What’s the Future of Bitcoin?
It is incredible to think how quickly Bitcoin has been created and established as a viable virtual currency. It was only in 2009 that the open-source software required for Bitcoin was released to the world. What at first sounded improbable quickly became embraced and established as a decentralized virtual currency.
But is Bitcoin a currency that is here to stay? Has Bitcoin changed the world as we know it or is it a temporary point of interest that has been an interesting experiment in the continuing evolution of currencies and the global economic framework?
In this article we take a look at what the future might hold for Bitcoin.
What’s so great about Bitcoin?
For a virtual, digital currency, Bitcoin is incredibly secure. Incidents of Bitcoin theft are quite rare. There is a certainty to a Bitcoin transaction – once you have sent them they are sent; once you have received Bitcoin you can have total confidence that they are yours. This removes the need to know, identify, or trust the person or organization that you are dealing with.
Bitcoin is also a currency that is completely anonymous – not only does the nature of the currency enable the parties to a transaction to remain anonymous, but the currency is practically invisible in terms of law enforcement and taxation.
While it is optional whether or not you pay a transaction fee, most Bitcoin transactions now involve a transaction fee because it speeds up the confirmation of the transaction – transactions with fees attached will be prioritized. However the advantage of Bitcoin over other forms of payment is that, at the moment, the transaction fees involved are substantially lower than the fees attached to payment methods such as credit cards. However, there were times when Bitcoin fees skyrocketed so Bitcoin will require future improvements in order for not having those incredible high fees again.
Does Bitcoin matter?
Beyond the concerns that the anonymity of Bitcoin promotes and enables black market activity, the reason that Bitcoin attracts attention is because it is not tied to a central bank, it is a decentralized virtual currency. What this means is that you are removing the currency exchange risk usually associated with international transactions. Perhaps more importantly, you are removing local impacts, inflation, and instability from the value of the currency that you hold. For example, if you live in a country that descends into chaos or war, your Bitcoin currency is protected from the impacts of that. While the speculative fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin is a separate issue – it needs to be a stable currency or it will become irrelevant – the inherent value of a decentralized, virtual currency has been demonstrated.
Blockchain tech has changed the world
In a way it has become almost irrelevant whether Bitcoin is a currency that is sustainable or long-lasting. Regardless of its future, Bitcoin’s legacy is the creation of the blockchain – its public ledger that records all Bitcoin transactions. The algorithm that drives the public ledger for Bitcoin can also be used for non-financial purposes – DNS; P2P currency exchange; file storage; or voting systems are a couple of obvious examples. Blockchain tech enables us to move into a truly digital way of working, it also enables us to do it globally, without borders,
Does Bitcoin have a future as a mainstream currency? Perhaps, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. Bitcoin has fundamentally changed the world and the way that our digital capabilities will evolve.