The size of the bitcoin market may still be microscopic when contrasted with other global markets, but that hasn’t stopped the eight-year-old cryptocurrency, as well as the surrounding blockchain ecosystem, from evolving.
As Bitcoin Magazine points out in its article accompanying this infographic:
As Bitcoin approaches its eighth birthday, we see things changing. It is turning into that curious, wide-eyed technology with ideas as widespread as any normal eight-year-old. Cross-border payments, machine-to-machine transactions, smart contracts, microtransactions and stock settlements all have been discussed and developed. Nothing is off limits; no question goes unasked.
The blockchain, which is the technological infrastructure behind how Bitcoin transactions work, is now much more heralded in many circles than the original cryptocurrency itself. That’s because it is now clear how the blockchain can be further applied to many other disciplines, including payments, trading assets digitally, identity management, data verification, and smart contracts.
Venture capital has continued to pour into the sector to untap this potential.
In 2015 alone, companies focused on the cyrpto currency or the blockchain raised over $1 billion. Meanwhile, 2016 has already seen notable investments in companies like Augur, a decentralized prediction market, or Ethereum, a smart contract and publishing platform. As of today, than 65 banks and financial institutions have made investments in the industry in a wide range of businesses and ideas.
We pointed out in last week’s chart that mentions of “Bitcoin” have decreased by 61% in Y Combinator applications, which does raise a potential concern for the development of future Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Less startups focusing on the applications of the blockchain could be a sign of a slowdown, but it could also be temporary. Any significant breakthrough, like the anticipated success of OpenBazaar, could tip the scales back in favor again.
Even despite this potential setback, the cyrpto currency has always done well in the face of adversity. It was the top performing currency of 2015, and recently the bitcoin price has soared to 21-month highs after a recent four-day rally of 21%.
Based on this, it would seem that the blockchain ecosystem, including Bitcoin, is still alive and well.
Bitcoin – Blockchain ecosystem infographic below
Click to enlarge