Five years ago, bitcoin was an obscure and esoteric online currency, used by few and understood by fewer. Today, after half a decade of sturm, drang, and drama—not to mention multi-million dollar hacks and grandiose proclamations—it is … an obscure and esoteric online currency, used by few and understood by fewer. Despite the breathless prophecies of countless pundits, neither death nor revolution have come to pass.
But it would be wrong to view these past few years as mere stagnation, as Paul Vigna does in a recent Wall Street Journal piece, arguing that “hacks and the irreversible nature of transactions stand in the way of broader acceptance.” At the end of the day, Vigna asks, “Is [bitcoin] really a better mousetrap?”
Despite the breathless prophecies of countless pundits, neither death nor revolution have come to pass. It’s a reasonable question. Bitcoin’s current system may worry more mainstream banking customers used to a certain level of institutional accountability. But it’s near-sighted to focus solely on the present. As we speak, developers are proposing new, more accessible structures that could, in the near future, create a Bitcoin 2.0 that is both palatable to the