Bitcoin has become a household name in the last few years, as the pioneering cryptocurrency has soared in value at times while depreciating just as quickly at other times. It’s the public face of a new kind of money: digital assets that people can exchange in order to circumvent traditional banks. But Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t just speculative investments, even if that’s the thing about them that grabs headlines. They have the potential to be much, much more. Here’s what some people are saying about the future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Security Will Be a Priority
One element of cryptocurrencies that seems particularly shady to outsiders is the level of confidence they can have in their transactions and their wealth-not just because the price of these digital assets fluctuates so rapidly, but because they can be stolen by hackers. Mt. Gox was once the largest bitcoin exchange on the planet, processing 70% of all worldwide transactions. But one or more hackers were able to compromise the exchange and steal over $450 million worth of bitcoins in 2014, and the exchange is no more. There have been a number of other high profile hacks in the past few years as well, making investors wary. Look for more exchanges to implement a VCS (version control software) in order to track changes to the system’s code, and higher security protocols for the digital wallets that store cryptocurrencies.
More Recognition from Governments
In September of 2017, Japan officially recognized 11 cryptocurrency exchanges, setting itself apart from China, which had strictly regulated the crypto market. This came after Japan passed a law in April of the same year officially recognizing bitcoin as legal tender. Japan’s economy has benefited greatly from its support for Bitcoin, so it’s no surprise that other countries are following suit. You can expect to see more countries officially recognizing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as the futuristic money becomes more commonplace and harder to ignore.
Blockchain For Everything
The continuously updated list of transactions known as the “blockchain” that underpins Bitcoin has the potential to be used for a variety of other applications. Since it’s designed to resist modification of the data contained within, it’s useful for intensive security data operations. One example? Driverless cars. A major concern about the technology, which has the potential to tremendously benefit the environment and make life more convenient, could be deadly if hacked. That’s why automakers are considering incorporating a decentralized blockchain to make their robo-cars more secure. Look for blockchain to pop up everywhere.
Bitcoin at The Supermarket
As more governments accept cryptocurrency, you’ll also see more businesses doing the same. There are already tons of major outlets accepting bitcoin, including Overstock, Expedia, and Newegg. And Shopify, one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, gave its 75,000+ merchants the option to accept Bitcoin in 2013. As more people start using cryptocurrency, you’ll see signs popping up in storefronts to let people know they can spend their crypto inside. It’s all part of cryptocurrency infiltrating the mainstream.
Photo by Davie McBee