Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the proof of concept for blockchains. It uses a proof of work (POW) verification mechanism. Additionally, the number of bitcoins that will ever be generated is capped to 21 million. Every four years, the number of bitcoins given out to miners per block is cut in half. This creates scarcity thereby increasing its value over time.

Unlike many blockchains, bitcoin has no inherent value. It is not meant to be a smart contract platform. It’s main value is its first mover advantage, its level of adoption and the robust security makes it a good bet long term. Assuming it could simply be used as a store of value due to its mass adoption, there are issues with its scalability. Because of the POW consensus mechanism, bitcoin’s network only processes around 3-4 transactions per second. This makes it a poor medium of exchange for everyday transactions even if there is consensus around it as a store of value. This problem is so serious that developers have created forks of bitcoin with different protocols meant to allow easier transactions. This has lead to speculation that bitcoin will more likely be used as digital gold than an everyday medium of exchange.

I like bitcoin in the next 5 years because the crypto market will only grow as new blockchains and applications are built for the foundation of the crypto economy. The bitcoin brand will continue to be stable during that period. In the long term, I am not certain about the viability as there is no inherent function better than any other cryptocurrencies. Its main value appears to be in the strength of its network effect since the majority of crypto investors don’t understand what it actually is.  Currently, I wouldn’t bet against it because of the level of adoption. It could simply remain a speculative store of value.

 


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