Bitcoin is a revolution, according to a lot of programmers and people in the crypto community. There is no stopping the digital currency, even with the recent speed bumps. With a decentralized ledger that lives on multiple computers at once, there is no taking down or regulating this digital money, not with all the governments in the world. And, truthfully, it seems like all the governments in the world are making a stick about Bitcoin.
So, the evangelists are always having their say. Claiming that this currency hails a new way of doing things for the average person on the internet. Once this is all figured out, we will have the third generation of the World Wide Web, built on the blockchain. There is both some truth to that and a whole lot of bluster. The trick, when you want to make money from a craze like this, is to figure out which is which. To cut through the bluster.
Blockchain is the most disruptive tech in decades. Bitcoin is the first digital currency launched on a blockchain network, so the initial adoption immersion was great and total. That means that it is going to be crazy hard to get away from the blockchain in the next 10 years as Bitcoin grows its use cases. The blockchain has the potential to change the landscape for everything from sports gambling to land registry to overseas financial transactions.
For the computer science history nerds out there, you will want to take a look at how Linux developed over the last few decades. After open-source software became a huge gamechanger for businesses, it still took years for the Linux brand to become ubiquitous. Expect the same for the blockchain. Even as companies roll out real world examples, expect the adoption of blockchain everywhere to continue to grow steadily, but not exponentially.
Many people expect the blockchain to foundationally change social networks and economic systems, rather than bring about disruptive change quickly. Because a blockchain ledger can be shared on a disparate network, it is incredibly hard to fake, so the copies of transactions between nodes on the network represent an unalterable record, because everything is time-stamped and linked to the previous record, or block.
It is a peer-to-peer network without the need for administrators. Because of the way that information and transactions can be shared between two parties without a mediator, the potential for cutting out the middleman is great. Because the blockchain has an ability to police itself, you can eliminate all sorts of record keeping. That keeps costs low and revenues high. A win win for any business.
So when looking at ways to make money from Bitcoin and the blockchain, don’t just look at how to trade cryptocurrencies on exchanges that are not insured. Look for business that are investing in the blockchain and see how you can buy their stock. The long term prospects are good for early adopters.
Where is the blockchain and Bitcoin headed from here? No one really knows, but it is going to be one heck of a ride.