It seems a long time ago and far away. Bitcoin’s 2008 debut was puzzling (and still is) as Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity was not revealed. Its starting price was fractions of a penny; By 2011, the crypto was trading at $ 1. Today, depending on when you look, it’s priced at around $ 57,000.
Along the way, blockchain has entered the stream of public consciousness since 2008. However, as mentioned in the first part of this ongoing series on cryptoeconomics, some of the vocabulary is used interchangeably and confusion occurs. There was a time when bitcoin was tied to blockchain and blockchain to bitcoin.
Now we are at a time when Bitcoin is making its way into the balance sheets at companies like MicroStrategy and Tesla (where you can buy their cars with Bitcoin). PayPal and Square opened their ecosystems to buying and selling Bitcoin and using it in daily trading.
With the rise of Bitcoin, other cryptos like Litecoin – and even the dogecoin joke coin – have followed suit. Their market capitalizations have expanded, as has their visibility (altcoins are simply alternatives to Bitcoin, offering people and institutions the opportunity not to bet everything on Bitcoin while they still have some skin in the crypto game).
Expand and evolve
But with the expansion and further development of the crypto offerings and the linking of tokens with any number of use cases and specific functions, the blockchain has also developed – the infrastructure on which the token flows themselves are based.
Think of it this way: As the token economy takes shape to (supposedly) provide something for everyone, the public ledgers that are part of the ecosystem have also become more specialized. Blockchains are now being used to create, spend and track a wide variety of other digital currencies, but also to make supply chains more efficient or to store and move different types of information. (Blockchains are essentially databases that concatenate blocks of data.)
Given its emergence as an immutable ledger of transactions where Bitcoin might have been the most visible use case, we find that decentralization across industries and functions is attractive.
This is especially important with the advent of security tokens (we previously discussed the difference between different types of tokens). Earmarked blockchains are used to exchange tokens – or intelligent contracts or corporate functions – with the aim, for example, of making the flow of documents across shipping lines more transparent, faster and more secure.
There is room for building a business with blockchains. In one example, the Ant Group announced last year that it had launched AntChain (its productivity blockchain platform), which in part offers an “all-in-one workstation” that reduces the delivery time of the blockchain based solutions of the company are reduced by up to 90 percent. “Enterprise clients can therefore use blockchain in a variety of settings.
And as stated at this point on Tuesday (May 4th), 40 percent of respondents from tech companies around the world have a blockchain development in the works. Around 90 percent of executives said that blockchain will gain in importance in the coming years. Overall, the technology is expected to increase global gross domestic product (GDP) by nearly $ 1.8 trillion over the next decade. In another reference to blockchains designed for specific purposes, the technology can be used to smooth and strengthen the security of onboarding and ID verification within financial services.