BTC Developer Leader Wlad van der Laan Doesn’t Anticipate Bitcoin’s 21 Million Coin Issuance to Sway
A lead maintainer of Bitcoin’s most used software called Wladimir van der Laan has recently made some harsh affirmation about the future of the most famous and powerful cryptocurrency in the world. According to him, people should not expect Bitcoin’s total supply to ever change.
The developer is usually hesitant to comment, but he answered a comment from Jiang Zhuoer recently that Bitcoin’s next goal would be to increase the supply. He affirmed that the team never actually planned to increase the supply at all and that it was “bullshit”.
According to him, it is even sad that this needs to be sad as no person “in its right mind” would ever want to change such an important part of Bitcoin.
In case you do not know, there will only exist 21 million Bitcoins. This is a very important aspect of the Bitcoin code as the token is highly anti-inflationary and this measure was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in order to make sure that the price would always go up, which prompted the idea that Bitcoin is digital gold.
The law to print only 21 million BTC is set in the code and a possible hard fork would have to happen in order for more Bitcoin to be created. Despite the idea of not being very popular in the community, it comes back every once in a while.
Recently, Jiang Zhuoer, the CEO of BTC.TOP, a Bitcoin mining pool, has argued that some developers want to increase the supply of Bitcoin. This would obviously be good for a miner, as they still are needed to continue mining transactions. Developer Matt Huong has recently talked about the idea, too. This has caused outrage.
Right from the start, a part of Bitcoin’s appeal is that the currency is based on scarcity, so it does not seem like something that will make a lot of sense to simply kill off this important concept.
Van der Laan spoke to Coindesk recently and affirmed that this is a very anti-economic measure and it fully goes against human psychology. People would choose to actually devalue something that they currently own by doing it, which is simply a bad idea.
Together with some important developers like Jonas Schnelli and Marco Falke, Van der Laan is one of the last defenses against this idea, in case it gets popular.
Bitcoin Would Be Less Useful With A Higher Supply
Van der Laan’s main goal is that a good part of the utility that Bitcoin has stemmed from the fact that its value is based on scarcity, which is not natural in the digital realm, so you have to enforce it. He believes that Bitcoin is unique because it is really the only digital asset that is really uniquely scarce.
Not even digital rights management (DRM) platforms are able to actually make this scarcity real, only BTC, so throwing this off would simply throw a lot of Bitcoin’s value off too.
These rules, despite being something arbitrary that Satoshi Nakamoto simply decided to create one, were something that helped to forge Bitcoin as it is now, because of this, they are certainly important and they help the investors to have a good idea of what will happen in the future, which diminished uncertainty.
How To Implement This Change In A Leaderless Community?
Nobody would disagree that Bitcoin has no clear leader. While there are some important figures like the main miners and developers and they are powerful because they have an effect on the technology and its future, there is no single leader to decide things. They have to be created by consensus.
This also poses a major threat to ideas like “let’s increase the Bitcoin supply”, mostly because who would actually spearhead the change? Zhuoer? He could not do it alone and the community would be split. Whenever the community splits, a hard fork happens.
If Van der Lann is right and people would not follow this idea, the network would certainly be divided and we have seen that forked projects generally fare worse than the original ones.
At the worst case scenario, this could become a battle just like the Bitcoin ABC versus Bitcoin SV was. One side would win and the other would be the clear loser, but both sides would actually lose a lot of value because of the fork and the in-fighting in the community.
Bitcoin is very different from Ethereum as it does not have such strong faces like Vitalik Buterin. Whatever Buterin agrees, people will follow, Van der Laan believes, but no group of developers would have all this power over Bitcoin as the true creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, has decided to vanish.
Given this fact, the hard forks of Bitcoin would be just hard fork, not “upgrades” like Etherum’s. We will have to wait to determine what will happen, but the experts are very concerned about what might happen if Bitcoin decides to split once more.