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With all the hype around Bitcoin's growth and fall, many have forgotten the potential of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Cointelegraph.com.
Bitcoin, when it first hit the presses in its own white paper, was heralded as this peer-to-peer cashless system that could revolutionize the financial world and break the shackles of banking hegemony.
However, as the cryptocurrency market has evolved, it has attracted a new crop of investors and speculators who have strayed somewhat from its original purpose, rather happy to cash in on the unprecedented gains which attracted them in the first place. Really, those entering the crypto economy should be doing so for the right reason, reveling in the potential it holds to be a disruptive technology, rather than a quick get rich scheme.
A look at the generations shows how today’s generation is sitting under the yoke of a financial service sector that was set up by the baby boomers, who still run the central banks. The end of the Second World War in 1945 sparked a new revolution of banking, but that system still remains nearly totally intact.
This system of banking and finance is dated and obsolete, and not even functioning properly, with a number of major crashes sending the globe into dire straits on a few occasions; the 1987 crash, the 2000 dotcom bubble burst and 2008 global financial crisis all down to a broken system. There is huge amounts of skepticism that has been born from being put under the financial quash that was built by generations before. Millenials are now starting to fight back and ask why things are the way they are, and what can they do to change it.
The technology of the Blockchain is revolutionary, not only in name but in nature too. Those who understand the technology behind Bitcoin know what cryptocurrencies can become. But, those who only understand that Bitcoin has a chance of doubling its value every three months, are pushing it into bubble territory. The evidence is there though, the threat that Blockchain and cryptocurrencies pose can be seen in the way in which most central banks and regulators are reacting to it, knowing their monopoly is under threat.
But as it stands, even with the exponential expanding of the crypto community, which is also an intellectual expansion, there needs to be a balancing out of the financial speculators, and the technological innovators. When Bitcoin was chugging towards making fiat currency obsolete, it was doing so with a much lower number of users who were more focused on the technology. Now, as the network has swelled, the direction of Bitcoin, as the lead example, has changed, and the community is a different demographic.
Bitcoin is in a precarious position. It is the most popular and well known, and thus the most likely to be disruptive in any sense of the word, but it has gone down a pretty useless path in terms of revolution. The fact that Bitcoin is an asset, a store of value - digital gold - because of its scaling issue and other reasons, makes it much less of a revolutionary, more of a bloated get rich quick scheme. This is not the fault of the coin, the technology or those driving its development, and it is the fault of those who use it for the wrong reasons.
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