Confessions of a reformed Bitcoin maximalist.
I fell in love with Bitcoin in 2013, rode the wave from 100 up to 1000 USD then held and accumulated through the dark years that followed.
Bitcoin is the public crypto currency. We have been indoctrinated to believe in public wealth, transparency and disclosure. This goes hand in hand with reporting your income, paying your taxes and being a good citizen.
The transparency of Bitcoin is the best hope that the status quo has for maintaining its rent collection schemes. Soon 1099 disclosure forms from Coinbase will be just as routine as they are from Fidelity. And just as you would not buy your groceries with shares of Intel, you will not buy them with Bitcoin.
Why not? After all lightning network will make it cheap and easy to buy a pack of chewing gum with Bitcoin.
Think about this from the perspective of the merchant. In order to transact directly in Bitcoin, they would be taking on a huge accounting burden and tax/audit risk. These transactions, to the extent that they exist, will ultimately be processed/blessed by the banking system which will collect rent for themselves and the government.
As much as government and corporations would like for you to believe that they are essential to maintain order, enforce contracts and keep you safe, their main vocation is shutting down the competition, collecting rent and printing new currency at your expense.
In the end, Bitcoin will be a magnet for public wealth, perhaps even national reserves.
On the other hand, a truly opaque, fungible crypto currency, of which Monero is the only example right now, will be a magnet for private wealth and private interactions. Monero will dramatically bring down the cost and risk of holding and transacting private wealth, while at the same time extending the reach of these private networks exponentially. Lightning network and other second layer solutions which are being developed with Bitcoin in mind, will pave the way for second layer scaling of private crypto currency networks.
In an age of local 3D printed products, local energy and food production, free online education and information distribution, these private networks are poised for explosive growth.