Blockchain technology: the new internet could replace the world currency
Blockchain, a technology that was developed under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, is taking a multitude of deliberation in the digital world today. Speculations that Bitcoin could potentially take over the world currency in the future have sparked many discussions such as negating opinions that cryptocurrencies carry zero value in the real world, unlike gold and fiat currencies. Albeit its many oppositions, Bitcoin continues to increase in value in the world market.
But first, what is blockchain technology and how is this related to Bitcoin? Blockchain is the technology used to serve as a public ledger for every digital transactions made using cryptocurrencies. The system is secure and efficient as data cannot be modified, as part of its design, and it does not require third parties to mediate the transactions. This is being made possible through a peer-to-peer network system where there is no central unit operating the whole network (decentralized). Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a cryptocurrency that can be traded with money, goods, and services.
Although Nakamoto originally created blockchain for processing electronic payments, it can also extend its uses to different sectors such as, in finance, banking, real estate, healthcare, and media. “We see cryptocurrencies as representing the first wave of the technology, where the big potential for cross industries adaptation across different use cases will be DLT [distributed ledger technology] based,” said Odelia Troteman, FinTech and Blockchain Sector Manager of Deloitte Israel in an article interview with the top five experts in cryptocurrency done by FXEmpire. This will be made possible through Smart Contract, a blockchain application where people could exchange anything of value without the services of a middleperson. This system is slowly changing how business and financial activities are made and some experts predict that in time most, if not all, of our transactions will be processed by this technology.
Moreover, Bitcoin is currently the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It has come a long way and has undergone a rapid growth since it was first mined (the term used to produce a coin) in 2009. The value has surged over the years from $1 per 1,309 BTC (ticker symbol for Bitcoin) to $8,357.04 per 1 BTC, as of April 16, 2018. Following the law of supply and demand, the people’s increase in interest for the currency has respectively increased its value. Although the valuation of the currency is only based on its potential and not on its real value in the market, experts are still optimistic that the price of Bitcoin will continue to increase in the following years.
Meanwhile, the number of people using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means of buying products on the internet is growing. And businesses are starting to adapt, accepting cryptocurrencies as payment—an alternative for credit cards and tangible currencies. Furthermore, there is a possibility that cryptocurrencies will fully take over in the e-commerce and traditional business industries in the future.
Emerging companies are now innovating ways to make Bitcoin transactions in stores, or wherever major cards are accepted, easier. Cryptopay, a digital currency service provider, offers this type of service. They provide mobile wallets where users can store and manage their Bitcoin. And with use of their debit cards (an additional product offered), which are linked to their accounts, they can readily use their Bitcoin to transact in stores that only accepts plastic cards and tangible currencies.
“Is blockchain wallet safe?”—this may be the common thing to ask with regards to the technology. Hacked accounts may have had happened in the past and other fraudulent activities, but “it is likely that eventually, we will be much more appreciative of the benefits blockchain technology is bringing to society, than the inevitable risks,” Eyal Hertzog, cofounder of Bancor, adds in the same FXEmpire interview.
“In the following decades, cryptocurrencies will coexist side by side with traditional currencies, but it is plausible that within 30–40 years, they can replace them completely,” as stated by Meni Rosenfeld, chairman of Israeli Bitcoin Association in the FXEmpire article. Major world banks are already experimenting this new technology. And governments are exploring the issues within the system to fully regulate every transaction. Rosenfeld added that, “In 20 years, I expect that when you go to any shop in the world, you’ll be sure that it accepts Bitcoin. In 30 years, when you go to a shop, you won’t be sure that it accepts the local currency.”
What do you think about cryptocurrency replacing our modern-day currency? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section or chat with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. Visit my blog for more useful articles and read my book, A New Age, for an exciting futuristic adventure about humanity, survival, and technology.
FXEmpire Editors. 2017. “Top Five Cryptocurrencies Experts Talk about Bitcoin, Blockchain and ICO’s.” FXEmpire.com. November 14. Accessed April 16, 2018. https://www.fxempire.com/education/article/top-five-cryptcurrencies-experts-talk-bitcoin-blockchain-icos-444646.
Tkatchuk, Ralph. 2017. “How Blockchain Is Changing the Way We Pay.” Dataconomy, August 18. Accessed April 16, 2018. http://dataconomy.com/2017/08/blockchain-changing-way-pay/.
Rosic, Ameer. 2016. “Smart Contracts: The Blockchain Technology That Will Replace Lawyers.” Blockgeeks.com. Accessed April 13, 2018. https://blockgeeks.com/guides/smart-contracts/.
Nakamoto, Satoshi. 2008. “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Bitcoin.org, October 31. Accessed April 13, 2018. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf.