Founded by Gideon Gartner and headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, Gartner, Inc. is a research and advisory firm providing consultancy services for companies in IT, marketing and technological aspects.
The hype cycle is a proprietary graphical representation developed by Gartner. It represents maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies through five phases,
Innovation Trigger : A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.
Peak of Inflated Expectations : Early publicity produces a number of success stories — often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.
Trough of Disillusionment : Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.
Slope of Enlightenment : More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.
Plateau of Productivity : Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology's broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.
Where Is Bitcoin At?
According to Gartner, it’s a fair way off wider adoption,
With bitcoin and ethereum constantly in the news, blockchain might seem like it’s just around the corner. However, most initiatives are still in alpha or beta stage. Enterprises are still deciding how to navigate this technology, but the lack of proven use cases and the volatility of bitcoin have created concerns about the viability of the technology. Long-term, Gartner believes this technology will lead to a reformation of whole industries.
Of the two types of blockchain — permissionless-public ledgers and permissioned-public ledgers — enterprises should look toward the latter option. Permissioned-public ledgers have access controls owned/managed by rules, but still allow for a community. For commercial transactions, companies might look to permissionless-public ledgers such as bitcoin, which allows unknown or untrusted users to access the ledger.
It could be argued that Bitcoin is in either phase two or phase four, most likely in phase two, peak of inflated expectations. Blockchain's boundless potential is not still widely understood or appreciated. There still remains skepticism of its scalability. The year 2018 could see a dissipation of doubts in the commercial sector. Some implementations of blockchain in the interim could fail to live up to expectations, which should not surprise anyone after the rampant proliferation of ICOs in 2017, leading to a trough of disillusionment.
Refinement of scaling solutions, smart contracts and IoT evolution, illustrating that blockchain can be scaled to serve the entire world intelligently and in a fully automated environment could lead to the slope of enlightenment, spawning more advanced second and third generation products. Once these products gain traction and attest to blockchain's security and scalability, global adoption ensues.
Is Bitcoin Overestimated?
According to Amara's law, ‘We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.'
There are different ways of interpreting the law. The one which pertains to the question of whether Bitcoin is in a bubble is whether Bitcoin is being overestimated?
For those who believe Bitcoin will replace the fiat system worldwide, the answer is a definitive no. Is the dollar or euro overestimated? Bitcoin's fiat value is relevant only so long as the fiat system exists. If and when Bitcoin usurps the fiat system, all goods of value would be priced in satoshis, giving Bitcoin an inherent value by itself.
So the real question is, given only some of us know how awesome Bitcoin's value proposition is, can we educate the masses and emancipate them from the fiat system? Failing to do so may result in an underestimation of Bitcoin in the long run.
*Although Gartner has an exceptional reputation as a research firm, in 2009, Gartner predicted the PC market would experience the “sharpest unit decline in history”, and a few quarters later it reported “strongest growth rate in seven years.”
Market research is not exact science, therefore all research should be taken with a pinch of salt. Most studies into market behavior are stochastic, with conclusions drawn from analyzing historical precedents.*