Over the past couple of weeks, watchers of the cryptomarket have seen another in a long line of tumbles since the all-time Bitcoin high earlier this year. 2018’s been a tough ride for hodlers and traders alike. But does a screen full of red mean pundits should give up entirely on digital currencies and blockchain? Are dreams of reaching the ‘moon’ just too farfetched?
I’m inclined to say no. Like any market, digital currencies have their natural highs and lows. What’s important to understand is the real potential of the blockchain technology facilitating the rise of these coins. The prices of digital currencies are just one part of the picture, but with many coins linked directly to new uses and applications there’s plenty for investors to be hopeful about.
Here’s three reasons why blockchain, and digital currencies, have real staying power:
It’s not a fad
Explaining what the future looks like for blockchain now is like explaining what the potential of the Internet looked like back in the early 90’s. The whole sector and the technology is still very much in its infancy. When dial-up first appeared, very few predicted the fundamental changes it’d make to every aspect of our society, let alone the rise of companies like Google and Facebook. The World Economic Forum anticipates 10% of global GDP will be stored on blockchain by 2027. That’s huge! If the big banks reckon it’s worth that much, then the economic impact of the distributed ledger could be as revolutionary as the rise of the Internet itself.
The possibilities are endless
As the Harvard Business Review puts it “blockchain is a foundational technology, it has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems”. While blockchain is most famously associated with Bitcoin, pick any industry and you’re likely to find an example of blockchain, and an associated coin, in action. In government, the security benefits have the potential to completely change public records and voting. In music, projects such as Artbit ensure artists are properly recognised and paid for their work. Car rentals can be made simpler, video game payments more transparent…there are even blockchain-based dating apps.
Take back privacy
GDPR may have propelled privacy into the public consciousness, but it’s blockchain that could really hold the key to keeping our identities secure online. At a time when concerns over personal privacy are at an all-time high, in the near-future everyone could have their own personal, unique blockchain storing their digital footprint. Rather than the online giants building up records of our tastes and preferences, this data would be decentralised and within our own control.
In short, blockchain is here to stay. It’s reliable, robust and completely changing how we live our lives and do business. My prediction is that in 10 or 20 years, much like the Internet, we’ll be wondering how we lived without it.
For more thoughts on whether Bitcoin is boom or bust, check out my previous post here.