January 3rd, 2009, the genesis block of bitcoin of bitcoin was launched by the anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto. In that genesis block was written a very important statement about why bitcoin was created and a sign of the times in the failure of monetary policies of central banks and governments. Bitcoin is like rat poison for all the bankers as it is designed to bring the whole system down.
Bitcoin has been declared dead hundreds of times by the media and Bitcoin has survived all kinds of FUD such as Mount Gox, China crackdown and a lot more but bitcoin keeps pressing on which shows the resilience of the community and the network together to continue in the phase of all of these different things happening. No one has been able to stop bitcoin yet and as mentioned Satoshi Nakamoto to this day remains a mystery.
Ross Ulbricht is still in jail to this day because of his grand crime of hosting a website where people bought and sold substances that could alter their conscience personally and a lot of that was done using. The fact that he is still in jail just screams of the overall injustice of the entire system that we are facing to this day.
The forkers in the market have gone off and forked bitcoin quite a few times but it seems that Bitcoin or BTC particularly has been decided on at this time by the market. All of the alternative visions of bitcoin particularly bitcoin cash and bitcoin satoshi vision are really struggling especially after their most recent split up. The market is choosing BTC and not Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin Satoshi Vision.
There has been a lot of interesting things happening in the bitcoin space recently. BlockStream‘s satellites, for example, are going to next level censorship, you do not need the internet to connect, you can connect directly by a small dish on your house to the satellites in space. This is a very big development as it helps reach so many people that don’t actually have regular access to the internet. Right now, BlockStream’s satellite covers almost all regions of the world.
Lightning Network is a second layer scaling solution and it is growing all the time. It has surpassed a 510 bitcoin capacity currently, the number of channels over the last month in December has grown by 26%. There are different companies that are working on these implementations for lightning payments and as such, it is only getting bigger all the time and the technology is only getting better. Lightning will be a serious factor in the future of bitcoin in terms of scalability.
Snort Signatures are digital signatures scheme which at a technical level is going to give bitcoin users a new way to generate cryptographic keys, also increasing bitcoin’s privacy and scalability. So this is a very important thing. It is worked on at the moment, we don’t have that implemented yet but it is coming and when it does come it will be an important part of the technical features of bitcoin.
Bitcoin Side Chains are also very important in terms of expanding the use cases and functionality of the bitcoin mainchain. RootStock, for example, will bring smart contracts to bitcoin. BlockStream’s liquid will help to ease transactions between liquid providers. So a lot of things are happening in terms of making it more usable.
The hashrate is incredibly secure and although we have seen the hashrate decline as the price of bitcoin has gone down but if you compare today’s hashrate with the hashrate a year ago, we see a significant difference. The network is more secure than it has ever been.
In terms of actual access, that’s also growing all the time. We have more and more fiat onramps for people to be able to buy bitcoin. Even though we still have domination of US dollar and Japenese Yen, Exotic currencies are being added. For example, Binance recently debuting in Uganda and letting people invest with the local currency there. We need to see this happening in more countries so we can have more fiat onramps and make it easy for people all around the world to get into crypto. The numbers are stacking up really well for bitcoin.
In terms of brand, the brand has never been stronger for bitcoin. More people know about bitcoin today than ever and that’s something very important to keep in mind. We have had a veritable explosion of bitcoin ATM’s in 2018 making access even easier for people. Paxful is reporting that in 2018 bitcoin sales were up by 20% in Africa which is great considering the bear trend in 2018. Record transactions are happening on Localbitcoins in countries like South America, Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru. People are getting into it and its expanding. That’s a really important thing to see bitcoin expanding to the corners of the world.
Trace Mayer has organized the Proof of Keys Event. Proof of keys is an event happening today in which you take your crypto off the exchanges especially bitcoin and hold it in a wallet which you control the keys. The idea here is that there may be a lot of exchanges which may not have as much bitcoin as they profess to have. These third-party centralized exchanges have been a real bane to the crypto scene overall. Some of them are good actors but not all of them are. We have so much volume spoofing and all these different things going on that it is incredibly problematic and some of them may not actually have as much bitcoin as they say they have. So Trace Mayer is encouraging everyone to withdraw their bitcoins from the exchanges and put it in a wallet in which they control the private keys. We as a crypto community should always stand up to take a part in these events that are actually very important for the future of bitcoin and to end decentralization.