Beyond Bitcoin: cryptocurrency ecosystems will be huge
It seems people are finally starting to get over their opinions and misconceptions about Bitcoin, the blockchain-powered global cryptocurrency that cannot be stopped or controlled. They’re starting to get over ideas of how it compares directly with traditional fiat currency, how it’s slow or wasteful, how the price is volatile, or even what it represents (both a blessed alternative and still a huge threat to many).
It’s taken a glorious boom and then a steady, year-long period of rectification to go through all this, but now those former naysayers are starting to appreciate Bitcoin the way cryptocurrency insiders have all along: for its robust, unstoppable, revolutionary power. Now, it’s just a matter of time before it rises up again. But what will it take for people to start adopting it in force?
Well, issues do remain, especially that of regulation when it comes to merchant adoption. But, just as with the internet, this will come. Also, the issues regarding miningand volatility: both will evolve or settle as more money enters, and the power of ‘whales’, which cause sharp drops in price, starts to fade. The Lightning Network, a second-layer solution will also improve transaction times.
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For what else is Bitcoin?
It’s a vast network that can be used for more than just payments. For example, take a look at Blockstack.org and some of the apps that are leveraging it. There’s nothing like a bear market to focus the heads of developers. The exchange infrastructure that grew up around it last year was nothing short of extraordinary, embedding Bitcoin ever deeper into the entire financial world from top-up cards to investing easily (via Ethereum) into new token ecosystems (ICOs). And it’s these online ecosystems that look set to monetise, streamline and power all kinds of areas of online and offline enterprises, from content creation to estate agency.
Just like any ecosystem, time is important. It could take another bull-run to bring value to many of these tokens and streamlined marketplaces, but growth is beginning. And behind all, remains Bitcoin, where now custodianship solutions are increasing and interest-earning savings options at Blockfi make it more attractive to ‘hodl’. Bitcoin may not remain the world’s top cryptocurrency forever, for there is already a menu of faster ones to choose from, but it is the most trusted and most adopted today, and, even so, will continue to be seen as a classic store of value, indefinitely.