Bitcoin: Increased Scalability Before Next Bull Run

Weekly Analyst Thoughts: 5/21/20

Is Bitcoin ready?

Key Takeaways:

  1. The cryptocurrency industry was not ready for the bull run in 2017.
  2. There is one thing missing from cryptocurrencies before mainstream adoption can occur: Network Scalability.
  3. The cryptocurrency ecosystem is not ready for another bull run without the implementation of improved scalability systems such as Ethereum 2.0.

It has been almost three years since the cryptocurrency bull run of 2017 that thrust cryptocurrency into the mainstream spotlight. As Bitcoin reached an all-time high and attracted global attention, the industry quickly proved that it was not ready. BTC network transaction fees shot to over $35 (pictured below), exchanges temporarily barred new users from joining because of their inability to handle increased transaction frequency and provide ample liquidity, and crypto derivatives markets for price-betting were sparse. Although the cryptocurrency industry has come a long way in terms of institutional adoption, derivatives markets, exchange infrastructure and the burgeoning DEFI market, there is still one missing piece of the puzzle: network scalability.

Amplified network scalability is essential before universal adoption of cryptocurrencies can take place. The Bitcoin network functions properly at seven transactions per second, which was no problem for Bitcoin in its early years, however, with the exponential network growth since, instant cryptocurrency transactions are not possible without a total scalability solution.

Cryptocurrency at its core is a payment network, so if the networks cannot scale to increasing transaction frequencies, their prices will be more cyclical instead of the parabolic price performance that emerging technologies typically follow. Thus, the cryptocurrency industry is not ready for a new bull run without a highly functioning lightning network, such as Ethereum 2.0. Ethereum 2.0 provides a scalability solution for the cryptocurrency ecosystem as it transitions Ethereum from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake network, eliminating the need for miners and allowing users to mine and verify data on the blockchain just by holding and transacting. In order to prepare the cryptocurrency network for another bull run, we must develop network scalability in order to endure future developments of the ecosystem.

By Jacob Stelter

Faith in Crypto Surges in COVID-19 Economy

Bitcoin rang in 2020 as the highest yielding asset of 2019 and the previous decade, marking a 93.8% return for 2019 and an astounding return of 8,900,000% for the decade. Such a high yield is jaw-dropping in comparison to other investments, and thus, brought much-deserved attention and respect to the cryptocurrency space. As the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant insecurities in our financial system, investors have been given yet another significant reason to look elsewhere for financial security.

The Tokenist, a cryptocurrency news source, recently published an article revealing compelling data that Bitcoin is gaining popular ground amongst traditional store of value assets, gold included in that measure. Using data recorded in 2017 on Bitcoin user adoption and comfortability, the site issued a series of polls interviewing thousands of people across 24 countries in April 2020 to measure how the public’s attitude toward bitcoin has changed over the years, especially as a result of COVID-19.

The report finds that “faith in large financial institutions has been steadily waning for more than a decade, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the process,” which shifts over to Bitcoin, which was implemented following the 2008 recession as a way to unite the world in financial freedom against the big banks that had caused so many to suffer.

Within the surveys taken, there was also significant indication that bitcoin was gaining ground as an emerging long-term store of value. Bitcoin, often referred to as “digital gold,” has very much followed Gold’s path to universal acceptance.

In its infancy, Gold experienced very volatile early years, causing investors to question its dependability, later stabilizing and becoming one of finance’s core assets. Many bitcoin experts are expecting the digital asset pioneer to do the same, says an article published earlier this year by Sarson Funds.

In support of Bitcoin’s emergence as a store of value asset, The Tokenist found that 45% of those who took the survey preferred bitcoin as an investment over stocks, real estate, and gold, revealing an increase in populous sentiment of 27% in favor of Bitcoin since the 2017 study. 47% of respondents also reported to favor Bitcoin over big banks, showing a 29% increase since 2017.

The study also found that while preference towards Bitcoin might be lower when examining the whole participant pool, millennials are reporting significant favor of the digital asset along with belief in a universal adoption of the currency. In fact, 59% of the survey’s millennials believed that a universal adoption will take place over the next decade, while 25% of millennials reported that they had no problem with the intangibility of digital assets.

To extend on the notion of universal adoption, in examining the historical trends of the world’s most popular technologies, universal adoption of blockchain technology, the foundation of Bitcoin, is not unrealistic.

As blockchain technology continues to showcase itself on the world stage through cryptocurrencies, it is important to keep in mind the growth structure of previous widely-adopted technologies, such as the telephone, radio, cellphone, and internet, pictured above.

History proposes that adoption of technology traditionally follows an “S shape” function, predicting that the adoption of blockchain technology and Bitcoin as its pioneer could also follow suit.

By Liam McDonald