Many commentators and investors in the past decade have focused majorly on the monetary aspects of Bitcoin. However, the virtual currency and its underlying bitcoin blockchain have a technical side too that is less popular.
The future seems to be bright with 2020 already promising to turn into a great year. With the halving event scheduled for May this year, Bitcoin has already set a new all-time high. Its network hash rate has topped all previous highs of 2019 as documented by Blockchain.com and Coin Dance monitoring resources. The hash rate was higher than ever before on January 1, 2020.
A measure of the computing power used in the validation of the Bitcoin blockchain shows that the hash rate spent most of 2019 in an ascending trend. It just leveled off briefly in Q3 2019. Based on the strong hash rate, it means that Bitcoin is becoming an attractive investment for the miners.
Data shows that more mining power results in enhanced network robustness and security against all potential attacks. Blockchain reported that the hash rate rose to to119 quintillion hashes per second (h/s) on Jan. 1. But, the Coin Dance figures are different registering around143 quintillion h/s recorded for the same date.
Bitcoin Blockchain Market Anticipation
Data varies since it is hard to measure the hash rate in real terms. Monitoring resources can only analyze recent network activity. Based on the collected data, they can then formulate an estimate of the expected hash rate.
Hence, what resembled an overnight 40% plunge in hash rate in September 2019 was later attributed to the calculation method used. These records come independent of BTC price action. In 2019, the price fluctuated between $3,100 and $13,800 but the hash rate trend kept surging.
Some analysts and commentators like Max Keiser think that hash rate highs will ultimately result in new Bitcoin price highs.
Bitcoin Will Pave Way For ‘Influencer Coins’ By 2030
Looking much ahead on what to expect by the end of this new decade, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz predicts that Bitcoin might become the epicenter of the monetization mechanisms that future online influencers will use. In a December 30 vignette, Andreessen Horowitz said that by 2030:
“The influencer can reach hundreds of her fans instantaneously. In turn, the fans can get paid instantly for giving this feedback. They can choose to get paid in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Libra, or they can choose to get paid in Influencer Coin.”
Horowitz suggests that private digital assets including its hypothetical “Influencer Coin” provide an opportunity for online fans to get a stake in an influencer’s growing popularity.
After every four years, as designed by Satoshi Nakamoto, the bitcoin network’s mining rewards double down in value. The next ‘halving’ will happen in May 2020 when bitcoin block 630,001 is finally reached. Hence the mining reward will plunge from 12.5BTC to 6.25BTC.
The halving means that fewer bitcoins will be produced, in turn, lowering the network’s inflation rate. The drop from 4% to 2% puts bitcoin at par with some of the world’s leading fiat currencies. Though most bitcoin commentators believe that the event will not affect BTC price significantly, miners’ influence over the network will reduce due to the slashed incentive.
Many speculators, commentators, and investors hope that the halving event will result in a bitcoin bull run. In the last two events of 2012 and 2016, the price shot up although not immediately. After putting in a wobbly performance in 2019, many hope that 2020 will be a different year for Bitcoin.
Strategic Trends In The 20s
Analysts and experts identify hyper-automation, blockchain, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence security as the key movers in the next decade. One contributor, Brian Burke, wrote on January 2:
“In the future, true blockchain or ‘blockchain complete’ will have the potential to transform industries and it will be fully scalable by 2023.”
Blockchain and complementary technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI (artificial intelligence) will increase the type of participants in decentralized and automated networks. Increasingly democratized technology, data privacy measures, and distributed cloud computing are the expected major competitor trends in the coming decade to the blockchain.
Mass adoption of blockchain is on the horizon as China and many other countries compete to become the leaders in the nascent industry.
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