A cryptocurrency is a digital currency created and managed through cryptography – they made the move from concept to reality with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. Their popularity has surged and peaked; their value has risen and nosedived; and recently there has been a lot of reflection over the long-term outlook for this new way to spend.
2019 has been an overall positive year for cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin famously regaining much of its lost value from the previous year, and with the possibility of cryptocurrency being floated on the Nasdaq adding more credibility, many believe that the future of cryptocurrency is bright.
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Here, we explore the three big cryptocurrencies and what tomorrow is thought to hold for each.
Ethereum is a relatively new player in the cryptocurrency game, with its blockchain technology only being released a few years ago. Its blockchain project was the first to install smart-contract technology and the first to include a programming language. Its currency, Ether, can be sent between wallets, and new tokens can be created by users via the blockchain.
While Ethereum is currently the second-most popular blockchain in the cryptocurrency world (Bitcoin being first), its ability to scale the number of transactions that it can process per second does face some challenges. Currently, it can process 15 per second. This was just fine when it launched, but it may not support a growing user base as time goes on and presents a major scalability issue when compared to other blockchains that can process hundreds or thousands of transactions per second.
Nevertheless, Ethereum is the second-most valuable cryptocurrency in the industry. If the scalability challenges can be overcome, then it is possible that Ethereum will continue to gain value and compete with the major currencies for years to come.
Litecoin came to fruition in 2011 when Bitcoin observers noted some weaknesses in the Bitcoin project during its early years. In an effort to compete, the founders of Litecoin sought to generate blocks faster, supply more coins, distribute coins more fairly among miners, and make technological adjustments at a quicker pace.
It took about five years, but Litecoin gained some notoriety and has become one of Bitcoin’s most credible rivals. It has experienced surges similar to the rest of the industry in its value throughout 2019, soaring from around $30 to over $100 per token over the course of the year.
Technical developments to Litecoin have supported its price to some extent and may serve to carry it through the next half of the year. Currently, Litecoin is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency based on its market value. With its trends following other players in the market, it is likely to hold on to its position for the short-term.
Bitcoin celebrated its ten-year anniversary on 3 January 2019. The last decade has been full of wonder and has completely changed the way that the world perceives currency, but what does tomorrow look like for the world’s most famous cryptocurrency? Will it remain on top?
One aspect of Bitcoin that you may not think about is the impact of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining is done by “miners”, who are tasked with processing every Bitcoin transaction through solving computational problems that link transactions together in a chain. Miners are compensated for their work with new Bitcoins and transaction fees.
How does solving computer problems harm the environment? Well, mining is generally done in large warehouses full of heavy-duty hardware that can work hard for relatively cheap. However, the energy required to run these warehouses turns into pollution, and some countries are concerned about the long-term impact of mining. This could mean that fewer new Bitcoins are generated, which could shorten the longevity of Bitcoin.
Other than this social concern, Bitcoin has seen a surge in its value over the course of 2019. Following a broadly disastrous year for cryptocurrencies in 2018, Bitcoin has doubled its value from where it started the year and has continued to see a general upward trend despite some volatility. It is widely expected that Bitcoin will continue to be the dominant leader in this space and that it may even reach extreme highs again in the next year.
It is an optimistic time to join the cryptocurrency world through investment or having your own wallet of crypto coins, but doing research and staying up to date with the daily and weekly developments of the markets is key to ensure that you are making the best decisions for you.
One decision that we are sure you’ll feel good about is signing up for a Bitcasino account today and enjoying any of our thousands of games that range from slots to roulette to live dealer jackpots. Play for fun or play to win, but by all means, play!
Words: Sean McNulty