Article Originally Posted to Blockchain Tech News
| by Bradley Cooper
On Oct. 31, 2008, an individual going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper titled, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”
In the 10 years since then, the virtual currency has gone through multiple controversies, downturns and upheavals. And while the technology behind it is now entering the mainstream, the value and future of bitcoin remain uncertain.
In the past few years, bitcoin’s value has been extremely volatile. In late 2013, it reached $1,000 only to fall again. Last December, its value skyrocketed to $19,000 only to fall back down to its current position of about $6,200.
“Those who have been involved in digital currency since the early days have seen the cyclical rise and fall of bitcoin,” Brave New Coin CEO Fran Strajnar wrote in an email to Blockchain Tech News. “I believe that bitcoin’s supply curve will continue to follow the boom-bust cycle.”
Strajnar said that bitcoin’s value will continue to rise with the upcoming block-halving in 2020. In a block-halving, the reward for bitcoin miners is cut in half. This helps ensure that there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins in circulation.
With the launch of many initial coin offerings, many have begun to question bitcoin’s position in the market.
“I think the most interesting thing to look at over the last 10 years is bitcoin’s market dominance,” Kee Jeffreys, co-founder and tech lead of Loki, wrote in an email. “Between bitcoin’s inception and late 2016, it consistently encapsulated almost the whole of the crypto market. However, during the peak of the ICO craze, we saw bitcoin dominance drop to its lowest point at about 30 percent. I think what we are seeing now is a rebirth cycle for bitcoin. With market contraction and many ICOs failing to deliver on promises, investors are more likely to move back to the perceived stability of bitcoin.”
The future of bitcoin is hotly debated by those who believe it will be the major cryptocurrency of the future and others who believe another cryptocurrency will take the top spot.
“In 10 years, bitcoin will still be the dominant cryptocurrency, the gold standard in the crypto-world,” Vlad Dramaliev, head of digital marketing at aeternity, wrote in an email. “It will enjoy a much more widespread adoption, and its technological features and user-friendliness will have been greatly improved.”
Brent Jaciow, head of blockchain affairs at Utopia Music, said that cryptocurrencies will become more common, but bitcoin might not necessarily be the leader.
“As the crypto space evolves and the technology improves, a front-runner in the stable coin sector will emerge and likely be used as a substitute given the reduced volatility relative to the current most liquid cryptocurrencies,” he said. “This would seem to be the most natural progression as most developed economies move away from cash and [move] further into electronic payment solutions.”
Gabriele Giancola, co-founder and CEO of qiibee, said that that issues such as regulations, scalability and processing speed will ultimately determine whether bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become mainstream.
Jehan Chu, co-founder of Social Alpha Foundation, said that bitcoin currently, “isn’t developed enough to be used as a payment system.”
Some of the same uncertainty attends blockchain, though many experts have said it is only a matter of time before it enters the mainstream.
“The [systemic] problems that have contributed to the rise of blockchain and its mainstream adoption have summoned many bright minds to get involved in the industry, which is why I believe that blockchain will scale and is here to stay,” Strajnar said. “When we least expect it, the first ‘killer decentralized app’ will be born — it is only a matter of time.”
The real question is when this will happen. Daniel Peled, president of Orbs, said it is important to remember where blockchain came from and give proper respect to bitcoin.
“It’s impossible to look at the progress of the entire blockchain industry without recognizing the foundational role that bitcoin played,” he said. “Every business use case, every major step forward on the infrastructure front is ultimately a credit to the initial starting point of bitcoin. Bitcoin proved that there is an application for blockchain and that it has real and tangible value.”