I get a lot of exposure to tech industry professionals, and when I hear “isn’t Bitcoin dead”, “hasn’t the bubble popped”, “isn’t blockchain a buzzword”, it makes me shudder.
No, it isn’t dead. Okay, the public bailed out when prices touched on 5-figures; but it’s far from dead.
Bitcoin is still the gateway to the blockchain industry, for the most part. Okay, crypto-currency is only one area of blockchain, but frankly, cryptocurrency is the most widely-used application of blockchain at present.
And right now, there’s only one big-entry into everything, and that’s Bitcoin.
Sure, you can buy Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin – to name a few – from Coinbase. But these cryptos have nowhere near the amount of public awareness and exposure that Bitcoin has. I mention Coinbase because it’s the largest gateway into blockchain for the layman.
You might look at the price of Bitcoin and think “oh it’s dropped and it’s worthless”. You’re deluded if you think this.
Bitcoin is still worth a 4-figure sum at present. Most people cannot buy a Bitcoin because of its perceived value.
Valuation of a dead currency should be close to 0, logically. If a currency is dead, surely it’s unusable, no longer needed.
So to answer the question, Bitcoin is not dead. Will it live forever?
In its current form, probably not.
When better alternatives come to fruition and act as better gateways into blockchain — or when gateways are no longer needed — Bitcoin will likely dwindle into the darkness.
In its current form, the 3 transaction-per-second crypto-currency is useless. But it still holds as that gateway.
Do not confuse Bitcoin for blockchain as a whole, nor as crypto-currency as a whole. It’s the first pilot, it went crazy, and will likely stick around for years to come because of its valuation.
But let’s imagine for a moment, by some magical turn of the future, Bitcoin gets it’s act together and sorts out it’s scaling problem.
It’s publically cemented image as “The Cryptocurrency”, could see it’s longevity continue for many years.
There’s a fundamental issue with the money system and the inflation problem that is making us consume the earth faster than it can repair itself, and a nice solid decentralized currency is one step in the right direction.
Of course, this can be argued either way, but it feels fundamentally right, though I’m not looking to argue the case on this one.
This is all optimistic; in reality, there are many many better alternatives to Bitcoin. But judging the “Apples” and “Microsofts” from the rest of the blockchain-boom-fodder is what will decide whether you’re on the winning or the dying side of blockchain.
If Bitcoin doesn’t change, it will die.