Bitcoin started on October 31, 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto created a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that eliminated the need for a trusted third party. Ten years down the line, the identity of Nakamoto is still a mystery, but the Bitcoin network is slowly inching towards mainstream adoption.
Bitcoin has forked a few times now, but the original BTC network continues to dominate the cryptocurrency market, holding over 50 percent of the market capitalization in a sector that boasts of over 2,000 digital coins.
Sparking Conversations Online and Offline
On its 10th anniversary, Bitcoin became the most talked about cryptocurrency in the world on Twitter, with over 1,725 tweets about the coin in just one hour during the afternoon.
— CoinTrendz.com (@CoinTrendz) October 31, 2018
In its initial years, Bitcoin moved rather slowly, showing signs of higher volatility as most new asset classes do. It was often considered a topic that only “geeks” talk about on online forums. However, between 2015 and 2018, the coin started becoming more mainstream, and its high point was the trading craze in 2017 that led to extreme price volatility taking the price of one coin to $20,000. Since then, the prices have reduced to around $6,800, but there is steady growth in crypto adoption.
Now Bitcoin is accepted in hundreds of merchant outlets around the world, and it has been added to some online retailer’s payment options too. Large hedge funds are slowly finding the crypto markets more interesting, and some funds are being designed specifically for the crypto markets.
If we focus on statistics from CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency in the world – a distinction it has held for years. Over 17 million Bitcoins are currently in circulation, out of the total 21 million. The market capitalization of Bitcoin is over $109 billion, which makes up for over 54 percent of the total crypto market.
Looking Forward – Predicting the Path for Bitcoin
CoinCorner shared some predictions it has for Bitcoin over the next ten years. They believe that Bitcoin will dominate at least 90 percent of the market share and will be worth $100,000 or more per BTC. CoinCorner also predicts that Bitcoin will be used to pay for streaming services and will act as a common store of value for people in the developing world. They also predict that Bitcoin will become a part of the education system and may go on to become the reserve currency of the world, much like the US Dollar.
If you put on rose-colored lenses, all these predictions appear to be coming true. Bitcoin may become a premier currency for the world, especially for people in developing nations where dependence on national fiat currencies creates issues, Venezuela being a great example.
However, the CoinCorner team also suggests that the successes of Bitcoin will not come without a few hiccups. It predicts that a 51% attack will be attempted on the BTC network, but Bitcoin will continue to survive. The BTC network is one of the handfuls of networks that have maintained 100% uptime, which is ahead of Google.
If we ignore all the humdrum around the coin – the passionate believers, the staunch bulls, the naysayers and the permabears – we find a technology that has the potential to change the world. The possibilities with Bitcoin are endless, and the good news is that the world is slowly waking up to accept the new digital currencies of the future.