The Hype and the Hollowness: Cryptocurrencies’ Over Justified Expectations

From the white paperback in 2008, Bitcoin was heralded as the revolution and cryptocurrencies, as well as Blockchain technology, the basis on which this financial freedom would be borne upon. Now, some 10 years later, and the market is full to bursting, along with a lot of people’s pockets, but has cryptocurrency changed the world?

There is a lot of promise and potential in the cryptocurrency realm, but has even half of it been reached? Blockchain has loved the world over[1], but is it making an impact? Is Bitcoin the borderless, lightning fast and cheap currency[2] it set out to be? What about adoption, are reatailers banging down the door to get paid in crypto?

There has been huge gains made in this burgeoning market of cryptocurrency; however, there are also a lot of overjustified expectations that were not reached in a year full of hype.

Bitcoin bails on its billing

“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”

The first line in Bitcoin’s Whitepaper[3], penned by Satoshi Nakamoto[4], is heavily weighted towards the founding digital currency to be exactly that – a digital currency.

However, it is hard, for even the most ardent of Bitcoin fans, to call Bitcoin the ultimate and useful digital currency as it stands. The Cryptocurrency has gone through its changes this year, first with UASF [5]coming after the Aug. 1 chain split[6], then with the recent failure to initiate SegWit2x[7].

Of course, Bitcoin’s designation is determined by its users in a democratic way, but the way in which the original currency has headed has made it hard to be the pioneer of digital currencies that could revolutionize the world.

That is not to say that things won’t change. Lightning network is in the background, and there are always opportunities for changes, but 2017 saw Bitcoin drift away from its expectation to become a new era in money.

Blockchain filerbusting

When Bitcoin and others forced their way into the scope of the mainstream, those in the financial institution hissed and jeered at Bitcoin’s potential to usurp them, but they also found it hard to berate Blockchain technology[8].

The scope and possibilities for Blockchain technology are nearly endless – and the amount of ICOs trying to use Blockchain to solve even the most benign of problems proves that.

However, despite the likes of Microsoft[9] incorporating Blockchain technology, and even banks in the use of Ripple[10], there has not been any real revolution with the use of Blockchain technology.

The Blockchain has not yet found its ‘Killer app[11],’ there are little shows of its power with things like Crypto Kitties on the Ethereum chain, but these are hardly forging a new world order on the Blockchain[12].

The power of a trustless, unhackable, immutable ledger offers so much, yet that has not been grabbed yet[13].

Promises, promises

In this ecosystem of hype and grandeur there have been countless promises made along the way; too many to mention. But one thing that needs to be noted is that 2017 saw plenty of people baited onto enticing hooks through shilling or FUD along the way.

Need we forget the parting shot from Bitcoin Classic which predicted that Bitcoin Cash would soon be ruling the roost. That could indeed still come to fruition, but in the now, it is important to note the spike in Bitcoin Cash’s price after that statement.