October 31, 2018

As Bitcoin reaches its first decade, it’s time to dream big

Happy Birthday Bitcoin! The most popular app based on blockchain technology is celebrating its 10th anniversary this October 31.

Happy Birthday Bitcoin! The most popular app based on blockchain technology is celebrating its 10th anniversary this October 31. During that time its equivalent price in fiat has ranged from sub-penny to almost 20,000 dollars.

Currently, more than $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin are traded every day. The Bitcoin core network continues to be developed and improved, with the next big innovation coming soon, the lightening network, promising to increase the speed and scalability of Bitcoin transactions, especially for micro-payment transactions. It is important to realize that the Bitcoin network is undergoing constant updates, with over 100 developers from around the world continuously improving the Bitcoin core network, which is now distributed across 10,000 nodes around the globe.

Technology benchmarking

How does this compare to two other revolutionary technologies at 10 years of age, and to today?

Mobile phones: the first mobile phone prototype was introduced in 1973. It was based on analog technology and weighed over a kilogram. Ten years later, Motorola released the first commercially available mobile phone with a whooping price tag of $4,000. It was bulky, weighed 800 grams, 33 centimeters long, took 10 hours to charge and could only be used for voice calls. Fast forward to 2018, and the modern smartphone fits in your pocket, supports thousands of apps, is accessed by touchscreen, is easily affordable and weighs only a couple hundred grams.

The Internet: if we define the beginning of the internet with the launch of the World Wide Web (HTML) then the date would be 1993 (although the “electronic plumbing” behind it, TCP/IP, dates back much further). In 1993, there were less than 4 million users, 130 websites and browsing speed topped out at 256 Kilobits/sec. Ten years later in 2003, the internet had over 700 million users, reaching over 11% of the world’s population with speeds typically maxing out at 800 kilobits/sec. Today’s World Wide Web is accessed by more than 4 billion people, or 55% of the world’s population with average speeds of over 9 Mbit/sec and over 1.8 billion websites.

Dreaming big

Based on these benchmark technologies, just imagine how the Bitcoin network will look like ten years from today.

In 2028, Bitcoin will look back in time and remember 2018 as its most challenging year. In fact, after reaching a peak of almost $20,000, the currency plummeted and stabilized at around $6,500 towards the end of that year. The high volatility left a full graveyard of altcoins projects behind and kicked-off a period of consolidation that resulted in today’s five major global cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin gained credibility in the financial system when the world’s three major central banks — the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China — decided to hold reserves in the pioneering crypto currency. The moved allowed widespread adoption of blockchain technology in the financial services, healthcare and transportation industry. In a few years, Bitcoin is expected to replace the US dollar as the world’s standard currency.

From carsharing to ocean cleaning to money transferring, Bitcoin’s influence in society and culture has been so overwhelming than experts have renamed Generation Z (the generation that followed Millennials) “Generation Bitcoin.” As these individuals reach adulthood with the e-wallets, some will go through life without even holding a paper currency in their hands or even understanding the purpose of credit cards as a payment form. Bitcoin has become the preferred method to settled payments ranging from pizza ordering to buying tickets for a 10-minute space ride on Virgin Galatic.

Only time will tell…

Photo credits:

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels
Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels

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