Who wins the battle? Bitcoin or Altcoins? The answers to these questions may be absolutely different among various people. Some would say that Bitcoin is outdated because there are cryptocurrencies that work faster and have more functionality implemented on the protocol level. And these people would be right. Others will emphatically assure that Bitcoin is and will always be the number one cryptocurrency, no matter what new Altcoins appear. Hard to argue with that, as well. So, how can this be possible? Why do we outline Bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies? Is it just trivial or the best?
The appearance of Bitcoin
Most of you have probably heard the story about the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, who invented and “launched” Bitcoin in 2009 and, yet, remained unknown.
What’s impressive, is that eight years ago Bitcoin was perceived as some weird and doubtful notion that just appeared, as if it fell from the moon. Who would trust it? The answer is: “no one.” However, less than a decade later, Bitcoin has formed a new industry as well as a new branch and approach to business. It has changed the way we think about our property and the approach to things we own. All because of a person whom we don’t even know. It takes your breath away when you dive deep into this idea.
In a short lapse of time, Bitcoin came all the way from being called a pyramid or simply some weird ‘program that deals with non-existent money’ to the Greatest Discovery of the 21st Century. Moreover, we are only at the very beginning of its long path…
Hardships of Bitcoin
The core problem of the Bitcoin network now is the scalability issue. That is to say, the network is overwhelmed with users, thus you have to wait longer and fees are higher.
The necessity of an upgrade has provoked a hard fork (chain split). August 1st was the day when the Bitcoin blockchain was split. Meanwhile, some Bitcoin holders gained a great profit due to this hard fork. Especially, those who held their money on exchanges that did the coin splitting. Among them, CEX.IO exchange gave its users the same amount of Bitcoin Cash coins (forked Bitcoin) as the amount of BTC they had had before the hard fork and launched the trading of the ‘second’ Bitcoin (BCH).
It was hard to say what would be the end result. However, the credibility of the first of its kind cryptocurrency has surpassed everyone’s expectations. So, days after the fork, Bitcoin’s price rocketed up more swiftly than anyone could imagine.
Bitcoin has triggered an unstoppable chain reaction – the invention of hundreds of cryptocurrencies, the entire number of which have recently reached a thousand. The market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies, notionally, can be divided into two major groups: Bitcoin and Altcoins, where Bitcoin takes more than a half. So, the pressing question is ‘Which is better?’
Why Altcoins are better?
‘Altcoin’ means alternative coin. What do you think, is alternative good or bad? It can be both, so are the Altcoins. There are dozens of moderate and even low-grade coins that only a narrow circle of people know and use. However, certain ‘alternatives’ create a strong competition for Bitcoin. We’ll speak about some of them:
- Ethereum. Being the second-after-Bitcoin cryptocurrency, Ethereum was the first to show that the blockchain is capable of doing much more than just providing transactions. Smart contracts are Vitalik Buterin’s mark of pride that, in 2017, brought Ethereum growth to 400%.
- Dash. It is considered one of the most advanced cryptocurrencies for everyday use. All because of the so-called ‘instant transactions’ that allow users to send or receive money in the blink of an eye. Moreover, that’s not where the functionality of Dash ends. Read more and reveal it for yourself.
- Zcash. This cryptocurrency provides one of the highest privacy levels on the market, if not the highest one. The subject of the occasion is Zero-Knowledge proof – a groundbreaking technology that allows the blockchain to be private and transparent at the same time.
Why Bitcoin is better?
By any measure, Bitcoin was, is, and will be the most sure investment when it comes to cryptocurrency. The key part of such success is popularity and trust (gained due to the fact that Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency). The more people get to know about Bitcoin, the more it grows.
Over the year 2017, the exchange rate of Bitcoin has increased almost ten times. An enormous amount of traders enriched themselves during that period. It is important to point out, that some Altcoins have been through even more active increase over the same lapse of time. However, Bitcoin is different because it is more stable.
Traders and entrepreneurs can afford to invest much more money dealing with Bitcoin rather than Altcoins. And this is one of the main features that significantly distinguishes Bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies – high vote of confidence.
Now we come to another measurable distinction: Bitcoin offers the only true decentralization compared to Altcoins. Since, the inventor has decided to stay in the shade, no one specifically is ruling Bitcoin, except for the whole community. All the decisions are made through a continuous discussion. The only negative side of this fact is that it slows down the whole process.
The nearest future of Bitcoin
The rise up to $10,000 until the end of 2017. Well, that’s what many experts predict. It’s hard to assure that things will go exactly this way, however there are signs pointing so:
- Bitcoin has recently set a new record of $6,000. It is an important psychological barrier, after which more people will start recognizing Bitcoin. NOTE: It had happened days before the Bitcoin Gold hard fork.
- SegWit2x cancellation also did its bit. As November rolled around, the community began the countdown to another hard fork dated on 16-17 November. A brief experience in hard forks showed that every time a hard fork was about to occur people started acquiring BTC, which positively affected the price of a coin. This highly anticipated fork was no exception – by November 5, the price of Bitcoin fixed at $7,500. However, in as little as 3 days, on November 8, the key originators of SegWit2x announced a halt for the Bitcoin network upgrade. Shortly after the suspension of SegWit2x the price of Bitcoin hit an all-time high. Right now, on November 21 – Bitcoin is being traded at $8200+ and looks like it could go even further.
The farthest future of Bitcoin
This is not a chapter to discuss digits. It’s very hard to predict the growth of Bitcoin in two, five, or ten years.
The only thing we know for sure is that it will continue growing since the cryptocurrency industry is already becoming a trend that will settle for a very long time.
Bitcoin doesn’t offer as many features as some Altcoins do. The network is temporarily slower than in other cryptocurrencies. However, Bitcoin was the first to introduce the blockchain to the world. By trial and error, it has shown us that digital money are the present rather than the future of finance. So, this is the main point of why Bitcoin is different than other cryptocurrencies. It will always remain the King of cryptocurrency.
Guest Post Author: Mary Ann Callahan
As an expert on Bitcoin-related topics, I’ve found myself as a Journalist at Cex.io – cryptocurrency exchange. I’m working on articles related to blockchain security, bitcoin purchase guides or bitcoin regulations in different countries.