Is Bitcoin really fast enough for it to be considered "instantaneous"? Will it survive it's faster competitors like Maxcoin? Is it a realistic platform for on-site transactions on the retail and on-trade environment? Will it work alongside with faster coins as the "safer" and more "vintage" cousin of the family? Or is it doomed to fall to faster and more modern competitors like Maxcoin?
Whilst confirmation time for Bitcoin is 10 minutes, Maxcoin offers confirmation times of 60 seconds. This means that a crypto like Maxcoin can realistically be included in the payment platform of businesses that handle hundreds of customers simultaneously on-trade (i.e - supermarkets, restaurants, bars, stadiums, small shops, etc).
This is something that Bitcoin with its 5 year older design and algorithm may not be able to do without going through serious modifications. So a good question would be: is it possible to modify Bitcoin to serve this purpose and re-shape the mining network of Bitcoin in order for it to be able to compete with Maxcoin in the future?
Bitcoin's benchmark will allways be the fact that it was the first network of crypto-currencies to be initiated, and it will (most likely) always have the higher hashing power than its competitors, thus having added security but slower confirmation times compared to other coins on the market. This will mean that maybe Bitcoin will work to send transactions, or to insure ownership of values via the block-chanin, that require extra security. At the same time Maxcoin may be used as a way to exchange goods and services faster. Now the world knows this, Maxcoin should reach a point in which it can be be as secure and computationally powerful as Bitcoin, a 5 year older gold-rush-style built P2P network.
Of course there may be also an emotional factor attached to Bitcoin that will help it it to survive any competitor. Bitcoin was the first cryptocoin, so it may feel good in the future to be owner of some Bitcoins.
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