Remember the hype over bitcoin? The crypto-currency that so tantalized techies and excited investors is today in a sorry state: Its core supporters are at war with each other and ordinary consumers still don’t care about this supposedly revolutionary form of money.
But that’s only half of the story. The other half is about the remarkable rise of blockchain, the core technology underlying bitcoin that is enjoying unprecedented adoption by banks and big business.
This development—the fall of bitcoin and the rise of blockchain—has accelerated in recent months, and it has big implications for those who have sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into these technologies. Here’s the latest on the story of bitcoin, which has turned out far differently than many imagined.
How We Got Here
Flash back five years, the bitcoin scene was an exciting place to be. A motley mix of coders, libertarians, and get-rich-quick hucksters latched onto the promise of bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto’s new distributed, tamper-proof money system and ledger run from millions of computers. The ledger provided an indelible record of near-anonymous financial transactions in offering a global payment platform to ordinary merchants, drug dealers, and everyone in between.
The early bitcoin buzz soon exploded, and the currency’s value