The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies are their biggest strength and their biggest weakness.
Often this is the case with something that completely disrupts the status-quo. The fact that decentralized currencies are open source also creates a unique situation where that which is the best given path or fork in the long run must be agreed upon and adopted by all (or a majority of miners in this case). However, when the consensus is not achieved at the level of those who truly are driving the development, alternatives rise. This is the case with the current rise of the Ethereum platform and the current value of Ether. In terms of the number of Dapps emerging, the amount of R&D investment at the enterprise level (IBM, Azure), and of course the current rise in Coin value; Ethereum is quickly becoming the more robust, more promising, and ultimately the more intriguing blockchain for developers, investors, traders, and anyone who has seen the evolution of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
Does this mean that Bitcoin is done? Absolutely not. Bitcoin is still in it’s infancy and leads the pack in mining power, market cap, investment, startups, and overall global interest. The scalability issue is one which overall means that the network is working, in an unprecedented way it is really the first instance of a decentralized global consensus protocol. The question is not how do we mitigate risk with as some will say changing the path of a couple billion dollar plane inflight, but instead, how do we make Bitcoin, the global decentralized currency of the world, work. How do we enable people to build on the platform, host a node that’s relaying transactions and strengthening the network, run a miner that’s off the energy grid.
This could mean as some have proposed increase a block size from 1MB to 2MB to address an immediate issue. Or increase the blocksize in tiers over time so that the network scales. But I think the block size debate is missing the point. We need to think more in terms of off chain solutions.Examples such as, Tierion, embedding the Merkle Root of data into the blockchain, or Payment Channels and the Lightning Network facilitating offchain transactions between two parties with only an open and close broadcasted to the network, 21 building the ubiquitous machine payment layer and true micropayments ecosystem; these are types of companies and solutions that I believe will make Bitcoin the cryptocurrency of the world, work and serve as self-evident.
Again, that does not mean that other blockchains and more platforms like Ethereum will not emerge (Lisk). It is now very evident that private blockchains, within institutions will definitely serve a place in the years to come. In addition to this, sidechains will also serve to make the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem more robust. I truly believe in the statement that Intranet (oracle installation) vs Internet is an anology for blockchains(R3) vs The Blockchain. When you have an open protocol that is globally accessible, there is an unlimited and unimaginable number of potential future applications that will arise. This does not mean that internal blockchains developed by the existing financial ecosystem will not create new innovative processes and solve enterprise problems. But, the intrinsic value in having an open protocol for the world to build on especially when it comes to fintech and the tipping point we are at with the developing world onboarding into the digital age, I believe The Blockchain truly is more promising. I still am betting long on Bitcoin and I do hope that some sort of consensus is achieved amongst the core developers in order to enable people around the world to embrace this technology. Until that happens, I am buying more Ether.
Check out the new Ethereum Homestead Release