With the bitcoin price flirting around the astonishing $10,000 USD milestone, it’s starting to look like nothing can stop BTC. Now all of us in the crypto space are starting to wonder: has critical mass finally been reached for mainstream adoption? Is there no turning back now?
Yet even with Bitcoin’s unprecedented dominance, we must always bear in mind that the future is inscrutable. And with the incredible power struggles, and even power shifts, that have been occurring in the cryptocurrency space as of late, it’s clear that the path forward is still very much unsettled.
As it stands right now, of course, there’s certainly no reason for fear, uncertainty, or despair. Just look at the bitcoin price now to know that the Bitcoin community, in a certain sense, is stronger than it’s ever been before. But for the sake of speculative discussion, what if Bitcoin does eventually lose its number #1 position?
During a recent interview with the press, Swedish Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge suggested that this hypothetical dynamic could materialize over the long-term.
“It’s important to remember that Bitcoin may not be the final cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency will displace the central bank money. But, with social networks we had SixDegrees, which was replaced by Friendster, which was replaced by Myspace, which was replaced by Facebook.”
Falkvinge added, “So some cryptocurrency is going to be worth a lot of money. Which one, well, that’s a gamble.”
Definitely; trying to surmise which crypto could eventually beat Bitcoin is absolutely a gamble right now. None of us have foresight. What we do have, though, is a few promising crypto projects that could presumably fill in Bitcoin’s shoes if BTC ever really were to take a seriously shocking tumble or otherwise be supplanted.
Today we’ll be walking you through these cryptocurrencies — which ones they are, and why they could one day challenge Bitcoin’s current #1 status.
The result of the August 1st hard-fork of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash is BTC’s de facto sibling. But where Bitcoin’s answer to the question of scaling is the implementation of SegWit and the Lightning Network, Bitcoin Cash’s response is to increase its chain’s block size to 8MB.
The fundamental point to consider here is a superficial, or aesthetic, one. Bitcoin Cash has one major advantage if BTC were to ever fail for some reason: the “Bitcoin” name. That fact alone could be enough to power BCH into the top spot of the crypto top 10 per market capitalization if enough choppiness were to rock Bitcoin itself.
Consider, for example, how the Bitcoin network recently experienced unprecedented congestion — high wait times and high fees. Some users jumped ship to Bitcoin Cash during this congestion because of BCH’s fast transactions and cheap fees. A sign of what’s to come? We’ll see.
As the current number two crypto by market capitalization, Ethereum is the premier cryptocurrency platform for smart contracts and “programmable” money. To that extent, Ethereum and its associated crypto fuel, ether, has limitless adoption potential in streamlining and optimizing business, law, governance, fintech; you name it.
Accordingly, if Ether and the Ethereum Virtual Machine really do end up revolutionizing society from the ground up, they definitely can root out Bitcoin’s dominance. It could take many years, but it’s possible.
In other words, think of Ethereum like Microsoft. Just like virtually everything is built on Microsoft software nowadays, so, too, could most of the world’s activities be moved onto Ethereum. As such, ETH may conceivably be the #1 crypto one day. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
Another thing to consider is that Ethereum has the charismatic and prodigal Vitalik Buterin as its face and leader. He may prove yet to be an incredible steward for his project.
Dash is currently testing all-time price highs above $600, and for good reason. Dash transactions are instant. They’re virtually fee-less. And they’re very private. Altogether attractive right? Well, you’re not alone in thinking that, as new users have been flocking to Dash in droves in 2017.
These perks make using Dash as a crypto-payments vehicle extremely easy, which could attract commercial users and mercantile payments processors in the years ahead.
Another really interesting aspect about Dash is that its development team doesn’t have to rely on donations from the community to function. Part of every block reward released during the Dash mining process goes into a development fund for the Dash team.
This dynamic earns the developers millions of dollars every year with which to better their crypto and hire a full-time staff for the purpose of doing just that. It’s even given them enough money to start running Dash ads on YouTube!
If Dash can solidify its position as the superior payments crypto, then it could eventually take the #1 spot — even if it’s just a darkhorse now.
IOTA is a crypto unlike any other; literally. It’s a “blockless” blockchain, as it were — or rather, a “blockless” distributed ledger. Tangle, as it’s called, is the revolutionary tech behind IOTA.
Tangle is highly scalable and lets transactions be facilitated without the need for fees. This means IOTA could be the single most important facilitator of inter-operable activities on the Internet-of-Things that’s still to come.
The impressive possibilities of an IOTA-powered future, then, makes this idiosyncratic crypto one to keep a close on eye from here on out. If Tangle takes off, then the rest of the crypto market could be playing catch-up with IOTA’s market cap for good.
Litecoin has many of the perks of Bitcoin, while having other advantages over BTC like faster and cheaper transactions. And since Litecoin is based off of Bitcoin, that means Litecoin’s development team can implement most of Bitcoin Core’s updates with just a little tweaking needed here and there.
Litecoin is also headed up by Charlie Lee; a brilliant developer in his own right who has a great deal of respect in the crypto space. If he continues to make Litecoin into an excellent all-around crypto (and if other projects take hits), Litecoin become a dominant force in the market.
Obviously, a great number of things would have to happen first for LTC to hit #1. But this is life, and life can end up being stranger than fiction in many cases. We’ll just have to wait and see how Litecoin continues to do.
Bitcoin is doing so well that it’s understandably hard to fathom it getting beat out any time soon. But this competitive shift doesn’t have to take place in the near future. If anything, it’ll take place over the course of several years. If Bitcoin dies, it’ll likely die or wane gradually after being superseded by newer, more efficient technologies like IOTA’s Tangle.
But make no mistake: we’re still a long way away from seeing Bitcoin’s current dominance challenged in any serious way.
The coins mentioned in this piece are extremely promising crypto projects that will surely be game-changes in the years ahead. Just how much they change the “game,” however, depends on a lot of moving variables that can’t fully be account for right now.
Perhaps Ethereum will be the #1 crypto one day. Or perhaps it’ll be Bitcoin Cash. Or maybe Bitcoin’s not ceding it’s spot ever. But one thing is known for sure. It’s going to be one hell of a ride for everyone in the crypto space in the mean time.