The establishment of Bitcoin [BTC] as a currency of the future and its transformation into a mode of payment and a store of value has been the primary goal of the cryptocurrency community. A decade since the coin first emerged, its prospects have looked bleak, claimed Andreas Antonopoulos, the author of Mastering Bitcoin.
Speaking to Diar at the recently held Deconomy Forum in South Korea, Antonopoulos stated that adoption and change in perception is key to the expansion of the crypto realm, from a niche and volatile market to a mainstream financial player.
He began by drawing out the ideal market for decentralized currency, with failed states topping the list. Bitcoin, acting like an uncontrollable store-of-value during political turmoil and a fractured financial infrastructure, will see a wave of adoption, stated Antonopoulos. However, he conceded that this cannot be an isolated use case.
“Adoption remains, for the most part, limited to disaster countries where the difficulty of using cryptocurrency is less than the difficulty of not using it because of crisis. So, it finds a niche.”
The lack of motivation for the regular use of virtual currencies by ordinary people is due to the difficulty in operating cryptocurrencies, claimed the author.
A history of association with illicit activities on the Dark Web and being the subject of several hacks could pose a major problem for the king coin’s mainstream adoption, he added.
Antonopoulos stated that Bitcoin will never see adoption if two key principles of the coin are broken. In his own words,
“Tainted coins are very destructive. If you break fungibility and privacy, you break the currency.”
In light of these principles, Antonopoulos added,
“If [fungibility] is not fixed, it is possible to attack Bitcoin in ways we haven’t seen yet and that could prove very effective. You could see a rapid evolution of Bitcoin in a privacy direction or even replacement by other privacy cryptocurrencies.”
Blockstream, a BTC development company, may soon release a public code for testing that would increase the coin’s privacy. Antonopoulos mulled over the prospect of a stable version of a privacy layer that can eventually push the coin into mainstream adoption.
Despite the pessimistic view painted by Antonopoulos, some are of the opinion that the holder of the assets in question should be looked at with more scrutiny, rather than the assets itself. Chainalysis, a crypto-analytics firm, shared this opinion.
Speaking to Diar, the Chief Economist at Chainalysis, Philip Gradwell stated,
“The taint is not at the level of the coin, it’s at the level of the service. The risk is about the people you’re dealing with, rather than the coins you happen to hold.”
Given the disparity in prediction and opinion, the coin’s future is left open to the prospects of adoption or relegation. Antonopoulos however, still pegs privacy and fungibility as being major drivers for market growth and looks forward to the future. He concluded,
“The concern already exists, although it has yet to translate into broad market impact.”