The past year was a whirlwind for bitcoin and the bitcoin ecosystem. Scams and hacks, government regulation, new launches and new investors, and a price that started in the basement but ended relatively positively. The year ahead promises to be a year of potential; will bitcoin achieve greater success in ‘going mainstream’? Will the price improve? What will become of bitcoin-based businesses? I’ll take a stab at predicting the future in this look ahead at bitcoin in 2016.
Bitcoin has struggled to achieve mainstream adoption. Long forecasted by bitcoin believers, the move into the mainstream has yet to materialize, and the reasons are many. The lack of mainstream appeal boils down to two real issues: Lack of a strong use case and difficulty in understanding bitcoin use and security. For all that bitcoin does well, the strongest appeal of bitcoin is not to the average Joe, but rather the average libertarian or anti-government anarchist. This tiny segment of the population enthusiastically endorses bitcoin, but, much like Ron Paul, this doesn’t catch