TLDR. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and many other cryptocurrencies continue to experience massive growth in price, market capitalization, and mainstream adoption. Cryptocurrencies change and improve the way we do things. It is no longer a question of whether cryptocurrencies are disrupting the global economy. The only question is how much and how fast.
On July 20, 1969 we made history. Two days ago, we had the fiftieth anniversary of the Moon Landing, when man walked on the Moon for the first time.
The Apollo Guidance Computer was the primary computer for the Apollo mission. It was one of the first computers to use integrated circuits, so instead of filling an entire room, it squeezed everything into a box just a couple of feet in size. Today, the A11 chip in an iPhone X can perform six hundred billion floating point operations per second. That’s a million times faster than the computer that put man on the Moon.
In 1969, a 50 year old man was old and was expected to live another 17 years. But today, being 50 isn’t old. I am expected to be around at least another 30 years or so. I’ve seen my fair share of technology revolutions over the last fifty years:
1969 — Arpanet: Before the entire world was networked, there was the Arpanet, four computers linked together in 1969. It introduced the concept of “packet switching,” delivering messages as short units and reassembling them at their destination.
1977 — Personal Computer: The Apple II, Commodore Pet and Radio Shack’s TRS-80 are introduced in 1977, four years before IBM, soon to become synonymous with the term “PC,” unveils its personal computer.
1978 — GPS: The first satellite in the modern Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) was launched. It is not until the year 2000, though, that President Clinton grants nonmilitary users access to an unscrambled GPS signal.
1979 — Sony Walkman: “This is the product that will satisfy those young people who want to listen to music all day,” Akio Morita, Sony Chairman, February 1979.
1983 — Microsoft Word: Multi-Tool Word, the precursor to the Microsoft Word text-editing program, makes its debut as free copies are bundled with the November issue of PC World.
1989 — World Wide Web: Sir Tim Berners-Lee creates “hypertext markup language” (HTML) to make Web pages and the “Uniform Resource Locator” (URL) to identify where information is stored. These breakthroughs form the foundation of the World Wide Web.
1998 — Google: It began as early as January 1996 as a research project, by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, PhD students at Stanford University. Conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page. Google developed PageRank, that determined a website’s relevance by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages that linked back to the original site.
2001 — Wikipedia: A multilingual online encyclopedia, based on open collaboration through a wiki-based content editing system. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the World Wide Web. It features exclusively free content and no commercial ads, which is incredible.
2004 — Facebook: Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg launched “thefacebook.com,” a social network site originally restricted to his fellow classmates, in February 2004. Today Facebook is used by 2.3 billion people around the world.
2007 — iPhone Steve Jobs introduces Apple’s first smartphone with a prank-call order of 4,000 lattes from a nearby Starbucks. The iPhone was also the first U.S. smartphone without a physical keypad, and goes on to become the best-selling gadget ever, with more than 2 billion sold to date.
2009 — Bitcoin: The pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto launches the first popular cryptocurrency, an anonymized peer-to-peer encrypted form of cash. Bitcoin uses blockchain, a decentralize ledger to verify payments, that is nearly tamper proof.
“Bitcoin to the Moon” is a term introduced by crypto enthusiasts denoting an extreme spike in BTC rate. It became part of the crypto lexicon in late 2017, when Bitcoin hit $20,000
What will it take for Bitcoin to revisit the moon again?
When you look at the fundamental developments in the space you will realize that what happened back in 2017, when we had Bitcoin’s crazy rally, will happen again. There are potential catalysts that can lead this market to another 10x, potentially 20x over the next few years.
It’s not going to be altcoins, with 100x returns. It’s not going be institutional money or Bitcoin ETF, either. While they will play a huge role and increase the liquidity of the market, it will have to be something much more fundamental for the industry to the reach the next level.
One potential catalyst is DeFi. Decentralized Finance or DeFi is basically a shared effort to build open source decentralized censorship resistant technology, that opens up financial opportunities to everyone. It tries to cut out the middlemen and provide the best peer-to-peer experience for finance. We are seeing offerings like hedging, shorting, derivatives, and more, without intermediaries, clearinghouses or the need for trusted third parties. Imagine exchanging assets and tokens, opening up markets, for example crypto loans and stable coins, that allow anyone to have the purchasing power and stability of the US dollar. One example is Maker, both a stable coin and a collateralized lending platform. The collateral for the loans, is what stabilizes the Maker stablecoin.
Another important catalyst is programmable applications for Bitcoin. We will have to see Bitcoin adopt smart contracts, that have been so important and successful for Ethereum. Frameworks like RSK are important, because they allow us to lock up Bitcoin in smart contracts and to generate stablecoins like DAI.
Obviously there is more room for adoption. When we look at the most basic metric, ownership, we still have a long way to go. In the last 2-3 months, while BTC has jumped from $3,000 to $12,000, owning some type of cryptocurrency is still so low at 1% global adoption. Even if we just had a moderate jump in adoption, reaching 2-3%, we would see an exponential flow of institutional capital and possible a Bitcoin ETF, that will allow people to access the market in different ways,
Things like this could play an important role for the crypto space overall, but most importantly for Bitcoin’s valuation. These developments would allow Bitcoin to act as collateral, a store of value, and become the backbone for a new wave of stable coins.
The impact of the moon landing is all around us, forever a reminder of spectacular possibilities. Bitcoin is a moonshot. It’s the idea that anyone can be their own bank. It eliminates the middleman, no longer required for authorizing and authenticating any kind of transaction. This is a highly polarized topic, with strong sentiments on both sides of the centralized and decentralized debate. Time will tell how far this revolution will go.
Ilias Louis Hatzis is the Founder & CEO at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG. He writes the Blockchain Weekly Front Page each Monday and has no positions or commercial relationships with the companies or people mentioned and is not receiving compensation for this post.
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