The Bitcoin network has seen significant growth over the past eight years. What started out as a niche project has turned into a global currency to be reckoned with. But if the lingering issues associated with Bitcoin are not solved anytime soon, cryptocurrency will never achieve global growth. Altcoins are breathing down Bitcoin’s neck, even though none of them comes even remotely close where usability is concerned.
The Future of Bitcoin Remains Undecided
The popularity of altcoins should be applauded, assuming they can be used for real life use cases the average consumer can relate to. In that regard, Ethereum makes very little sense to consumers, as it is very difficult to buy goods or services with it outside of the “geek realm”. The same goes for Litecoin, which, despite its appeal and acceptance, is not overly popular as a payment option either.
Bitcoin is and will remain, the clear market leader when it comes to using and spending cryptocurrency. Do keep in mind Bitcoin is still a small niche market in the sea of useful payment options, though. Anything less popular than Bitcoin will have a very difficult challenge ahead to gain any market traction. This is also why altcoins are heavily subject to pump-and-dump scheme,s as it requires a lot less volume to influence those prices compared to Bitcoin. Moreover, trading is the only real use case for most altcoins right now.
That being said, Bitcoin is not the undisputed cryptocurrency champion by any means. Lingering issues related to the block size, confirmation delays, and a very limited number of transactions per second to be processed, are not helping matters. Altcoins offer faster transactions, quicker confirmations, and seemingly solve the block size issue. Then again, due to their lack of viability, hardly any of these currencies has been through the paces of a demanding financial setting such as Bitcoin has.
It is impossible – and utterly pointless – to compare Bitcoin to any altcoin in existence. There is a clear hierarchy in cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin sits on top for the time being If developers fail to solve the issues mentioned above, it is not unlikely another currency may take its place, though. Users and consumers want quick and convenient payment methods, at the lowest price possible.
Additionally, there remain some concerns over Bitcoin’s apparent lack of privacy-centric features. Some altcoins’ entire marketing strategy hinges on the “stay anonymous” fact, which seems to attract some interest from investors. Bitcoin could do with some additional privacy features, even if they were introduced on an opt-in basis.
Cryptocurrency never has a dull day, and it is anybody’s game right now. Bitcoin is very dominant in all regards, but that situation could change in the coming years. Continuous development is needed, and new features will have to be integrated sooner or later. But first things first, as the ongoing issues need to be fixed before the end of 2016.
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