achievement for Litecoin was its implementation of SegWit. Yes, this was a huge benefit, but again for Bitcoin.
Let’s face the truth, Litecoin is experimental, it’s like someone who voluntarily takes powerful medication for research purposes. After the testing and debugging are conducted on the experimental subject, it is added to Bitcoin. We are indeed in need of those types of altcoins.
Alright, we’re going down the list– why do you have such revulsion toward Ether?
ML: The founder of Ether did something unacceptable—he has censored the network. He also does not hide his central role in the project, calling himself the “kind dictator.”
Understand that the revolution of Bitcoin consists of Blockchain technology, which helped eliminate the need for an intermediary institution, such as a bank, between Alice and Bob during exchanges of money. Blockchain is needed to exclude a central “dictator” who maintains the exclusive right to inspect coins, and who merely is granted this right because he is in the middle of every exchange.
The founder of Ether became that central entity. Ethereum is centralized, and it has one point of failure—the founder, who forks its chain left and right. Why? He just does what he wants, let’s not even discuss the motives of this nonsense. I don’t know why he uses Blockchain technology in this case since the technology was created to counter entities like himself.
Ether is centralized just like EOS. Both compete against other digital currencies like PayPal. However, the latter does not hide behind the mask of Blockchain. All of them love to block other accounts (even with the price of a hardfork), but this isn’t about Blockchain at all.
Again, the idea of Blockchain is simple: Blockchain is essential in places where no center or regulation is needed. If there is a center of any kind- like some office, leader, or something else that you can just close or fire- then there is no need for Blockchain. Ether and EOS (and some others) have a center, Blockchain, and even a project CEO. All of this put together is a project of insanity.
You also don’t take ICO seriously, could you explain why?
ML: Oh, this is just a dot-com. This is how Wall Street entertained themselves in 1999. They would create imitations of online stores, issue shares of stock, sell out for millions, then repeat the cycle. Only a few companies survived during the dot-com hysteria, and they have since become the current giants such as Google, eBay, Amazon, etc. The remaining 95 percent of projects were washed away by the wave following the collapse of this pyramid. History is repeating itself with ICO.
Alright, let’s return to Bitcoin proper. Many believe that it is an outdated technology, at least regarding its ability to scale.
ML: Those people are merely undervaluing what will someday become of Bitcoin. They don’t understand its essence. Concerning its ability to scale, there is a short answer—Lightning Network. Just find out how much this solution outweighs all of those pathetic attempts to only-increase-the-block.
Let’s take a closer look at the problem of scaling and the importance of Lightning since it is the real future of Bitcoin.
ML: There are two different points of view on the solution of the potential problem of scaling the network.
- Quantitative. You need to slowly increase the maximum size of the block, or make it adaptively float. But for this, you need a hardfork—a strict division of the network.
- Qualitative. You can go to a new level of developing the network where there will be no room for this problem. Similarly, there will be no place for several other issues.
The second option is Lightning Network. This is the next level of development akin to the OSI model. Here’s an analogy that is understandable to sysadmins: Bitcoin is the first physical layer (a cable), and Lightning is the data link layer (ethernet protocol). There are higher levels—network, transport, and application. They have not yet been developed, but that is the logic of the development.
Just so you know, in that same Ethernet, there are outrageous limitations on the size of the datagram– 1,500 bytes (with much difficulty, you can achieve 9,000).
In other words, within all our networks today, on any path from any website to you– there is a 1,500-byte limitation on the size of the transmission through the data link layer of OSI. Don’t believe it? Google the size of MTU. It’s true. How is it then possible that you can watch multi-megabyte videos on servers like YouTube?
It’s very simple. The limitation exists on the second layer of OSI, but when you like a video, that exists on the seventh layer. On the third layer, the limitation has already been handled quite elegantly. On the fourth layer, nobody even knows that it is there anymore.
On to the point of this… those who offer to change the size of the block are offering a quantitative solution, which could potentially lead to another similar obstruction in the future, and then someone will want another block that is even bigger in size. In option one we are merely pushing the problem into the future, not fundamentally solving it in any way. For example, this is the approach of BCash. They offer growth in one dimension, but they reject a complex multidimensional development of the network, as seen in the OSI model.
Therefore, while lamenting about “problems of scaling Bitcoin”, think about the MTU data link layer of 1,500 bytes. It exists in any network. It is terribly little for our times. This limitation was put in place 40 years ago, and to this day nobody wants to hardfork the Internet to change the limit. Everything works excellent because a complex adaptive network model was created. Lightning Network is exactly the next big step in the right direction.
Finally, I would like to discuss your critique of PoS, the consensus algorithm that many believe is the future of crypt, outweighing PoW. What’s wrong with PoS?
ML: First, let’s answer the initial question of why PoW was invented (HashCash originally). And why has Satoshi implemented this into Bitcoin?
HashCash was invented for the fight against spam. When sending a message, the sender would have to include his hash in the header. In no way did this complicate the lives of regular users because they needed to calculate only one hash. It did, however, seriously complicate the lives of spammers, who needed a new unique hash for each message, and they sent millions of those messages.
In other words, this technology, which opposes the centralization and virtualization of resources, opposes one person doing the work that should be performed by many people under normal circumstances. For example, sending messages, or verifying transactions and so on. This technology, unfortunately, does not entirely prevent the adverse effects, but it does impede the occurrence of these problems rather well.
Now about PoS. Even a cursory glance at this technology reveals its significant drawbacks in the fight against centralization. The higher your initial balance, the higher your chances are at sealing a block and getting more money in return.
To understand the absurdity of this idea, imagine an analogous situation where a PoW-miner has extra video cards and ASICs materialize on their own out of thin air while working on a network. They configure themselves on the fly, connect to the server, and begin working. That is precisely what happens to those with quite a wealthy wallet under the PoS framework.
Besides that, I believe PoS is wild centralization and deflation in one bottle. If the concentration of a fixed amount of money generates new money on its own, then PoS-systems, if they ever become popular, will spawn an especially exaggerated breed of hodlers. PoS will maintain a strong deflationary motive by just sitting on bags of money. But how will a real economy work in such a system? After all, it is paralyzed by the lack of moving money. PoS is a system that generates a passive revenue from fixed money, in other words, money that is taken out of circulation.
Finally, separate from the centralization and virtualization of resources is PoW.
It is real work that creates a decent load on the system. You will not be able to properly mine Bitcoin and Litecoin from one computer, this idea is initially meaningless (it is intended to be that way).
On the other hand, with PoS you can unleash an entire zoo of different PoS-systems, making a profit from all of them immediately and simultaneously. Drawing a parallel, you can participate in 10 or 100 networks at the same time. Now return to the initial example about spam and the story of why PoW came to be for Bitcoin to understand why the situation of PoS is absurd.