It can be difficult to truly understand what Bitcoin is and just how much of an impact a cryptocurrency that doesn’t physically exist can have on our world. With the economic downfall that hit many parts of the world in 2008, founder Satoshi Nakamoto registered the Bitcoin domain and began to produce what is now a booming cryptocurrency. A few years ago, the Bitcoin community was made up of just a small crowd of supporters, many of whom were still discovering the true potential for the Bitcoin and simply wanted to be involved in something new. Now, the cryptocurrency is well on its way to being legalised in countries all over the world, and actually registered as a type of currency instead of an asset as many countries refer to it as.

The Bitcoin economy suffered several falters, mainly due to the number of scandals that hit the industry at the time, but intense interest from a number of countries including Japan and China has actually seen the Bitcoin hit milestone after milestone, with 2017 showing the cryptocurrency hit its peak. The world is changing, and many people are considering the fact that Bitcoin could genuinely be the future of money, while others are considering this resilient cryptocurrency that has battled the odds to still exist as a mere ‘hype’. Here, we’re taking a look at the cryptocurrency’s potential.

Net Neutrality

The FCC in America are currently seeing their net neutrality regulations being repealed, which could have a huge impact on the cryptocurrency in the future. These particular regulations once protected small businesses and helped to ensure that many of these were protected from being intruded by monopolistic internet service providers, which could ultimately slow or censor some types of content. Blockchain and Bitcoin as a whole have already greatly benefited from net neutrality regulations, and with the entire concept of the Bitcoin being that it is completely anonymous, if these regulations are repealed, there could be a severe effect on how the cryptocurrencies could be accessed by external ISPs which are not undergoing any form of accountability.

It would be no surprise to see the regulations appealed, as many large corporations in America have a reputation of wanting to wipe out any form of technology that could disrupt their day-to-day running, and the popularity of the Bitcoin could do just that. ISPs essentially allow the government to have much more of an influence on the way people use the internet and ultimately how it evolves. With America already having somewhat of a strong standing against the cryptocurrency, seeing the Bitcoin banned could be one of the first steps the ISPs could implement.

While Bitcoin is not currently seen as a monetary system in the US, it can therefore not be controlled or taxed making it a completely decentralised form of currency. The decentralisation of this currency is what could make it seen as a threat. Bitcoin is known for fast transaction speeds, but with ISPs able to disrupt the speed of a broadband connection, transactions could be slowed down dramatically, therefore removing the attractiveness of the blockchain.

Structural Errors

One of the main reasons why we could see the Bitcoin end up being just a hype is due to various structural errors within the system. As with any form of technology, there are going to be bugs, glitches and fixes relating to the way the cryptocurrency is set up, and having already seen a number of hacks in the systems since the Bitcoin’s inception, it is highly likely that we will see a number of other issues arise in the future.

There are a number of innovations and changes still being implemented in the cryptocurrency, meaning it is not totally stabilised. While a number of regulations could see the capacity of the cryptocurrency being improved, that doesn’t mean that it has the potential to be as long standing as other forms of currencies that we have seen. Nevertheless, with digital economies becoming more and more important, and the ability to quickly adapt to prevalent challenges and engagement, there’s a lot of opportunity for the Bitcoin to row even further.

Chalmers Brown, Forbes, has previously discussed the excitement behind the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies saying that “current innovations such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others are just the beginning for this technology that can help revamp many industries. There is plenty of opportunity in this space.”

With high profile endorsements of the cryptocurrency we could see much more of a push in the future, but whether or not this hype will last is dependent on the acceptance of the currency by other countries.

Legalisation & Regulation

With Japan having legalised the cryptocurrency and recognising it as a currency as opposed to an asset, the Bitcoin has seen a huge step in the right direction. If more countries follow suit with the legalisation of the currency, we could see much more of a strong standing. With legalisation comes some form of regulation, and while some people may see this as an intrusion on the cryptocurrency, it could actually lead to a stabilisation of the cryptocurrency instead. The more stable the currency, the more investment is likely to go into it, which will ultimately lead to longevity and durability.

There are a difficult few years to come for the Bitcoin, which as a currency has already battled a huge number of barriers, but with an increase in popularity and the hike in price which the cryptocurrency saw at the beginning of 2017, there’s a lot of potential for the Bitcoin to continue. Many people have dubbed this as the future of currency and with more digitalisation happening every day, it’ll be no surprise to see this being the case. If Bitcoin can get through the next few years and face every challenge head-on, and more countries follow Japan’s lead, Bitcoin will definitely be here to stay, and not be just a hype.