With Bitcoin’s 10-year anniversary today (Happy Halloween! by the way), there are varying opinions on the progress that Bitcoin has made in the marketplace and what it will continue to do going forward.
While still extremely volatile, cryptocurrency and Bitcoin specifically is the most prominent and widespread use case of a public blockchain, currently at a market cap of over $250B in total assets. Originally conceived for the buying, selling and ownership of cryptocurrency, blockchain was purpose built as an engine for cryptocurrency trading.
Some recent publications highlight a storied history of Bitcoin, its opportunities and its mis-steps:
- The Independent, a highly reputable publication and one of the UK’s largest national newspapers, ran an article in its October 25, 2018 issue, commemorating the 10thanniversary of Bitcoin.
- The New Yorker Magazine in its October 22, 2018 issue also featured a piece on “The Prophets of Cryptocurrency Survey the Boom and Bust.”
Most notably, The Independent’s deck or sub-head quotes words from Rambus’ own Chakib Bouda, Chief Technology Officer for Payments. While the quote is not attributed to him in the deck, he did tell The Independent, “So, whilst cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have been described as the ‘Wild West’ by the UK treasury, we expect that in 10 years’ time, bitcoin will become mainstream and have a remarkably different reputation.”
The article leads off citing the history of Bitcoin noting that a person or group named Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper claiming to offer an alternative to the traditional banking system. It goes on to say that two months later on January 3, 2009, the first ever cryptocurrency was officially launched in the form of the bitcoin network. The article adds that Bitcoin would be worth more than $10 billion and would eventually peak above $300 billion – surpassing the market cap of the payments giant, Visa.
Meanwhile, the New Yorker’s article is long and detailed focusing on “Inside the ongoing argument over whether Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the blockchain are transforming the world.” The author’s narrative moves from characterizing industry players and their current thinking on Bitcoin to profiling the current status of cryptocurrency overall.
The Independent’s reporting says that despite the hoopla and to-date success, “bitcoin and the thousands of cryptocurrencies that have since appeared are still largely a fringe technology, unable to truly break into the mainstream.”
Chakib comments that, “While bitcoin has taken off and is seen as the leader of the cryptocurrency market, it’s been adopted by the few not the many.”
He goes on to say that confusion among users has played a part [of Bitcoin’s limited success], but arguably the biggest failings for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the past years lies with security. In the first six months of 2018 alone, he states, over $761 million bitcoin was stolen, with experts predicting that the amount stolen from exchanges will top $1.5 billion by the end of the year, he said.
Chakib stated the key to overcoming this issue is keeping the private keys needed to access and use cryptocurrency funds both secure and easy-to-use. He explained one way of doing this would be adopting technology used within the traditional financial sector to bring cryptocurrencies up to the levels of security and usability that people expect of a modern currency.
With so many recent cryptocurrency heists, it is important now more than ever to protect these digital assets, for Bitcoin to continue to its market dominance in the cryptocurrency world. Rambus has a long history of protecting digital assets and data with techniques that span from embedded security to tokenization software. Using tokenization to replace vital data and digital assets, like cryptocurrency, with temporary tokens that can be limited in use to minimize the impact of fraud, can provide the security that cryptocurrency needs in order to make the next ten years for Bitcoin even better than the last ten.
Happy Birthday, Bitcoin! Rambus is excited to see the progress you make in the next ten years. We look forward to working with challenger banks, traditional financial services institutions, investment firms and cryptocurrency exchanges to help purchase, store and trade cryptocurrency safely so the Bitcoin founder’s dream of providing an important route to social, economic and political change can be achieved over time.
Learn more about Rambus’ tokenization solutions at www.rambus.com/vaultifytrade.