When I got into bitcoin and started getting deeper into why its so important. I met by Partner and we would and still do have heated discussions on the importance of crypto currencies or altcoins as we would like to call them. I am more of a one currency for the world type of fan, where as my partner is more into blockchain its developments and derivatives. It brings into aspect how much we love what we do and it keeps us both on our toes to understand the eco system that is building around us. Its fun to be able to just sit daily and talk about the possibilities that come forth because we both are crypto enthusiasts in general.
We often discuses how one coin maybe better then the other or not. The pros and cons while I am looking to it from general business stand point, he looks at it more towards possible potential of the design that the coin follows. We both might be wrong but it does bring out interesting arguments. One such argument when we met early was on altcoins such as dashcoin, doge and litecoin where I pointed out (this was back in 2014) that xrp or ripple will eventually become the second largest currency and give bitcoin a run for its money. While I still believe that btc is here to stay as xrp is now becoming the poster child for closed source coins with stellar also created by the co-founder of ripple is in close for second. From finance stand point of view it was obvious back then that when the banks start realizing bitcoin and its truly remarkable concept they will opt to fight it and at the heart of that xrp or ripple will emerge, as not only will it the closed source the banks will be able to control the infrastructure while still keeping tap on whats happening.
Today we see 10 of the largest 50 banks of the world in support of xrp and recently published news that Standard Chartered is testing it, right after western union news that they were also testing ripple to bring credibility to it.
I am still of the view that bitcoin will lead the way since it was presented as a decentralized distributed ledger to the world which could only be controlled on consensus rather then an entity, xrp will be used more as a poster child to replace the old technology that is running at the hearts of the banks called “swift” and outdated systems.
In 2015 we saw numerous banks turning to blockchain the underlining technology of bitcoin to drive customer base away from btc and improve their own system in the process. An example was laid out where it was stated that Bank Of America alone uses more electricity then the entire bitcoin network combined. It was popular believe that the “beauty of bitcoin lies in blockchain”, I for one was sold on this. But the more you understand bitcoin the more you realize thats not the case, and the more you fall in love with the whole concept of bitcoin.
Many might disagree with me on this statement. While I am not saying that blockchain and bitcoin are revolutionary, all I am saying is that its not just the tech that makes bitcoin or btc special, its the underlining principle of the bitcoin that makes it the most disruptive tech in the fintech space.
The idea as purposed by satoshi nakamoto was loosely based on on torrent software where you would share your bitcoin via peer to peer system where you would not require central auditing or confirming authority. Now lets think about this for a minute. Decentralization and the open source nature of bitcoin is what make it so special. An example is the recent development disagreement by the core developers where 2 developers purposed a fork of bitcoin XT. That saw the prices of bitcoin plunge to lows of around $150. While many thought that proposal was destroying bitcoin, I believed it was making btc stronger by displaying that no one has control over bitcoin. In the end it will be the people who will decide what is good for the network and not any one entity.
The banking sector was of the belief that its the blockchain tech that drives bitcoin, and without understanding the true nature of why decentralization is important they jumped on the blockchain wagon releasing their own chains and coins in the process. I think bitcoin and banks can live in harmony, how you may ask is very hard to answer. For one I think banks can use bitcoin as a settlement product within their networks. Think of bitcoin as Mastercard or Visacard. When the concept was brought forward banks went a head started incorporating these into their systems rather then coming up with their own individual cards. There is alot to cover of how btc and bank can live in peace then this one article, but the idea can be be implemented in ways that banks haven’t imagined yet. I think time will only improve our understanding of what bitcoin is and how it will shape the future of fintech.