Last week, we learned about the mechanisms that fuel Bitcoin and the blockchain, and what makes it so different from fiat currency.
Today, we will be investigating the central question many have regarding Bitcoin: is it a game-changer, or a simple fad?
To answer it simply, it's a fad. Bitcoin becomes a fad when it pumps. Everyone funnels their money into it as a FOMO (fear of missing out) to make some money, and unsurprisingly, it then dumps and no one cares about who Satoshi Nakamoto is.
However, this isn't to say that all cryptocurrencies are a fad. The idea that currency can be decentralized and anonymous with little transaction fees is revolutionary, but Bitcoin would need some serious changes in order to become as widely adopted as the U.S. dollar.
For instance, the currency's transaction support is pitiful. For reference, the Visa network can handle 24,000 transactions per second. In contrast, Bitcoin can do a whopping 7. No, not 7,000. Just 7.
In addition, Visa transactions occur near instantly. On the other hand, Bitcoin transactions can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a day to process and confirm on the blockchain.
These fundamental issues in network facilitation are part of the core problem Bitcoin would fail on a global scale, not to mention the issues that would come with irreversible transactions and 34-character wallet addresses.
The world simply isn't ready for Bitcoin, and Bitcoin isn't ready for the world. In order to take cryptocurrency to the next level, the networks will need some serious reworking. Until then, enjoy the pumps, dumps, and price fluctuations that make the market so entertaining.