There is hardly a way the Bitcoin price won't maintain its current spot or continue on a rising trend with the prices of several major alternative digital currencies starting to reflect their respective networks’ gains as they establish in chosen areas of usefulness.
A quick look at how Dash, Ethereum, Monero and maybe Augur, have performed with their prices in the last few days show that despite the attention that has shifted to these altcoins, Bitcoin’s standing does not seem to be affected at all. Rather, it maintains a strong grasp of the market and continues with its back and forth movement over or around the $1200 price range.
The altcoins’ rising prices could not go unnoticed by serious-minded investors who may be exhibiting a practical foresight into what the future could hold for the financial sector - or how cryptocurrencies could help simplify the sector’s coordination in time.
A new economy
The influence Bitcoin wields over other alternative currencies - probably for its early adoption advantage or other technical reasons that I am not qualified or able to explain now - is enough to sustain its backbone role into the distant future even as its supply gets thinner while the awareness of its use spreads wider. From the Philippines to, let's say, India and back to Russia and Mexico, the struggle to lay hands on a fraction of Bitcoin continues.
However, the intensifying scramble for bits of Bitcoin considering the rising price of acquiring a full coin is, in a sense, a major factor pushing many to look into the new economy that the totality of cryptocurrencies is creating.
Many are now inching towards altcoins instead of a full Bitcoin to be a part of the new economy that is devoid of any form of restrictions and dependence on the status quo but rather afloat in a new world that has little to do with the financial arrangements we've known for years.
Still looking away from traditional markets like the US, Europe and China which are still the largest in my view but just that the others have started squeezing out their share, a Nigerian asked me recently if I think the most populous black nation is ready for the 'Bitcoin craze'. I replied that it isn't yet. I still stand on that view.
With a population of about 200 mln people, about a tenth of Nigerians - or even less - can claim all the Bitcoins in existence from a practical view.
However, it isn't about the money or the lack of a risk appetite to invest a huge amount into the digital currency because the country could boast of some of the most shrewd business owners the continent of Africa has ever produced. It also has a huge young population that is willing and ready to take on the world at several levels. Rather, what has been stopping them is the information gap or a lack of the good understanding of what Bitcoin is doing or could do.
The same applies to people in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa or even Rwanda where tech-savvy individuals are being developed at a faster pace in Africa. Put another way, a fraction of people in one or a combination of two or three of these countries have what it takes to achieve what is being suggested of Nigerians in terms of Bitcoin acquisition but for a similar hindering factor.
What to expect
Addressing this key factor will see the Bitcoin adoption level jump drastically among the Internet penetrated populace especially in developing countries like those in Africa. It could also lead to postulating that Bitcoin may not necessarily depend on the soon-to-be launched new use cases to be stronger or pricier.
As its high price and risk level have made it grow out of the league of favorite currencies for day traders, no new use case for Bitcoin by tomorrow does not translate that the most popular digital currency as at this writing is ever going to be irrelevant.
All it needs is the resolution of core issues such as its scalability to be sorted out once and for all.