Bitcoin seems indestructible but another cryptocurrency might be about to take its place
Bitcoin was born out of the global financial crisis of 2018, but on the eve of its 10th anniversary the world’s first cryptocurrency may be facing a crisis of its own. Uncertain regulation, technological failings and infighting within its developer community mean another cryptocurrency could be on the verge of taking its place as the world’s leading digital currency.
With a market cap of over $100 billion, bitcoin has established itself over the last decade as the world’s leading cryptocurrency, yet since its inception more than 3,000 other cryptocurrencies have since come into existence – each attempting to offer something that bitcoin can’t. After a decade of dominance, experts tell The Independent that one of them may soon succeed.
“A number of clouds now hang over bitcoin’s original vision – chiefly the speculation around whether it can make it as a general service for payments,” said Shiv Malik, head of strategy and communications at the blockchain firm Streamr. “But bitcoin now has many children — cryptocurrencies and digital tokens of all sorts – and they will eventually serve as the basis not just for money, and money transfer but for accessing all sorts of vital digital services in the future.”
One of the fundamental features of bitcoin is that it’s decentralised, meaning there is no government or financial institution that can interfere as an intermediary.
But while this allows fee-free international transactions and protects against manipulative monetary policies like quantitative easing, a lack of centralisation and governance also means it is difficult to implement new technologies that are necessary to keep up with its growth.
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