Bitcoin Gloom? Cheer Up People. Things Are Moving Forward!

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Apparently the community sentiment towards cryptocurrencies is darkening, yet again, due to the recent price drops. The culprit behind these massive sell orders? You already know the answer, Mt. Gox creditor.

Google trends quickly show how the community is reacting to the recent events: people’s interest is as low as it was in May 2017. Pretty damn darn, isn’t it?

If you’re foraging for the slightest light of hope, let me help you: today we’ll focus on the good things, for a change. Forget price, forget volume and forget trading. Today none of it matters, as I’m here to tell you how far cryptocurrencies have come and what they’ll potentially enable in the not-so-distant future.

Please, enjoy the ride!

— this article is not financial advisement, simply my opinion and thoughts. Most of my personal savings are in some form of cryptocurrency so please take whatever I say with a grain of salt. Do not invest what you cannot afford to lose–

Technology

There are a couple of points we need to discuss regarding recent developments in the cryptocurrencies world, mainly in Bitcoin and the blockchain but not solely, which can trigger a new wave of adoption not only from people in general but also by businesses and governments.

For Bitcoin and its blockchain, we can mention the two most important recent developments, being debated by many great minds everywhere:

(a) Segwit adoption: with the successful softfork that happened during August 2017, which implemented segregated witnessing, it became possible to incorporate more transactions in each block as the transactions became smaller. The problem was that segwit wasn’t being adopted worldwide as the transition which had to be made by mining companies and corporate businesses (exchanges for example), was a manual activation. So businesses waited until segwit was proven to be secure and only then activation would happen. There is another version that says activation didn’t happen sooner as the overall fees will decrease for mining companies. How is segwit adoption looking over the last 30 days, at the moment of writing? Take your own conclusions!

http://segwit.party/charts/#

(it already more than doubled. Couldn’t resist, sorry)

(b) The Lightning Network (LN): we can finally say it’s going live! It already has more than 1500 nodes connected in the testnet and people have already been making real transactions despite the warnings (I love these folk. They’re the real deal). A recent announcement came this week stating it will finally move onto the first mainnet.

https://explorer.acinq.co/#/

 Now Lightning Labs, the company behind the original development, is moving to the production environment, meaning, you will have the option to use off-chain payment channels to do transactions. You can now setup a lighting node, which will re-route payments to other nodes, and get paid to do that. Or you can simply start using it as a final consumer, who wishes to send money to another peer, or maybe make a payment to a business; you can count on escrow payments to be immediately implemented and used. Fees paid will decrease exponentially as miners will only register and validate final balances from the off-chain channels onto the blockchain.

I can’t wait for this to go Live, I’m so excited!

But if you think great technology developments stop on Bitcoin and the blockchain, oh boy you’re in for a treat!

Other projects have surfaced and past ICOs are starting to bear some of the fruits. I will mention the four I consider top contenders to become massively adopted (I may be massively wrong, please beware):

1. Ethereum: Obviously the most famous project just after Bitcoin and for a good reason. Not only is moving into PoS (although PoW will remain working) with its latest close-to-be Casper upgrade which is already being tested. Congratulations to the team, it seems they’re managing to pull out a rabbit out of a hat, this is, moving from one consensus algorithm to another isn’t an easy accomplishment, I guarantee you. Not only it’s improving its own network but due to the many projects around the ethereum protocol, it’s gaining loads of momentum. Let’s discuss some of them:

The Raiden Network: it works more or less as the ethereum’s LN. In a recent update they’ve shown how it is possible to do machine-to-machine payments and implement smart-contracts in IoT devices, so that people can interact with them. You really need to watch this talk (if you’re not patient start on minute 10:30). Loredana, one of the main developers, did a great job when presenting the latest developments.
Modum: this team is building an inter-connected supply-chain for big businesses. They’re working closely with the Pharma industry and already starting to show progress, as Thilo told me when we spoke over email. I would advise you to pay close attention to this project, as it can…
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