Guest Post: Mary Ann Callahan
As an expert on Bitcoin-related topics, I’ve found myself as a Journalist at Cex.io – cryptocurrency exchange. I’m working on articles related to blockchain security, bitcoin purchase guides or bitcoin regulations in different countries.
Many people believe that Bitcoin is just a temporary king. While the majority started trusting Bitcoin after the peak of December 2017 run up, some people still remain quite suspicious. An increasing number of crypto aficionados think the “digital gold” called Bitcoin is not going to remain the most important cryptocurrency in the end!
When will an altcoin replace Bitcoin?
Before we proceed to the list of potential new cryptocurrency kings, we need to explore a couple of other things regarding Bitcoin and altcoins.
The scenario under which Bitcoin gets overthrown is unlikely to happen in the near future. It is still the most popular cryptocurrency with the highest rate (BTC to USD is $7,875) and the most users around the world (over 7 million active users). The community of supporters is important in the crypto sphere as it plays a huge role in the overall popularity of coins. They are slow when it comes to shifting from one cryptocurrency to another. So, unless something huge happens to Bitcoin to make the most of the users abandon it, they are unlikely to make a massive transition to other cryptos. Therefore, Bitcoin being dethroned is possible in theory, but it is really difficult to see that happen anytime soon.
Finally, we need to address the question of “why” – why would Bitcoin be dethroned in the first place? First of all, we have witnessed far too many scams related to this cryptocurrency. Thus, many fear that Bitcoin is not safe anymore. On the other hand, none of the cryptocurrencies is completely invulnerable to cyberattacks, and Bitcoin has been targeted more often due to its popularity.
The second major disadvantage is the price volatility – the price of a single Bitcoin unit can vary significantly, meaning that your investment in this cryptocurrency could be unprofitable in the end. Once again, this is a problem that is common to all cryptocurrencies, which are all highly dependent on the Bitcoin price at the moment.
The third major drawback is that the technology underlying Bitcoin is becoming slowly outdated, while new cryptocurrencies use the improved technology.
Finally, one of the biggest cons of Bitcoin is that it is not particularly environment-friendly. Miners consume a lot of energy, with some of the biggest ones located in China, a country that doesn’t really rely on renewable resources. Some cryptocurrencies use a different mining mechanism, resulting in less energy consumption.
Therefore, let’s take a look at the possible contenders and why they are likely to be the next #1 cryptocurrency.
The development team working for Ethereum made it quite clear to the world that Ethereum is not a cryptocurrency in the first place. Instead, it is a decentralized platform that allows people to build dApps and create blockchain-based products. However, the platform’s native cryptocurrency has managed to become very popular as people believe that Ethereum will grow to the key blockchain technology the global industries rely on. In other words, unlike Bitcoin which is just a currency, Ethereum is an entire ecosystem that has a huge potential for growth.
On the other hand, this cryptocurrency can slow down once transaction volumes increase. This is one of the major problems that Bitcoin faces too. Therefore, this could be one of the main reasons why many people still opt for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Cash was born after the hard fork when the two groups of Bitcoin proponents couldn’t agree on the technologies that would be used for Bitcoin. The main reason why Bitcoin Cash is better than Bitcoin is because it is much more scalable. It has a much larger block size which allows for faster transactions. Bitcoin has a block size which is one megabyte, while BCH has 32MB blocks.
However, Bitcoin Cash faces serious adoption problems as many users simply don’t perceive it as a payment instrument. Nevertheless, being a Bitcoin spinoff, Bitcoin Cash is still a serious contender who will remain in the game for a very long time.
XRP is a solution which is not as transparent as Bitcoin, and it is even backed by a centralized system. So, how come it could be a valid replacement for Bitcoin?
Well, people are sometimes ready to sacrifice transparency and decentralization for the sake of efficiency. The speed with which XRP is sent and received is basically unmatched in the crypto world. Furthermore, Bitcoin has higher fees which many don’t like paying, and XRP offers cheap transactions across the globe. However, the fact that it is controlled by a single private entity is something that still prevents many Bitcoin users from using XRP.
Litecoin was originally made as a technology that would speed up Bitcoin, but eventually became a cryptocurrency on its own. Mining a new block in Litecoin takes approximately 2.5 minutes, while it is more than 10 minutes for a new Bitcoin block. Therefore, Litecoin is much faster and costs less overall. Still, it faces problems similar to the ones of BCH – people simply don’t want to adopt Litecoin and it is not considered a payment instrument by the majority.
In fact, there are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies apart from those mentioned above, and some of them are quite successful. However, Bitcoin remains an undisputed leader of the cryptocurrency realm for now. Nobody can make a successful prediction about the future of the cryptocurrency industry. Nevertheless, you can try making a couple of educated guesses about certain coins that are very active players in the “cryptocurrency game of thrones.” For this, you need to regularly research the trends and changes in the cryptocurrency industry.
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