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Last year saw the price of Bitcoin jump to $20,000, whilst this year it has been sitting at around $6,500. The question that is burning a hole in everyone's pocket, though, is whether blockchain is here to stay, or if it's just a craze. Investors may have reason to rejoice, though, since it appears that blockchain is going nowhere as this invaluable resource ingratiates itself into modern day society each and every day.
Blockchain technology is more then a decade in the making.
Blockchain isn’t new anymore—it’s proven itself time and time again to be a technology that can revolutionize the way multiple industries currently work. The early days of Bitcoin, where blockchain was only used as a public ledger for a cryptocurrency, were pretty impressive themselves. However, blockchain today is being used for a wide variety of purposes that it may truly revolutionize the way the world works.
In 10 years blockchain technology has remained the same at its core, but the addition of smart-contracts and other developments have really changed the game, making blockchain even more important than it used to be.
It has over a $200 billion market cap.
It may have dropped from the massive high of $800 billion that it was, but the fact that there is still currently more than $200 billion in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology indicates that blockchain is here to stay.
Considering that more than 50 percent of that (currently $114.7 billion) is held in Bitcoin, the original digital currency, really speaks for itself. Those who say Bitcoin is dead seem be sure of themselves, but if $114 billion means a project is dead, then what does blockchain need to be successful to them?
Bitcoin Futures are a growing investment strategy.
Although there is a lot of mistrust about the effect that institutional money has had on the value of Bitcoin, it does indicate that it’s not going anywhere. Bitcoin Futures were launched in December 2017 by Cboe and shortly followed by CME. If institutional money is getting involved, then it’s a good sign that Bitcoin will stay around for decades—even if it led to speculation over price manipulation of Bitcoin’s value.
Blockchain and crypto are no longer part of a niche commuinty.
The cryptocurrency space was very much a niche for most of the past decade. However, over the past two years, it has become more and more accessible—to the point that anyone who can use Google can use blockchain technology or buy cryptocurrencies.
The days of crypto being a developer-only space are over, as after almost a decade of development blockchain products are being implemented in the real world at real time.
There is no reason to fear the Darknet.
The Darknet, formally known as Tor, existed long before Bitcoin or blockchain was even thought about. There are many misconceptions about Bitcoin being “anonymous” internet money; but if anything, it’s the opposite. Since the entire logic of a blockchain is to permanently record every transaction, you cannot easily hide your transactions if investigated.
In reality, although there have been marketplaces on the Darknet that accept cryptocurrencies for drugs, there are also many more drug dealers in city streets who only accept hard cash. No one is trying to ban cash to stop drug dealers, are they?
Alt coin mania is real.
As 2017 came to an end, it was truly the time of the alt coin. With Bitcoin's price stabilizing after its $20,000 peak, money poured into alt coins like never before. Nearly every project, no matter whether it was any good or not, seemed to be guaranteed to make money.
Of course, this unsustainable growth couldn’t last forever, and it didn’t. However, bringing alt coins into the headlines made the world see there was more to blockchain than just Bitcoin. CoinMarketCap currently lists 2,041 cryptocurrencies, excluding Bitcoin. Although many of these projects will not be around in five years’ time, the chance of all of them disappearing forever is extremely low, especially now that real-world adoption is becoming more mainstream.
Blockchain is not just cryptocurrencies.
For those who aren’t involved in blockchain technology, or have just heard of it in passing or on the news, the only thing that blockchain is doing is allowing unregulated currencies to exist. Now, this, of course, has its benefits to some, but to others, this is something that they are not too happy with.
Blockchain is so much more than a technology that allows cryptocurrencies to exist. They are also projects that aim to help supply chains, like VeChain and WaltonChain, for example. With the reoccurrence of contaminated baby milk powder and other products coming from China, blockchain technology that record every transaction (or movement within a supply chain) can prove that the product you receive came from the ingredients intended to be inside of them. If contamination does occur, using blockchain technology you could follow the source of one batch of products all the way back to the base ingredients—exposing the point of contamination.
This is just one of many real-life applications of blockchain that does not involve a cryptocurrency, and proves that blockchain has a future within the world today.
Coinbase is a great example of what investing in blockchain is capable of.
Although the massive US startup may be disliked due to the high fees involved, there is no arguing that it has revolutionized the way cryptocurrencies are now accessible to everyone with a bank account or a debit/credit card.
Coinbase was recently valued at $8 billion, putting it up in the highest market evaluations of any start-up in the US and internationally. Recently, only Uber and a few others exceed their market valuation.
Banks are failing.
With the financial crisis of 2008 still very much in people’s memories, there is an ever-growing trend to move away from financial institutions due to the lack of trust in their practices. Many blockchains and cryptocurrencies work towards disruption of the financial institutions and the decentralization of them, moving the power and money back into the hands of the people. Blockchains can allow for cross border transfers instantly, with fees that no banks can currently compete with.
Obviously, banks don’t like this. However, instead of lobbying to shut blockchain down, many of them are adopting blockchains, showing that even they believe the signs that Bitcoin is going mainstream.
Bolivars? Think Petros!
Venezuela's financial crisis has gotten to the point where inflation is so high that wheelbarrows of the fiat currency Bolivar can no longer even buy bread. Noticing the ways blockchain could be used in his developing country though, the President announced the introduction of Petros, and the first state Cryptocurrency was born.
At the moment, the currency is only available to be bought with USD and other alt coins. However, from November 5th it has been announced that people holding bolivars will be able to exchange them for Petros.
Other South American countries are also looking into blockchain based cryptocurrencies, and even Sweden is looking into introducing the e-Krona—although it has not been made clear if this will be blockchain based or not.
All in all the evidence is clear that blockchain is here to stay.