Price may be pulling back in the short term, but there are many positive things to look forward to over the coming months for bitcoin. It is easy to get lost in the day-to-day small movements of price and lose perspective of the bigger picture so here are five things to look out for over the coming months and years that paint a bullish picture for Bitcoin.
In 300 days or approximately 541,000 blocks, the bitcoin halving will occur. This means that every 10 minutes 6.25 coins will be minted after the halving instead of 12.5 that are currently minted every 10 minutes. Effectively this means that the rate at which the coins are released onto the network will be decreasing by 50%, this will put a strain on the supply. As this event is public knowledge and planned well in advance a lot of speculators will be buying up coins well in advance in anticipation of the supply shock, this increase in demand will also put upward pressure on price.
There are many new improvements coming to bitcoin over the coming months and years, some of these will not only improve things like speed and use of space but will also unlock a completely new level of privacy.
One of the main proposals involves Schnorr Signatures, it enhances the privacy of multisig transactions (and improves the transaction data size) so that no one can tell how many signers make up the transaction, nor can they tell the original set of signers. In addition to privacy and space-saving, enabling Schnorr signatures on the Bitcoin network will unlock the possibility of adding other new improvements to the protocol which were not previously possible without the Schnorr signatures being incorporated.
The Bitcoin network has been running successfully now for over 10 years with an impressive “more than 99%” uptime”. The brand itself has become a household name and it is very rare that you stumble across somebody who hasn’t at least heard of Bitcoin. The Lindy Effect says that the future life span of a technology is proportional to its age, with each additional period of time that it survives it increases the likelihood of it surviving longer (implying longer life expectancy). In a nutshell, the longer Bitcoin survives increases its life expectancy.
The Bitcoin Network hash-rate is currently at an all-time high, it is the measure of how difficult it is for a miner to find a block. The higher it is, the higher the security of the network because it will cost more to double-spend or create a false transaction. In this way, it is often seen as the pulse of the network, a crude way of checking its vitals. In theory, due to the fact that miners have to compete for the block reward, the harder it becomes, the more expensive it is to win the race, this leads to upward pressure on the price of Bitcoin as the miners need to sell their coins to cover their overheads.
As the clouds of uncertainty clear around regulation and custody of Bitcoin, it paves the way for more regulated entities to enter the space. Companies such as TD Ameritrade, who as of last September had client equity of nearly $1.3 Trillion (yes – Trillion), have already started offering Bitcoin to their professional clients and are rumored to be in planning stages of expanding the offering to all their retail clients. They are not alone, ICE (Bakkt) started user testing of its new Bitcoin settled futures exchange today. These exchanges have regulatory approvals and proven track records, this will likely open the door to larger players in the financial world to buy and trade Bitcoin.
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