Thiel plays with the concept of last mover advantage when talking about what is valuable about Google and Facebook. His claim is that being the first social network (who knows what that was) is not, contra intuition, what matters, instead, if you are the last search engine or the last social network you win.
Bitcoin is the first real cryptocurrency. But will it be among the last ones?
Darkcoin, as Louie, Kevin and others told us a few days ago it would, has exploded. (Thanks for the money guys!)
I don't understand much about the properties that differentiate cryptocurrencies, but a few of Darkcoin's features seem very desirable.
It has early incentive to increase because it is good for illegal markets and international transactions. This incentive is robust and absolute, non-traceability is binary, you can't be less traceable than untraceable.
This is equivalent to Facebook starting off within the highest status social humans in the planet, young, healthy, wealthy and brilliant Harvard college students (compare to Orkut, which failed in great part because it spread worldwide too soon, allowing a lower social class (Brazilians, Persians) to overtake it, disincentivizing the elites to remain there).
It has convention status. Its market cap has surpassed all altcoins besides Litecoin.
This advantage was originally Orkut's (which is Bitcoin in the analogy). It is what MSN stole from ICQ, and facebook from MSN, and Whatsapp from all platforms.
Effective altruists in particular should consider buying Darkcoin because the EA part of you should be less loss averse than the non-EA part of you, and Darkcoin is obviously a gamble to the extend the reasons I'm laying out here are false or insufficient.
Finally Darkcoin has a complex bootstrap reward system for owners of many Darkcoin, who can own masternodes, and that is how Dropbox won, by creating a university level (copying Facebook's serendipitous "strategy") contest which would dramatically increase data storage of winning universities. Mine won and I have 30 Giga for free forever, for instance.
There are other features that caused Facebook to win, or MSN to win. Are there features we want from a cryptocurrency that have yet not been captured by Darkcoin? Or are we witnessing a real last mover advantage in real time?