I guess if you are reading this article it is because you already have some idea about the number of virtual wallets around. You have probably read about the amazing profits from mining or, from buying and selling cryptocurrency in late 2017. But if you really want to understand the size of this phenomenon, I believe the following video will explain this very well:
About speculations and bubbles
As with any boom around, in which technology, algorithms, and speculation are involved, many immediately said this is just a “bubble” similar to the one in 2001, with the .com companies. On the other hand, you find those who defend cryptocurrencies and their potential impact on society. We find people like Nick Szabo among them, creator of the concept of smart contracts, people who specially value the possibilities of what on this amazing article Nick calls “social scalability”. Thus, we can understand the value of being able to (although having a high cost on resources) generate decentralized organizations that reach agreements among parts dodging the red tape in the increasingly less credible institutions.
When in 2007 the documentary Zeitgeist directed by Peter Joseph premiered, and explained how money was generated in central banks, great disappointment arose for many. We could see Benjamin Franklin explaining that the freedom to generate your own currency was the main cause for independence in America, and then how the big financial cartels, with the excuse of independence, helped several times in history to create actual financial bubbles, as in 2008, from which we have not recovered entirely.
Having said all that, how much will the Bitcoin be worth by the end of year? And Etherum? And a Ripple? Or a MonedaPAR?
Believe it or not, it depends to a great extent on the community and bitcoin owners. It sounds rather basic, but it is not that different either. Currencies help us for many things, especially to generate secure exchanges between goods and services. Much of what banks do (as well as countries) is push their currencies, making it possible to carry out more activities or buy more products people need or want through them. This activity of promoters has been working around for years, with many resources and people who have worked or years for these institutions.
Cryptocurrencies are here to make us independent from Central Banks or financial entities deemed as obsolete and that do not represent us any longer, a great challenge. However, decentralization also means greater involvement of the parts. If we make institutions fall, and hack them with better technological platforms, each individual has even greater responsibility; we must collaborate to undertake tasks to actively participate to actually replace central banks, because it is the community that sets the value for things and not technology. A currency is just an agreement within a society. Cryptocurrencies, at the end of the day, are the same.
Within this commitment, we should also worry about the environmental impact we may cause, it should be balanced with our purpose. And that purpose cannot be that of a group of people thinking exclusively about how to become rich through speculation and magic, as in some cases.
Cryptocurrencies in 2018
Bitcoin price will go up, only if the community attracts those who generate value for the society and allow for performing, or any other cryptocurrency, more commercial activities, (or non-profit) we actually need in communities. This is the case for example of the start-up Democracy Earth Foundation. And bitcoin will go down if it attracts mostly speculators and people fantasizing about fast bucks.
Eliminating these entities that constantly try to stop this rule from being applied will only succeed if we stop creating new things with the same old purposes. Bitcoin will grow (or sink) depending of what the society gets from it.