Nic Carter, a venture capitalist, has been a fan of tungsten for years. He has discussed the metal element in the podcast, has talked up its “incredible density” and even claims to have given out 1-inch tungsten cubes as a holiday gift. In 2019, they created a useful guide to why “best metal” noted electrical conductivity, malleability and resistance to oxidation.
Carter’s ingenuity with silvery alloys and smoothness is sure to inspire others. Last December, crypto traders briefly caused a tungsten cube and a small price spike in the metal market. But the founder of Castle Island Ventures wouldn’t call himself a tungsten supremacist. He has also long talked about the benefits of gold, for example.
Yes, people can love both metals. In fact, Carter taught me a lot this year that men shouldn’t be blindly committed to a single block of flats! This is a surprise for the so-called bitcoin maximalists, who believe that there is one true digital currency and who once, wrongly as it turns out, counted Carter among their ranks.
Back it up: In June, Carter took to Twitter to say that the fund “[e]xcited to be backing @dynamic_xyz!,” is what venture capitalists usually do. Maxis soon realized that Dinamik was a startup that created products for wallets on the Ethereum and Solana blocks, not Bitcoin, and began to criticize Carter.
Nic Carter, 31, dual-citizen of the UK and US, who grew up in the Washington, DC area, has spent the majority of his professional life in the crypto industry. He founded the leading data company Coin Metrics out of graduate school and the first crypto analyst Fidelity Digital Assets.
At the time Carter, who has almost 350,000 followers on Twitter, founded his venture firm, which has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to finance crypto startups and raised two funds, which has begun to build a reputation as a bitcoiner. On Medium, Carter writes long pieces covering the mysterious and philosophical issues surrounding bitcoin. A particularly successful piece made a prediction about whether the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) will fail (he is not far).
But bitcoin is not Carter’s only area of interest. One idea Carter was early to endorse, proof-of-reserve — the idea that crypto service providers can show cryptographically that they hold the coins they’re supposed to — has been a major topic of conversation this year after the collapse of FTX.
Read more: David Z. Morris – Nic Carter vs. The Bitcoin Maximalists
“From the beginning, I have been a pluralist when it comes to blockchain. Today, the only ‘base layer’ asset that I am interested in from an investment perspective is Bitcoin, because I think of the highest monetary and governance quality, but that does not mean that I am not interested in another trend in the blockchain space.” Carter wrote in a blog post this summer, after the flameout with Maxis.
Carter, a regular CoinDesk contributor, is far from the only bitcoiner who has taken aim at the quasi-religion that has formed around the asset. The last month has seen long-time supporters and investors of bitcoin Udi Wertheimer and Eric Wall rail against tribalism and monoculture that began to form around Bitcoin around the time “Block Size Wars” in 2017.
Then there are Bitcoin OGs including Erik Voorhees, Roger Ver and Jesse Powell who have embraced pluralism in crypto. Carter, for his part, is not an uncritical advocate of “Web3,” but acknowledges that some core technologies like non-fungible tokens or decentralized identities could be useful one day.
The split between crypto and Bitcoin is rarely about actual technology. For years, maximalists have been convinced that bitcoin is digital cash, an inflation hedge and destined to become a global reserve currency. As every “narrative” disproven, like the ignominious stock-to-flow model or half thesis, views between the small sector only grow more extreme.
These maximalists like to call themselves “toxic”. Indeed, the worldview has become so twisted that some try to justify Bitcoin – a stateless monetary network – by claiming that it is the only “legitimate” cryptocurrency, and calling for federal regulators to close other crypto projects. Others have taken to promoting dangerous lifestyles like the raw meat diet.
Carter wrote he was “truly embarrassed to be associated” with the increasingly radicalized culture of bitcoin. He added that most bitcoiners are normal and good people. And that’s why he is the Most Influential, because he fights against those who give bitcoiners a bad reputation.