In the last ten years, we have seen the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry thrive and adapt to our economic and technological landscape. During that period, the global market cap rose from near zero to its all-time-high of $800 billion in early 2018. While the current market cap is nowhere near that number right now, this does not take away from the milestone. During that period, we have also seen the rise of the altcoin market, with one coin even reaching a high enough status as to rival Bitcoin; namely Ethereum. And this is not to even mention the developments that have taken place to the blockchain.
Cryptocurrency has managed to reach a state where it is regularly discussed within financial circles, and constantly featured on economics-based news sites. It is fair to say that cryptocurrency is here to stay, but which coins will make the cut? The last ten years have seen multiple coins and tokens come and go, with many falling into obscurity. This begs the question: which coins will survive the next decade?
A 2018 study found that Bitcoin consumes, at a minimum, 2.55 gigawatts, which is near-equivalent to the electricity consumption of Ireland. It is fair to say that this is a large quantity of energy, and this is only for one coin. There are no clear and wide-scale statistics on how all cryptocurrencies have collectively impacted the environment, but considering how Bitcoin is consuming so much, it is likely that the whole industry is harming the environment much further.
In large part, this is due to the way Proof-of-Work blockchains operate, as they rely on excessive processing power. At the start of the industry, there was no way of avoiding this; however, nowadays, there are numerous other consensus algorithms that require less energy. Proof-of-Stake coins, such as DASH, and DAGs, such as IOTA, use considerably less power than the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum. As society becomes more environmentally conscious, these types of coins will continue to thrive.
Artificial Intelligence has been steadily improving as a field, and in recent years it has been recognized by the blockchain industry. Cryptocurrencies such as DeepBrainChain and Velas place a high focus on AI, using it to maintain their blockchains and set the agenda for their milestones. AI is an extremely useful asset in this area, as cryptography focuses on large quantities of data, and nothing handles the processing of data like AI. The next ten years will see AI expanding its reach further, and coins that utilize it will go far.
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Coins Designed for Global Expansion
For a coin to be futureproof, it needs to be ready for global adoption. This means that it needs to have protocols in place to prevent it from slowing down during periods of high traffic, and a mechanism for controlling transaction fees. Without these, coins are set to fail before they even become popular. Even though Bitcoin struggles with both of these features, many of its contemporaries such as Ethereum don’t. Bitcoin is only allowed to survive through these issues because of its name recognition, and the fact that it was the first within the industry. No other coins or tokens are afforded the same privilege.
Cryptocurrencies that adhere to these factors have a high chance of sustained success within the next decade. This type of finance will not be going anywhere, but it is sure to undergo several changes in the time to come. It’s hard to guess which coins will stand the test of time, but a fair assumption would be that the ones that are ready for the future will survive into it.
Disclaimer: I currently hold a small amount of Bitcoin and XRP. I am associated with none of the companies mentioned.
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