Bitcoin’s 460+ near-death experiences: Will apex crypto ever cease to exist | The Financial Express

Bitcoin’s 460+ near-death experiences: Will apex crypto ever cease to exist

Unlike several other crypto, the Bitcoin network is considered secure

Bitcoin’s 460+ near-death experiences: Will apex crypto ever cease to exist

By Mohammed Roshan

Whenever Bitcoin experiences a dramatical dip in its market value, it is almost customary nowadays to witness outcries that crypto is doomed and will soon no longer exist. Interestingly, the website 99Bitcoins has tracked Bitcoin’s supposed death over 460 times. And surprisingly, even with the fluctuating developments in Bitcoin’s price, it has already been declared dead twice this year.

This page is a closely followed one in the Bitcoin ecosystem, mostly for its satirical value. Each Bitcoin “death” is counted only when Bitcoin has been deemed dead by either a website or platform with substantial traffic or a person with a notable following.

However, the insight from this page is quite clear. No matter the year or reason for Bitcoin’s “death”, it just doesn’t die out. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Bitcoin has returned to prove these claims repeatedly and even form all-time highs in terms of price.

Putting aside statements of Bitcoin’s death and the volatility in its prices, this is indeed an interesting thought experiment: Will there ever be a time when Bitcoin as we know it ceases to exist? Just how durable is Bitcoin in the face of societal and technological evolution , as well as black swan events?

What Andreas Antonopoulos predicted is, in my opinion, highly likely to be true. It is only natural that whatever replaces Bitcoin, or whatever surpasses it, would still be referred to as Bitcoin. After all, it would still be doing the same thing that Bitcoin does: providing a secure, decentralised, and low-cost way of transferring value around the world.

So, no matter what comes our way, it is highly unlikely that Bitcoin will fade away anytime soon. It has become too entrenched in the digital landscape, and its revolutionary properties make it a force to be reckoned with. The simplest reason I could give you for Bitcoin to persevere is that it was designed to be unstoppable.

No ‘Central Server’

In many ways, it is somewhat similar to the unstoppable peer-to-peer file share systems people use to pirate movies and music. There is no central Bitcoin server to shut down, if one wanted to. The Bitcoin network exists among its nodes, but not in any one of them.

Unlike several other crypto, the Bitcoin network is secure and is yet to be hacked or compromised. Bitcoin is mathematically pure, and its fundamental integrity and resilience has been maintained over the years because of the balance of rewards and utility.

The incentive to mine has millions of people applying their computing power to keep the blockchain running securely. This is more computing power than any one entity can muster to control the network.

The economic incentive is driven by the miners receiving reward on solving a complex mathematical problem. Hence the more miners the network has, the more difficult it is to employ a 51% attack and defraud the network. This does not happen currently because peers are adequately rewarded and the stronger the peer network, the stronger the Bitcoin network becomes.

At What Point Will Bitcoin Be Considered ‘Dead’?

The Bitcoin network cannot die unless we reach a point when miners are no longer incentivised to mine Bitcoin and all the peers in the network shut down. When no new transactions are written to the network, it will technically mean that Bitcoin has died.

Once all 21 million Bitcoin have been mined, dynamic market forces will dictate what those transaction fees need to be in order to incentivize mining, just as they do today.

Looking at the near future, the fundamental qualities that the Bitcoin network has shown during a short span of just 14 years gives Bitcoiners like me huge confidence in Bitcoin persevering further into the future.

Firstly, the Bitcoin community is unmatched in spite of having no central authority in charge of the trading, mining or distribution of Bitcoin. At the same time, there are developers and others who are working tirelessly to advance Bitcoin. Second, it is transparent and secure.

Thirdly, Bitcoin is seeing increased adoption among the general public and merchants, cementing the fact that it is one of the few, if not only crypto to demonstrate real-world use and value.

Lastly, the emergence of supportive technologies (like the Lightning network) as well as multiple companies building on Bitcoin only helps in Bitcoin becoming more efficient and popular over time.

No matter whether the value of Bitcoin reaches crores or falls to thousand, it is also likely to persevere even if we do not see the creation of a Bitcoin Standard and Bitcoin finds value as a single, obscure application of distributed computing.

Even in the worst case, I can only see Bitcoin dwindling down to a few hundred or thousand hobbyists.

At its very core, Bitcoin is a decentralised financial asset that does not require a government or any centralised organisation to back it, honour it, or mandate its use. It requires only a ubiquitous, and widely deployed communications network, like the Internet.

But..What If The Internet Were to Fail?

Even if the Internet were shut down after a global catastrophe, it is likely that independent Bitcoin stakeholders would arise from dormancy whenever any form of global communications networks take hold in the apocalyptic future.

All that is required would be to individuals that retain their personal keys or the passwords, or receive it from their ancestors.

And as long as we have at least a few of those people left, Bitcoin will definitely survive.

The author is co-founder and CEO, GoSats

Follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 21-01-2023 at 14:45 IST