Bitcoin is the world’s number one cryptocurrency by market cap. At the time of writing, it is trading for well over $8,700 and has been on a bull run since early January.
Why Will Bitcoin Always Be at the Top?
There is widespread speculation, however, that the currency may have reached its peak technology-wise. While the asset may be the top cryptocurrency in terms of size and age, there are several new altcoins that have entered the space allegedly capable of outperforming their “daddy.”
Ethereum, for example, is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency and the primary competitor to bitcoin. While ETH is not necessarily as large as its predecessor or as widely used or traded, it’s blockchain is considered faster and more diverse. Ethereum, given its capabilities with smart contracts, is also the most popular blockchain for building new decentralized apps (Dapps) and tokens.
In addition, Ethereum is allegedly much faster than bitcoin when it comes to transactions. BTC often requires a few days to complete financial transactions, while ETH typically only requires a few hours. EOS (EOS), the world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, requires even less time, and can potentially complete transfers withing a matter of minutes.
According to one analyst, bitcoin – despite its technical limitations – will always remain at the top. Dragonfly Capital managing partner Haseeb Qureshi comments that while bitcoin hasn’t changed all that much since its inception, it has proven to be quite adaptable, and one thing will ensure its power in the coming years – the Lightning Network.
The Lightning Network is a new payment system designed to rid bitcoin of its present flaws. The Network potentially boosts bitcoin’s payment speeds by having smaller financial transfers occur off-chain. This makes it so that larger transactions can be pushed forward at a quicker pace, and users are not waiting days to garner their funds.
In a recent interview, Qureshi commented on the Lightning Network, saying that while it’s quite powerful, he’s disheartened by its slow adoption rate:
It’s not a hard explanation that bitcoin – clearly, most of the reason why people want [bitcoin] is to hold it, not to transact for small amounts of money… All the sidechains and things like RSK – any augmentations on top of bitcoin – have already been tiny ornaments on top of what the real market is. The real market is, ‘I want to buy and hold bitcoin because I see it as a digital store of value.’ That, overwhelmingly, is, I think, what bitcoin is going to be used for, and that sort of use case is totally fine with the state of bitcoin clearing today.
Some Things Aren’t Realistic
He further states that he expects improvements to bitcoin’s privacy levels over time, which will help it garner mainstream status:
I think the idea that bitcoin would ever be a medium of exchange has always been a libertarian pipe dream.