I’m not sure that we have really resolved all of the issues around Bitcoin 1.0, and already a host of alternative platforms are being built alongside or on top of the core Bitcoin technology to address perceived faults and limitations. Bitcoin is a large, active, and in-use transactional system. Not an easy thing to alter in place without significant planning. However, a lot of thought went in to how the blockchain was constructed, and how Bitcoin transactions happen. Clearly a simpler system could have been developed, but this one has a great deal of flexibility and just enough leeway that some innovative tech can be built without forking an entirely new blockchain.
There are a lot of Bitcoin 2.0 implementations in various stages of development. Fundamentally they are all trying to make digital currency better. They are trying to add contracts, smart contracts, IOUs, decentralized autonomous corporations, and other software constructs that vastly expand the reach of programmable money systems. Clearly once you have a distributed ledger of verifiable and audit-able fact that you can use to transfer value, why stop there? I can imagine a future where a property deed, a future, an option, or an insurance product traverses the same network that the currency does. This makes sense at a lot of levels, especially from a security and reliability standpoint. It would be nice to be able to use the same ledger to audit multiple asset classes, and to reliably report on all of an individual’s transactions across their entire financial life.
With that in mind I am going to cover most of the major Bitcoin 2.0 competitors vying for mind-share. Many of them are trying to solve overlapping problems in the space, and some are further along than others. It isn’t an apple to apples comparison by any stretch of the imagination, but should give readers a little more insight into how they utilize fundamental Bitcoin technologies. Everyone is saying it, but it is all about the blockchain stupid. The Bitcoin companies out there right now are barely exploring the immense capabilities that a universal ledger can give us. I’ll start the discussion off with Colored Coins and Chroma wallet in my next blog post. Probably the earliest working example of a 2.0 implementation, that does add some very tangible benefits to the existing Blockchain.
This technology truly is revolutionary. This core concept of distributed trust mated with independant verification and auditability is the type of foundation necessary across many industries. What has started in Fintech elegently blends with so many other ideas. A day doesn’t go by when I think of a new potential use for the blockchain, feels like the early internet all over again!