This Article was originally published on coincentral.com by Aaron Mangal on October 13th, 2017.
What is the next Bitcoin?
Wow. That’s ballsy to even ask what that is. Is Bitcoin not good enough for you?!
So, you think you’re ready for the next Bitcoin eh? Well, let me be frank, the next “Bitcoin” better be so earth shatteringly awesome that it breaks the universe’s time continuum. (For real tho.)
What I mean is it better be truly innovative beyond functionality and protocols where Bitcoin has already filled the gap. But hey, this is one of the most common questions asked by cryptocurrency newcomers… So here we are.th,
Let’s start by reviewing what makes Bitcoin so freakin’ awesome first.
What is Bitcoin, man?
Bitcoin is a digital money ecosystem with units of currency (Bitcoin) that are used to store and transmit value among participants in this glorious distributed and decentralized computer network. The Bitcoin protocol stack is available as open source software and can run on many devices including mobile phones, tablets, desktops and even a Raspberry Pi.
Users communicate through the Bitcoin protocol via the web or other mechanisms (like bluetooth or even radio). It’s a peer to peer system with no central server or point of control.
Bitcoin is created through a process called mining. This involves computers competing to find solutions to a mathematical problem (think a race to solve a giant Sudoku puzzle) which produces 12.5 BTC per block found. Miners also process and validate bitcoin transactions to ensure no double spending or other fraudulent transactions.
So let’s review, Bitcoin (and its Blockchain) is composed of:
- A decentralized peer-to-peer network (the bitcoin protocol)
- A public transaction ledger (the blockchain)
- A set of rules for independent transaction validation and currency issuance (consensus rules aka mining)
- A mechanism for reaching global decentralized consensus on the valid blockchain (Proof-of-Work algorithm)
It’s the Internet of money! It’s insanely innovative is what it is.
So, what’s the next Bitcoin already?
Dude. Bitcoin is a new asset class. That’s a pretty hard show to follow. This means it has created a whole new category of digital “property” which is a whole can of worms and use cases it will open. Even the IRS, IMF world bank and many other governing bodies are still scratching their heads quizzically about what to do with this tech.
Below is a super basic rubric on what would make something the next Bitcoin (which will apply to the coins considered).
The “next Bitcoin” must:
- Have next-generation market leading architecture – They must evolve the blockchain construct in a big way to be considered ‘the next thing’. Ethereum for example created a platform that has spawned dozens of top notch projects built on top of its network.
- Be exponentially disruptive in use cases – Disrupting the financial system, fintech and creating a new asset class is a hard show to follow, they must innovate beyond this.
- Leverage original code and implementations – Bitcoin is composed of previously published concepts (e.g. Hashcash) but evolved those creations into something original, new and robust, they must have a similar accomplishment.
- Have a network effect of adoption – A “coin” is just an idea without a working product and more importantly, people using it, the more users the better.
Think of these following “picks” as possibilities based on what is known today. We won’t know what the next (or next next) Bitcoin is in the short-term. (If at all, since some might argue nothing could top the ground Bitcoin broke)
As discussed in this guide, “What is Ethereum?”, you’ll learn more details about the whole. However, I would like to still touch on some of those points to add a context for why Ethereum could be the next Bitcoin.
Ethereum is a protocol, smart contract platform, code base, and even has an operating system (ethOS) designed for miners. Ethereum facilitates building decentralized applications (dApps) through a blockchain with Turing-complete programming language which allows user to write smart contracts and customized dApps.
This Turing-complete computing addition allows a more powerful blockchain due to customizable smart contract scripting (which Bitcoin does not have). In addition, there is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) which runs on Ethereum and allows all Ethereum users to execute smart contracts locally on their device running a node.
A DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization which is a virtual entity that allows for decentralized governance and management. Once over a certain designated majority threshold (e.g. 51%) shareholders can decide how to spend, allocate funds, and even modify code. The DAO has all the mechanisms of traditional corporations or nonprofits but instead using cryptographic blockchain technology for enforcement.
Ethereum contracts can facilitate a decentralized file storage network. (Where users can earn tokens for renting out their hard drives and unused space) Think: A decentralized Dropbox or Google Drive.
Status is a mobile Ethereum operating system (OS), browser, messenger and open-sourced platform. If Ethereum was a Global Computer Network, Status would be similar to the Windows OS with user friendly interfaces that brings Ethereum code and smart contracts to life. The team also has a greater vision around decentralization and rebuilding the Internet as it was intended.
TenX is a network, rail, and payment method (through a debit card) with 0% spending and exchange fees. TenX supports various blockchain assets across multiple blockchains including Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum ERC20 Tokens (REP, CVC, OMG) with more in the works to be added soon. In addition, users get rewards from transactions and card holding (.5% per transaction and .1% for being a card holder)
Called a “next generation intelligence and content ecosystem” for Chinese markets Red Pulse has introduced a token, RPX. This token powers a platform which manages content production and distribution focused initially on China’s capital markets. The goal is to incentivize research by compensating producers for their insight. Red Pulse leverages market intelligence, machine learning and traditional research practices to provide top data to users.
On the front end, consumers can access the research that is most relevant to them to make informed decisions. Red Pulse maintains the quality of information with oversight of the platform, incentive structure, and vetting of expert-level contributors.
NEO is like seeing Ethereum before it became so popular. With its Asian roots and network effect, NEO could take us to new highs and levels of adoption. (Not to mention being in the Asia Pacific region puts them near upwards of 4 billion people).
It has similar features that made Ethereum popular but they greatly exceeded that by allowing support for new code bases. This reduces the learning curve for developers vs having to train on completely original code bases.
As we’ve seen, there is a huge bottleneck in having enough Blockchain developers to meet the current market demand. That’s why NEO allowing many more codes based allows them to pick from the 18.5 million software developers out there vs the 5000 estimated developers out there for Blockchain.
With having a close alliance with OnChain which is already acclaimed in China’s FinTech industry, NEO is poised for significant growth and integration with the Asia Pacific region and beyond.