In the evolution toward digital business, we are seeing new business designs, enable by technology, that are reshaping the balance of power in established industries and leaving significant disruption in their wake. The ability of digital to change existing value and process chains (either disintermediation existing players or creating a new information based intermediary with the power to influence market dynamics) is only now becoming clear and is opening to what we can be expected for the future.
Bitcoin is the first and most famous digital currency in circulation. It can be compared to traditional currencies, such as Euro, Dollar, Yuan etc, but is totally digital. In short, it works as an alternative to the economic and financial official system.
Bitcoin, released to the world in 2009 by a person or team called Satoshi Nakamoto, is not backed by a central bank or a government and is seen as an alternative payment system. In February 2013, Bitcoin went into the mainstream as a monetary crisis threatened to bankrupt Cyprus, seen as a safer bet. Early adopters of Bitcoin have been richly rewarded as the price has soared – in one case, a young Norwegian bought a house from an $850,000 windfall on a US$22 investment.
So, Bitcoin has disrupted not only the securities industry and marketplaces (stock exchanges), but also governments’ policies about country-specific currencies.
According Gartner, this first generation digital currency, indeed, will fail to meet expectations because of significant limitations and with regard to anonymity, scalability, security, decentralized processing, transaction validation time and energy consumption.
The need for a powerful platform for peer-to peer value exchange and permissionless innovation remains and will not dissipate. These factors will lead to a new generation of metacoin platforms that support diverse scenarios, including non monetary exchanges of value. This wave will take years to emergeand grow and will gain stride starting in 2018.
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