It is trying times for Bitcoin. The struggle between SegWit and Bitcoin Unlimited, the two sides of a sharply divided community, appears to have hit its highest momentum. The majority of Bitcoin users are watching from the sidelines. Who takes the day?
Community in limbo
In the present state of Bitcoin, delayed transaction confirmations and a hike in the transaction fees are the consequences of an expanded user base.
These negative effects have discouraged a lot of users who may have either pulled out of the Bitcoin market to wait for the preferred outcome that the community will decide, either the soft fork of SegWit or the hard fork of Bitcoin Unlimited.
This significant pullout of investments has seen the cryptocurrency experience its lowest fall in its percentage of the cryptocurrency’s total market cap.
Despite the struggles and setbacks of 2017, Bitcoin has retained a strong character and resisted a total crash. This attitude exhibited by Bitcoin, according to Kumar Gaurav, founder & CEO of Cashaa (Auxesis Group), is a result of natural evolution, among other factors.
According to Gaurav, the strength of character, and the present attitude of Bitcoin is triggered by the failure of the existing financial system, while the main reason is the natural evolution of human society.
“We are an evolving species and same applies to all the utilities which we have. In its very early days, money was the value in itself, later it metamorphosed into an object which will represent value to acquire real value and slowly from the stone age money we reached to the plastic money. Now that money does not have direct value in itself it must be the corruption free element which cannot be guaranteed by the centralized system. Also, the features of this kind of money need to be very clear and cannot be manipulated to serve someone’s private motives and the value must be agreed upon by the market.”
Since there was no other option, says Gaurav, the people had to live with the only available system until Bitcoin came to the rescue. This marks the beginning of an entirely new financial system and all it needs now is the awareness, tools and continuous enhancements to keep up with the increasing demand.
Gaurav also notes that the crises within the traditional systems are not necessary for the establishment of Bitcoin and its adoption by the public. According to him, the value proposition of Bitcoin offers sufficient attraction for the public today.
Bitcoin started as a niche product that attracted people for the first reason - libertarians in the US and Austrian Economists who thought they would soon see financial systems failing, and fewer people from where crises actually happened.
In countries like Greece, most citizens were either too poor to buy Bitcoin or did not know about it, so it was more of the people from the outside, worrying (or hoping for) a crisis to extend to their own country, or using it as speculation opportunity.
“In 2013, the Cyprus crisis alone increased the Bitcoin price 350 percent in two months. A few years later and we still have not seen the “end of the old systems,” says Gaurav.
“The original Bitcoiners would still argue that we are facing global financial crises today, but the public does not know about this perspective or does not agree, and anyway would first have to start noticing enough of an impact on their own life to start buying Bitcoin.”
He notes that crises that had noticeable impacts have been limited to one or a few countries at the same time respectively, so whereas it may have helped Bitcoin in its first years to gain attraction, it is not what is driving Bitcoin acceptance and adoption now.
With increasing accessibility, awareness and education, a number of real-world use cases with improving and easy-to-use infrastructure, high-level endorsements, supportive regulation, less volatility and a positive price development, despite a lack of major economic crises, Bitcoin has become more attractive for the general public and for what it is, a global currency and not only an emergency wealth storage.