Little over a decade ago, blockchain technology emerged onto the world stage along with the inception of bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized digital currency. While the underlying technology is still in a nascent phase, numerous technological developments have been made over the decade. According to CEO of Wachsman, David Wachsman, bitcoin is the oldest and in several aspects, slowest blockchain. He added that bitcoin is certainly the one that faced challenges in terms of upgrades.
It is a fact that bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency, introduced to the world by a person or group named Satoshi Nakamoto. Besides, bitcoin is also world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap. As bitcoin is capable of only processing 7 transactions per second (tps), it was complemented as the slowest blockchain by David. In contrast, Ethereum can handle about 15 tps whereas Ripple is capable of dealing with 1,500 tps.
Gathering thoughts on the future of bitcoin, BlockPublisher reached out to Joel McLeod, the founder of Stadivm.com. Upon inquiring if bitcoin would end up as store of value or medium of exchange, McLeod replied:
Bitcoin has never been solely either a store of value or a medium of exchange, but as Bitcoin’s hard-forked cousin, Bitcoin Cash continues to brand themselves as the version to be used as a medium of exchange, Bitcoin has had to develop a solution that also allows for cash-like properties.
But Washsman believes that bitcoin’s revival has started. The crypto offering reliability and is experiencing a social revival. He even compared bitcoin and other blockchain projects with the common tortoise and the hare story.
According to Wachsman, the role of the tortoise was adopted by bitcoin, whereas other blockchains represented the hare. Regarding bitcoin as the ‘old reliable one’, he put forward his view that bitcoin appears to be ahead of all other blockchains and it is an ideal payment method that has never failed.
Wachsman also shared his observation that there were no consumer-grade products in the crypto space and many use cases of cryptos except payment, have been introduced. He backed up his claims by explaining that besides payments, cryptos are rarely used. And even in the use case of settling payments, bitcoin alone is ahead of all other cryptocurrencies.
Wachsman conveyed the impact of bitcoin price reaching all-time high in 2017, as many newcomers joined blockchain industry in 2017. He added that nowadays, many people have dropped their interest in blockchain and crypto space but majority of those who joined this space and understood the technology has a liking for bitcoin. He told that he has not encountered anyone in the space yet who didn’t respect or like bitcoin.
Washman said that as bitcoin exceptionally catered to payment transactions, people found bitcoin very interesting. Apart from that, capable of successfully transferring funds, bitcoin is a sound, trustworthy and reliable medium to settle payments. In this regard his words were:
The lesson we can learn is that reliability matters most; that trust is meaningful. And Bitcoin is both trustworthy and reliable and everyone else is striving to be the same.
Apart from volatility experinced by bitcoin, the scalability problem of bitcoin blockchain is also criticized by critiques, since there is a limit to number of transactions bitcoin network can process in a given time. On-chain transactions of bitcoin are dependent on creation of the block. As 1MB block is created after every 10 mins, on-chain transactions can not exceed more than 7 tps.
Due to these scalability issues, bitcoin forks and layer 2 solutions were developed to deal with some of the limitations of the bitcoin network. For instance, Bitcoin Cash, a hard fork of bitcoin, has a block of 8MB size. A layer 2 solution, Lightning Network was also introduced to enable fast transactions which bitcoin is not capable of.
While talking to BlockPublisher, Joel also compared bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to be as store of value and said;
Lightning network is the new development that is gaining exponential levels of traction in 2019. It will most likely be a case that both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash will continue to be interchangeable, as both stores of value and mediums of exchange.
Bitcoin is a volatile asset that is also popular among investors. While the price of bitcoin in the crypto market is one of the concerns of investors, bitcoin’s scalability and speed are a few other. In the future, it would be of interest to see how bitcoin’s features and signature attributes contribute to or against mass bitcoin adoption.