Bitcoin Can Be Copied

GM Bitcoiners,

Everyone copies, but we all dislike the idea of someone ‘stealing’ from us, even if it’s not directly taking something physical. 

It’s a compliment to some degree, but a snub at the same time, because we have the impression that it waters down something about us or something we own or created. 

The line can be pretty thin; some things might be seen as acceptable to copy and others that aren’t. In order to get good at anything, you will copy and emulate someone else to a point before you make it your own. 

Bitcoin could not be created without using technology that already existed, and in turn, everything about it can be copied by anyone. It’s open source.

Existing puzzle pieces were connected and BOOM… money and the world as we knew it would change forever. 

This is regularly pushed as a negative… but it’s for the wrong reasons. 

Some say that Bitcoin is not valuably or scarce because there are thousands of other ‘cryptocurrencies’ that have directly copied aspects of Bitcoin. 

Sure, the overall market is diluted to some degree as there are more options, but that doesn’t change the value proposition of Bitcoin and make it less rare. 

The existence of the Venezuelan bolívar doesn’t make the US dollar less rare. And over time, the money with the stronger base and network continues to expand, while the others continue to shrink.

Similarly, the other altcoins (many of which aren’t even trying to be cryptocurrencies) don’t make Bitcoin any less valuable. Even if they have copied aspects of Bitcoin, they are not the same, because what they lack is the network, and behind the network are the rules. 

Let’s say I copied every aspect of Bitcoin and called it ‘Henry Coin’. 

Let’s say I didn’t change the rules (which everyone does).

Does this make the original Bitcoin less valuable? 


It’s the same, but it’s also nothing alike. 

There is no network. 

Why would people move from Bitcoin to ‘Henry Coin’ when it has the same rules, but no network? 

It would have to be considerably better. 

Most that ‘copy’ Bitcoin will have to make it different because there’s no other reason for people to join – “we fixed what was wrong. This is now the real Bitcoin!” – of course, this ‘fix’ often negates the benefits of Bitcoin and isn’t significant enough to incentivise users to change ‘brand’. 

Once participants realise that ‘crypto’ fails to solve what Bitcoin does, demand will inevitably migrate over to Bitcoin. 

Anyone can copy Bitcoin.

No one can copy the network. 

No one can copy the inception of Bitcoin and its story (we’ll save this for another time). 

Remember, a network can remain long after the rules have been broken (such as the US Dollar) – This is why Bitcoin’s set rules and verifiability aspects are so world-changing. 

If you want to learn more about the rules of Bitcoin, check out some of our favourite must-read Bitcoin books!

Written by Henry

Content Manager at FastBitcoins. Came to Bitcoin for the sound money... stayed for the memes! When not on Bitcoin Twitter, Henry can be found dancing Argentine Tango or in the gym.

Hodling… Simple but Not Easy

The 5 Bitcoin Myths You Fell For