Bitcoin (BTC) is probably the first coin that introduced you to the world of cryptocurrency. It was for me. Month after month, I would always think that Bitcoin has peaked at $2,500, then $7,500, then recently $19,500. And, each time I would be absolutely dumbfounded by the potential gains. I would get tempted to invest in Bitcoin, but each time I found myself struggling to buy into the hype for fundamental reasons. I’ll tell you why in a bit.
But before I do, I honestly am thankful for Bitcoin for being the first cryptocurrency to really go mainstream. Without Bitcoin pioneering and leading the charge, simply said, cryptocurrency would not be buzzing right now in 2017 and now coming into the 2018 calendar year. Please take my thoughts about Bitcoin as constructive criticism. If you have any feedback, feel free to add to the discussion.
My thoughts about Bitcoin currently
Bitcoin advertises themselves as “the simplest way to exchange money at very low cost.” Currently, as it stands now, if you were to transfer a very small amount of Bitcoin chances are you will be charged at least a $15 network processing fee. That fee alone is outrageous considering there are many alternative cryptocurrencies that charge little to no fees and scale much better in matter of seconds. Not to mention, the transaction times for Bitcoin can range from 30 minutes to over 16 hours in extreme cases.
The reason why I struggled, and still to this day, to buy into the hype of Bitcoin is that it is an investor’s coin at the very moment. I believe Bitcoin currently has the benefit of the doubt by the cryptocurrency community to improve but it won’t be forever. When time goes by and the user base becomes more knowledgeable about alternative cryptocurrencies and technologies, I believe the high-fees and slow transaction times on a consumer level will take a toll.
Bitcoin is not without its flaws as it currently stands. Until Bitcoin resolves its major issues on the consumer level, it will be limiting its true potential and intrinsic value of being the number one digital coin for peer-to-peer transactions.
What Bitcoin has going for it at the moment
The number one thing that Bitcoin has going for it is that it is mainstream and is in the spotlight. Currently, Bitcoin is the namesake and face of cryptocurrency to the average consumer. This is largely in part due to the fact that Bitcoin is the first pioneer of cryptocurrency, and rightfully so deserve all the attention because of it. However, as history has shown when it comes down to products that concern technology, adjustments must be made or there will be consequences. In historical cases like the Chrome browser overtaking Internet Explorer or Facebook overtaking MySpace, Bitcoin will be no exception if the technology is outdated and don’t meet the demands of their consumer base.
Recent major developments for Bitcoin
Fortunately, the Bitcoin development team is aware of the ongoing issues and recently did their first test with the new Lightning Network technology. If everything goes accordingly to plan, Bitcoin may have a huge sigh of relief because it will make Bitcoin transactions much faster and cheaper. However, it won’t be easy to implement seeing how much confusion and backlash the Bitcoin SegWit2x hard fork received in the past. Hopefully, the tests continue to do well and work as envisioned on a global level. Time will tell.
In no way am I claiming that the sky is falling and the apocalypse is coming or impending doom is coming for Bitcoin investors. The purpose of this post is to give the Bitcoin developers a small wake up call from a Bitcoin skeptic. I would love to see Bitcoin keep to their mission statement of being a currency to be used in practical, everyday real-world scenarios. I say this because I would really hate to see one of the first pioneers of cryptocurrency lose steam and risk being irrelevant five years from now.