Will Bitcoin Remain a King Forever?
While there is no denying that Bitcoin is the father of all cryptocurrencies, its reign as the king is under massive threat. Of course, people still tend to purchase bitcoins. However, unlike ten years ago when it was a monopoly, nowadays there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies that bitcoin has to battle with every day. This begs the question. Will bitcoin remain king forever?
Bitcoin's Current Usage Globally
Today, bitcoin has 7 million active users globally with 42 million wallets. These numbers are staggering considering that the blockchain technology is relatively new. At the time of writing this blog, bitcoin's market price was $9,170, and its total market cap was $168.9 billion. These numbers make bitcoin the outright king of cryptocurrencies. Will Bitcoin hold onto the crown for much longer though?
Bitcoin's rise has always been a means of spreading the word about cryptocurrencies to the masses. As more people started using bitcoin regularly, they discovered some shortcomings of the currency.
For instance, increased usage led to a shortage of coins which in turn led to an increase in transaction fees. The demand for bitcoins was higher than the coins which miners injected into the network. This scarcity saw prices of bitcoin spiked to a price of $19,000.
The hike in prices of bitcoin made the cryptocurrency inaccessible to many. A lot of people were interested in cryptocurrencies but could not afford to buy bitcoin. This necessitated the creation of alternative coins (altcoins).
Altcoins were meant to make cryptocurrencies accessible to the masses as they are cheaper. Plus, altcoins were created in a way to address other bitcoin's shortcomings like high transaction fees and lack of scalability. Over the years, these altcoins have grown in popularity, and they are coming for bitcoin's throne.
Bitcoin's Fiercest Competitors
Although there are many altcoins out there, only a few can square up against bitcoin. That's just how massive bitcoin is in the world of cryptocurrencies.
The following coins have the potential of toppling bitcoin sometime in the future if they get their act right.
Ethereum boasts of a decentralized platform that makes it possible to build and deploy decentralized apps. To transact on the platform, users need ETH – a coin for the Ethereum platform.
Since its launch five years ago, Ethereum has grown in leaps and bounds. In 2015, Ethereum's market cap was $48 million and today, the market cap of Ethereum is $25,9 billion. The price of Ether today is $232,44.
While its market cap is still smaller compared to bitcoin's, Ethereum's growth should worry bitcoin. Its rise has been meteoric and a lot of new players are preferring it to bitcoin.
ETH’s price is also relatively more stable than bitcoin's. This is an indication of a mature product with a high consumer trust rate.
Ripple wants to overtake bitcoin as the global money transfer service. Ripple is banking on people's discontentment with bitcoin's high fees to flourish, and they are doing well so far.
Ripple came into the market in 2012 with a promise of real-time global transactions at very low fees. Ripple has won many people's hearts because it continues to grow at a very fast rate. Today, Ripple has a market capitalization of $8 billion which marks a more than 1000% increase since its inception.
Ripple tokens are also very cheap. Today's price is $0.18 which is affordable to many. The trading volumes of Ripple are, therefore, increasing by the day as more people become aware of its existence.
This peer to peer cryptocurrency is very similar to bitcoin. Its model of operation is a derivative of bitcoin's model. It, however, boasts of better scalability and lower transaction fees.
Litecoin has a more efficient token generation system than bitcoin. It is easier for transactions to be approved, and miners don't need high specification C.P.U to mine new coins.
These attributes have pushed Litecoin rise to the top of the cryptocurrency rating list. Its adoption is widespread and it has a market capitalization of $2.7 billion. One Litecoin currently is valued at $41.60 which is only a fraction of Bitcoin's price.
Now that we've seen bitcoin's closest rivals, will they dethrone bitcoin in the future? Or will bitcoin remain king forever? Let's take a closer look at the implications of altcoins proliferation on bitcoin's dominance.
Will Bitcoin Be Dethroned Any Time Soon?
Truth be told, bitcoin is still the king of cryptocurrencies. And it will remain king for the foreseeable future. While the above-mentioned altcoins have done a brilliant job cutting down on bitcoin's dominance, no single coin has seriously threatened bitcoin's position. The drop in bitcoin's market share was expected as there are more players in the industry.
Bitcoin is very diverse and has etched itself in the modern world. It will take another ingenious idea to dethrone it. This, however, doesn't mean that it is impossible to dethrone bitcoin. We have seen giants fall before and bitcoin is not immune to this syndrome.
If the leading altcoins keep developing products addressing modern-day financial problems, they stand a chance of toppling bitcoin. It might take years but it is possible.
What Next For Bitcoin?
Bitcoin understands that its crown is under a threat. There are plans to make the platform better and address its current shortcomings. For instance, we've already seen practical tests on how to make transactions fasters and cheaper. If the product is deployed to the network, it will make bitcoin transactions more appealing again.
There are talks of making the coin more scalable. Bitcoin lacks scalability because of its model and this has direct consequences on its price and global usability. There are many theories on how Bitcoin's scalability can be improved but none has seen the light of the day yet.
Bitcoin is still king. Kings don't relinquish their positions easily. Unless they die of natural causes, they lead for years before handing over the reins of power. This is exactly what Bitcoin will go through.
Unless the existing altcoins merge to create a super coin, it will take years before bitcoin is toppled.