To say Bitcoin is an enigma is a bit of an understatement since its release to the public in 2009 Bitcoin as enjoyed immense growth. And it’s now an incredibly popular and valuable investment. Created by a group (or possibly even a sole person) only known by the name Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoin is now seen by many to be an official third currency.
But unlike traditional money Bitcoin is decentralized and a completely digital cryptocurrency. With Bitcoin, you control everything and in less than a decade the Bitcoin community as grown immensely.
At the time of writing Bitcoin is at one of its highest values yet, to put that into perspective 1 Bitcoin is now currently worth about 2572 US dollars or 1993 pounds. The value of Bitcoin has been rising for some time but it shot up earlier this year, hitting its highest value yet on June 11th, 2017.
But despite Bitcoins increasing value and popularity as an investment it can be denied that it’s very volatile. Because there’s never really been anything like Bitcoin before no one can really predict what will happen next.
Although a spokesman for Goldman Sachs released a statement on the 3rd July 2017 predicting that another 50% growth is certainly possible. But despite its increasing value expert opinion is still understandably mixed when it comes to Bitcoin.
The Professional Opinion
Bitcoin might not yet be a decade old but professionals have been in active discussion about its value and long-term future since its introduction. Some see it as the future of currency as we know it, while others believe the hype about will eventually fade away and Bitcoin will end up as just a name in the history books.
Braden Perry, a partner at Kennyhertz Perry, LLC was optimistic about Bitcoin’s future so far, although he did acknowledge that there was still a way to go yet saying: “Bitcoin still has a journey ahead of it. It needs greater adoption, and more simplicity to appeal to the general public. But then again, the general public should be more informed anyway”
In contrast, Sheng Songcheng, an adviser to the People’s Bank of China expressed his doubts about Bitcoin’s validity has an official currency, but still described it as a valuable asset. He said: “Bitcoin does not have the fundamental attributes needed to be a currency, it is a string of code generated by complex algorithms”
However, he did further elaborate saying he did: “Not deny that virtual currencies have technical value and are a type of asset” That’s just a small sample of people’s opinions and with Bitcoin reaching increasingly higher values this year we are sure to see more experts sharing their views.
The Current State of Bitcoin
To assess the future of Bitcoin we have to look at how it as grown and changed so far and Bitcoin as changed a lot. In 2013 1 Bitcoin was worth about $13 dollars on average and now its worth over $2500 dollars.
The world as also seen a lot of economic trouble since 2009 and because of this a decentralized, digital currency is being seen as more attractive by larger groups of people. Bitcoin might seem complex but it’s not just tech-savvy investors it appeals to, people from all walks of life are seeing the value of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin as also significantly strengthened its market presence in the past few years, so you can actually spend your Bitcoins in more places. While it is still a long way behind traditional currencies it is now possible to spend Bitcoin in some actual shops and pubs and not just websites.
Although one of the main drawbacks to Bitcoin is that it isn’t adopted as a payment method in the majority of places. Some countries like Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, and Bolivia have also outright banned Bitcoin. While some countries like China have been introducing stronger regulations in the past few years.
Bitcoin as also been the subject of increased scrutiny under many countries anti-terrorism laws as groups have been using Bitcoin to pay for illegal materials like drugs and weapons. Issues like hacking and other similar cybercrimes have also plagued Bitcoin since its introduction in 2009.
When you take everything into account it becomes clear that Bitcoin is doing far better than many people believed it would. And it certainly does seem like it will still be around a decade from now, the hype may die down but Bitcoin will likely endure for the forcible future.
However it’s also apparent that Bitcoin is still very young and a lot could change, it sounds cliché but what goes up must come down and no one can say for sure how long Bitcoin’s current boom will last. So what does the future hold for Bitcoin?
What Does The Future Hold For Bitcoin?
Bitcoin’s immediate future is very bright, the upwards trend will likely continue and it wouldn’t surprise me to see June 11th peak be beaten this year. However it’s also probable that Bitcoin will stagnant and fall back down in time, this isn’t a bad thing though it’s natural and will actually help Bitcoin in the long run.
At the moment it certainly seems like Bitcoin is too big to fail and it’s already shown that it can adapt. However, I do believe Bitcoin will face a number of challenges in the future, firstly being that regulation will likely be strengthened.
Despite being around for a number of years many countries really haven’t adapted to Bitcoin, so I believe we could see big changes in how certain countries monitor and regulate it. I also think that Bitcoin could face competition from alternative cryptocurrencies.
A range of alternative cryptocurrencies are currently active and although none have reached the popularity of Bitcoin, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t. Bitcoin pretty much came out of nowhere and as grown incredibly quickly and as changed during its growth. So an alternative cryptocurrency could easily fill the gap the original Bitcoin leaves behind.
The next few years are certainly going to be very interesting for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. Bitcoin’s success shows us that currencies are evolving and that’s something to be both wary and excited about.