Consensus 2018 may have come and gone but some of major talking points from what is the biggest gathering of the crypto community have continued to excite and stimulate a lively discussion about the future of blockchain technology and digital currencies.
Crypto analysts say among the many ideas thrown around during the 3-day conference, one important aspect stood out – Bitcoin the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, had even brighter prospects ahead than was previously thought.
This outlook was reached after a number of outfits disclosed that they were working on a number of bold initiatives which would eventually lead to the accelerated and widespread adoption of bitcoin and the underpinning blockchain technology.
First, a startup known as Lightning Network revealed that its developing a protocol that will allow bitcoin to process an enormous amount of transactions at a very low cost — about one-millionth of a cent.
Writing into a blockchain is tedious, expensive and consumes an enormous amount of energy. Lightning Network is proposing a future where not every transaction that happens needs to be written into the blockchain. So for instance if somebody buys or sells a $2 item, it shouldn’t necessarily be written into the blockchain.
They say they have figured out a way to do this, without compromising on the safety and security of transactions. In effect, this will dramatically lower costs of transactions on the bitcoin, while also radically increasing the speed and amount of transactions that can be processed on the blockchain.
RSK, another startup said it is creating a protocol that will allow the use of smart contracts on bitcoin. Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of agreement between the buyer and seller written into lines of code. According to RSK it is already rolling out smart contracts for bitcoin.
In effect, both improvements would give bitcoin the much needed scalability and allow it process transactions at a speed that would rival other cryptocurrencies like ethereum while retaining its unequalled security and immutability.
Experts say going forward, the possibilities are almost limitless, as a ‘new, lightning fast bitcoin’ would create an ideal environment for developers to build truly distributed apps on the most secure blockchain in the world.
Teeka Tiwari a leading bitcoin analyst says he expects an explosion in bitcoin token later this year as new several found usages for the coin would drive prices higher.
“You are going to see an explosion of development take place on the bitcoin blockchain. It’s usage that ultimately drives a coin higher. Over the short term, coins are driven higher by fear, uncertainty, doubt, marketing, and a narrative that takes hold in investors’ psyche. But over the longer term, what drives the value of a coin is usage.”
He adds that the new developments would eventually see governments and several institutional investors adopting the blockchain technology.
“When you’re a major corporation or you’re a government and you need finality, you need immutability on a transaction or on an agreement, there is no operating system. There is no storage system in the world that can offer the immutability that bitcoin can, and that’s incredibly valuable. So, what I expect we’ll see is a lot of apps getting developed later in the year on bitcoin that will take advantage of bitcoin’s unique, immutable properties,” Tiwari said.