Happy birthday Bitcoin – 7 years and counting
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for miners and investors alike with this relatively new ‘digital currency’ hitting highs of over $1100 and lows of $177 in the last two years alone, but the currency has survived all of the clamour surrounding its’ inception and adoption and continues to mature as both a payment and investment alternative; for that we wish it a Happy Birthday and prosperous years to come.
With 2016 now upon us and hundreds of pieces of Bitcoin news already clogging up the news pages, it seems sensible to focus more about what we would like to see happen with the industry rather than let loose a string of predictions that may leave us languishing like the other industry bodies that have already tried and failed in previous years.
Primarily, with so many payment gateway and wallet start-ups now forced into closure or merging to stay afloat, it seems sensible to say that a dominant set of ‘approved options’ move to the market front that users can trust. Must like the birth of social media, there is only room for a select few to truly establish themselves as market leaders and the hype surrounding the e-currency has yet to disseminate enough for us to see the finished line-up; something we hope will happen over 2016.
Secondly, banks need to understand that their outdated compliance grades are not adaptable to Bitcoin or crypto-currencies yet a bridge between the two groups must be formed if the currency is to reach its’ potential. With users still forced to pay huge surcharges to buy coins or grandiose levies on payments made, it is difficult for the wider masses to trust it enough to take a chance on it. Should banks find a solution that can work for them to not only accept the currency into its’ circulated accounts but also offer a level of protection on payments made, the number of users will explode and its’ value will surely follow.
Thirdly, while the currency was exceptionally volatile over the previous years, a reduced amount of BTC mining availability (from 3600BTC to 1800BTC per day by late 2016) will ensure the currency cannot be controlled or shorted as much as it has been and we hope to see its’ valuation plateau which will surely attract longer-term investment that can help existing businesses further-strengthen their foothold as industry ambassadors.
Finally, while new companies will always pop-up in such a lucrative industry space, their ability to outlast their competitors will see many freefall into bankruptcy and early closure which, as mentioned above, will help cement the few leading companies as companies to be trusted, something that may help them increase the active level of Bitcoin users to make this currency as great as it has the potential to be.