It can be argued that the main benefit of Bitcoin isn’t the currency itself, but the technology. This technology can be modified, adapted and implemented in new forms depending on the requirements of the public, such as functionality, ease of use and security. Already several new currencies appear at a staggering rate, sometimes even ten per month, but they are based on the principles and technology that gave Bitcoin the widespread recognition and maybe it will give it future widespread use.
The blockchain in particular allows it to be a decentralized method of exchange and makes it possible to realize international transfers quickly and cheaply. Some people can be skeptical about storing large quantities of money and ownership records in the virtual space, but as new technology is adopted and accepted because it has an everyday use, this psychological impediment will also stop to be an important issue, as people begin to integrate it into their everyday lives.
One use of the blockchain can be for micropayments, because it makes sense that when we are talking about a social network or a mobile app, the consumer is already interacting with a virtual environment, so it is safe to assume he will be less squeamish about using a virtual currency in order to make payments in that environment. This will help unify all the various virtual currencies that are specific to one application, such as Linden dollars.
There is also the relatively new phenomenon of crowdfunding that takes the power away from sale managers and companies and gives it to the public. The public can choose if they want a project realized no matter if the financial manager says it is feasible. In this way people can fund projects that don’t have immediate mainstream appeal, if they think the idea is good and the execution is suitable. Websites like Kickstarter can also benefit from cyptocurrency, because it gives the public a comfortable and quick way of investing in a project and then receiving a copy of it when it is finished.
A problem that is specific to the blockchain is the block size, which as of February 2015 has reached the level of 28 GB. It is arguable that it is not difficult to store that quantity of information given the size of the hard disks sold today, but it is inconvenient to wait for a wallet to update itself with this enormous amount of information before it is usable. The developers say that is trivial to prune the blockchain in order to make the system work without the 28 GB of data, but if they do that it will be a problem when new users will try to enter the network because they need to download the whole blockchain. This is said to be fixed in a future version of the Bitcoin wallet. It is hard to understand the behavior of the developers that say with a superior attitude that something is trivial and they don’t do anything by letting new entrants to download the latest version of the blockchain for days. In order for the currency to gain the followers it needs for widespread adoption, this feature needs to be put into place and it will be interesting to see the evolution of the Bitcoin price when this feature is fixed.
The technology behind the blockchain is not limited to the financial world. Depending on its future development, it is also possible to be implemented for biological and medicinal projects related to the human genome.