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By Landon Manning

Although the international crypto space has evolved significantly in the years since Bitcoin was launched, new data concludes that more than 90% of altcoins released over the past decade have gone bankrupt, proving not only the attractiveness and success of Bitcoin, but also its immense permanent power.

Bitcoin was launched in January 2009 as a radical alternative to a crisis-ridden financial orthodoxy; its pseudonymous creator took many steps to ensure that it would always remain leaderless. Relying on a trustless blockchain to validate its transactions, Bitcoin is somehow managed by its community of developers, with major changes only happen with consensus. Since the world was introduced to cryptocurrency, however, a large number of “altcoins” have sprung up. They are often issued directly by a group that retains control of them, and Bitcoiners take pride in knowing that their darling remains number one in valuation and acceptance.

New Data from CoinKickoff, however, succeeded in illustrating the chasm between these newcomers and Bitcoin. CoinKickoff began its investigation with the crash in 2014, which led to a crisis of confidence for Bitcoin and saw the launch of major altcoins like Ethereum. A decade of passing time, however, has produced a stark conclusion: 91% altcoins from that era are already dead. The most common cause of death is developer abandonment, often involving a lack of funds from investors, but many more are due to projects being explicit jokes or even scams. Some of the worst years for altcoins were when bitcoin also suffered a price crash, causing a brutal domino effect.

Now that we have this data analysis, we have a better understanding of why Bitcoin has this incredible stamina. The most common cause of altcoin death is due to developer abandonment, but the network that underpins Bitcoin is stronger than ever, with the current hash rate approximately 270 exahashes per second (Eh/s).

Likewise, more than a million separate bitcoin addresses now contain a full bitcoin. Naturally, most wallets have less than this, but a growing number of Bitcoiners now have the knowledge and confidence to keep their BTC in self-custody. Additionally, the Bitcoin blockchain can accommodate innovations such as the Lightning Network, with developers expanding the practical uses of Bitcoin in radically new ways. The decentralized nature of Bitcoin allows it to accommodate such initiatives, where other coins might refuse to relinquish absolute control.

The CoinKickoff report concluded that the years since 2020 have seen the lowest altcoin death rates to date. Given that this was an unprecedented boom time for Bitcoin, it stands to reason that the a multitude of crypto meltdowns in 2022 will lead to further failures. The future, indeed, is sure to become home to many more altcoins, but none are likely to capture the radical vision or committed developer base of the first cryptocurrency. To overcome these pitfalls, it is better to bet on Bitcoin.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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