Meet the New Bitcoin: Bitcoin. Why Bitcoin is and Always Will be “The New Bitcoin”
Over the last few years, investors have been searching for “the new bitcoin” or “the next bitcoin”. Someone is going to create a faster, more secure, more transferable cryptocurrency, and that cryptocurrency will overtake bitcoin.
What’s the next digital asset that’s going to explode like bitcoin? Which asset can you purchase for $0.10 today that’s going to be worth $1,000 next year?
While everybody searches for “the new bitcoin”, however, there’s one uncomfortable truth: the new bitcoin is bitcoin. At least, that’s what Alex Lielacher at Brave New Coin believes.
“The new bitcoin is…bitcoin. Bear market or not, development isn’t slowing down on the no.1 crypto.”
Some people are searching for cryptocurrencies that are faster, more secure, and more transferable. Some believe that these cryptocurrencies will overtake bitcoin because they’re technically superior. While some search for these newer cryptocurrencies, others are focusing on the technical gains within the bitcoin network.
The Lightning Network, for example, continues to expand. The Lightning Network allows for secure, high-speed transactions on the bitcoin network. Some see the Lightning Network as a clunky solution that sacrifices the main advantage of bitcoin – on-chain security. Others see the Lightning Network as the “killer feature” that will take bitcoin to the next level.
In the last few weeks, the Lightning Network has grown by over 200%. It’s now at $2 million in capacity – a drop in the bucket compared to the crypto market overall. Nevertheless, the Lightning Network continues to expand.
There Are Already Cryptocurrencies That Are Faster and Better than Bitcoin
There’s one thing to remember about bitcoin being “the next bitcoin”: there are already plenty of cryptocurrencies that are better than bitcoin.
Litecoin, for example, launched as a faster and lighter version of bitcoin. It was built directly on bitcoin’s code. The developers slashed transaction times, reducing block time from 10 minutes to 2.5 minutes. They quadrupled the total supply of tokens from 21 million to 84 million. Litecoin was faster than bitcoin while retaining many of the same qualities of bitcoin.
Despite Litecoin’s apparent superiority, however, it has never been anywhere close to bitcoin’s market cap.
The same can be said about XLM or XRP. Both of these digital tokens are focused on cheap, near-instant, secure international transfers. Both of these cryptocurrencies achieve that goal. They effectively allow someone to transfer millions of dollars securely on-chain. They’re faster and cheaper to use than bitcoin.
None of these cryptocurrencies, however, have ever dethroned bitcoin as the king of crypto. Bitcoin continues to have a superior market cap to all of these cryptocurrencies – and that doesn’t seem to be changing in the near future.
The Best Developers Are Working on Bitcoin
Some of the best developers in the crypto world are working on bitcoin. Bitcoin is the king, and this kingly status attracts some of the best and brightest minds.
Bitcoin continues to be one of the most actively developed projects in the crypto world. Bitcoin is functioning exactly how a good open source project should function: changes are being proposed, debated, and then securely integrated into the network.
The Lightning Network began as a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal back in 2015. After lengthy discussion within the bitcoin community, Lightning Network finally went live in early 2018. Today, it continues to grow.
The Lightning Network is just one of several innovations making its way through the bitcoin open source development team. Other changes that could vastly expand the functionality of bitcoin in the future can include:
- Confidential Transactions (CTs) were initially proposed as a BIP; it’s a cryptographic tool that could vastly enhance privacy on the bitcoin network, making it possible to create an on-chain bitcoin transaction that anonymizes the amounts and individuals involved in the transaction
- Smart contracts could be added to bitcoin in the future thanks to work by crypto startup RSK Labs, which recently developed a smart contract platform for the bitcoin network; that platform mined its first block on January 5, 2018
- The Liquid Network makes similar promises to the Lightning Network, facilitating scalability of bitcoin and high transactional capacity; the Blockstream-developed network mined its first block on September 27, 2018 and could challenge the Lightning Network as the best scaling solution for bitcoin
Some of these solutions are running on test versions of the bitcoin network – like the Rootstock testnet. Others are already running within certain implementations of bitcoin – like the Lightning Network. As development continues, however, bitcoin continues to show its ability to adapt to ongoing changes.
Why Bitcoin Will Stay King
Some people prefer cryptocurrencies like XRP and XLM because they’re faster than bitcoin. Bitcoin answers with the Lightning Network, which offers fast and cheap transactions.
Some people prefer cryptocurrencies like Ethereum because they allow for advanced development and smart contracts. Bitcoin answers with its own smart contracts.
Ultimately, bitcoin can’t be everything to everyone. However, bitcoin has continuously remained the king of crypto – and that doesn’t seem to be changing in the near future.