Today mark’s the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin’s Genesis block, signalling the launch of what has become the number one cryptocurrency.
On the 3rd January, 2009, the network began with what is known as the Genesis block or block 0. To kickstart it, a message in the first transaction said:
“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
The last 10 years have proven to be a rollercoaster ride for the cryptocurrency, which has since seen over 1,700 altcoins, with a market cap, entering the market. Toward the end of 2017, Bitcoin’s value rose to within touching distance of $20,000 for the first time amid heightened interest from retail investors.
However, 2018 proved to be one of the worst year’s for Bitcoin, dropping around 70 per cent in value. At the time of publishing, it’s currently worth $3,850, according to CoinMarketCap.
But as the industry enters 2019, some are of the opinion that this year will be a sombre one for Bitcoin. According to Robertas Visinskis, founder of Mysterium Network, an open source, not-for-profit foundation focused on security and privacy, this “isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the industry as it will force projects to turn towards product development as opposed to market speculation.”
“As an industry, we have come a long way since Satoshi mined the first block of the Bitcoin blockchain in 2009,” Visinskis added. “Despite its volatility, building market confidence should be a key priority over the next 10 years, and as projects continue to find product market fits for real-world use cases where tokenomic models are put into practice, I believe this can be achieved.”
Volatility has certainly been an issue within the market, but some believe that this isn’t a valid representation of the Bitcoin blockchain’s true potential. Used in various use cases within different sectors, the technology is starting to provide solutions to real world issues.
“I think that in future years we are going to see even more transformation of the global economy thanks to this technology, as crypto continues to bring emerging markets into the fold by offering borderless, affordable investment routes and the ability to acquire wealth,” said Craig McGregor, CEO and co-founder of DSTOQ, a mobile, licensed stock exchange designed for emerging markets.
Over the last 10 years, the creation of borderless, cryptocurrency alternatives to fiat currencies, have delivered technological advancements toward a new future of finance and investing, McGregor added. It has also enabled disenfranchised populations to gain access to a form of money.
Of course, while Bitcoin has great potential there are still drawbacks to it, such as its volatility, high fees with Bitcoin transactions, and the energy needed to mine the coins to name a few.
However, according to Xinshu Dong, CEO of Zilliqa, a public blockchain platform designed to deliver performance, scalability, and security to enable viable real-world use cases, the current challenges don’t overshadow the revolution that brought Bitcoin to life.
“Instead, they create the impetus to develop sustainable solutions to boost mining efficiency and to minimise environmental impact,” said Dong. “As projects continue to explore alternatives that promise a lower energy footprint such as new consensus mechanisms or the use of renewable energy in mining operations, we can hope to see increased utilisation and greater value in the years to come.”