Bitcoin is dead; Blockchain is wasted; Crypto is gone–this is something the world has been told over and over again. The first ever article that predicted a bitcoin death was published in 2010 by Tim Harford, an economist. At that time, bitcoin was trading at $0.23. The following year, after bitcoin surged to $7.80, Gizmodo Australia wrote that the digital currency is dying. In 2013, New York Magazine penned ‘Bitcoin Sees the Grim Reaper‘ when bitcoin jumped above $100. Three months later, a Medium post predicted a horrific death for the digital currency, and it was well above $600 at that time.
Fast forward five years, the predictions haven’t rested. The obituaries seem to have included even the underlying technology of bitcoin, the blockchain, for allegedly being totally-hyped and an utterly-waste. An article has already hanged a “rest of peace” sign around its neck. The Week in January discussed the death of crypto. And irony committed suicide when even a bitcoin millionaire said that bitcoin is dead. That totals to more than 300 times Bitcoin has been killed by the mainstream media, according to 99bitcoin’s death calculator.
The latest round of obituaries come in the wake of crypto market’s dismissal performance in 2018. Once at a peak, bitcoin and every major and minor crypto asset fell by at least 80%. The crash prompted many blockchain startups, which raised funds in bitcoin-like assets via ICO in 2017, to either shut down their operations entirely or layoff a considerable portion of their workforce.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected nine Bitcoin ETFs. Goldman Sachs and NYSE delayed their crypto-enabled products until next year. Nobel laureate Nouriel Roubini called bitcoin “a mother of all scams” before the US Congress and later patted his back when cryptos crashed. Even a controversial figure, the Wolf of Wall Street-famed Jordan Belfort, who scammed many in his notorious financial career, took a potshot at the digital currency, saying that it belongs to a scrapyard.
It seems that every time cryptos suffer a financial tragedy, their critics get the moment to attack them and predicting their end. The majority of complaints crypto/blockchain sector is receiving during its downtrend is related to their alleged overvaluation, hype, lack of demand and unrealistic business models. While some of it is true to an extent, owing to an increase in the number of ICO scams and vaporware this year, that does not exactly prove that the entire sector is on the verge of dying.
Crypto Not Dead
Financial bubbles are not a thing that was born with cryptocurrencies. They have been there since the time of the infamous Tulip Mania, the Great Depression, and the very latest 2008 recession. Quite unlikely, nobody said that the US stock market would die or the value of the dollar will drop to zero.
A 2012 Harvard Business School report found that only 1 out of every 10 startups will succeed. But it didn’t say that the entire startup industry was doomed to fail. How many of these startups, for argument sake, had an unrealistic business model? How many of them attracted accredited investor but failed anyway? How many of them were supported by more prominent corporations but worked against the hype?
So why a blockchain startup industry should be viewed from a separate lens, even at a time when it is beginning to take its first steps towards actual adoption. Those who complain that blockchain does not have a “killer app” absent-mindedly sideline bitcoin, the world’s most secure and decentralized payment engine. On the contrary, they say bitcoin is doomed to fail, even though it is heading towards attaining the status of digital gold (or even the next global reserve), thanks to this their resembling characteristics.
As for blockchain as a technology, crypto enthusiasts have already said that it should better be decentralized that being a random database of some random private company. Forced conversion of an already-working traditional business model into a blockchain-enabled model will always be a bad idea. The killer apps would belong to blockchain projects that are genuinely seeking an intermediary-free system or are solving a real-world problem.
Big Corporations in Blockchain
Some of the biggest corporations are already exploring blockchain and have successful derived suitable products using it. They include names like IBM, Cisco, PwC, and whatnot.
“I think supply chain is going to be the first, if not near the first, to show the value of blockchain,” Mark Smith, CEO of Symbiont, a blockchain development company, told CNBC. “There aren’t any regulatory questions in supply chain management that you have to deal with.”
“Blockchain’s really about trust in data and business processes,” said Ramesh Gopinath, vice president of blockchain solutions at IBM. “When you have to rely on data, four or five hops upstream, you have to have a reason to trust it, and blockchain provides that.”