This is a guest post written by Eric who is a hands on investor in his new launch. Emphasis is that none of the below is related to our opinions (all written by Eric) thanks!
Is Bitcoin the Next Myspace?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Bitcoin. As the first cryptocurrency to truly scratch the surface of “going mainstream,” Bitcoin gained household recognition and entered most people’s minds at some point. Unfortunately, there’s a problem: Bitcoin’s adoption has stalled, and the barrier to its continued growth appears too tough to crack.
This isn’t necessarily about Bitcoin’s value as an investment – being treated like “digital gold” is fine for a cryptocurrency that is seen as a way of getting rich – but more about Bitcoin’s use as an actual currency. To better understand this, let’s outline what has caused Bitcoin adoption to slow to a crawl.
1. Regulatory Nightmares
Is Bitcoin a commodity or is it a currency? Answering this question is crucial for lawmakers to know how to treat it. Right now, Bitcoin seems to occupy this weird middle ground – able to be used to make purchases, but often treated as a store-of-value. This isn’t making the IRS and other tax agencies very happy, which has led them to send out threatening letters to anyone who didn’t declare their Bitcoin holdings on their taxes. As long as regulations are a mess, Bitcoin’s growth won’t move much; if you want institutional investors to get on board, you need to make this less murky.
2. Ridiculous Fees/Transaction Times
The Lightning Network attempted to speed things up and lower costs, but it’s not doing a good enough job. As long as users are still being charged to send Bitcoin, why even bother? Visa doesn’t charge much, and at least fiat money doesn’t require awkward conversions. And don’t even get started talking about how long it can take just to send a transaction – there’s nothing exciting about waiting for your block to process. If Bitcoin wants to be seen as a usable currency the wait times for transactions, and the associated costs, need to plummet significantly. Unfortunately, that looks unlikely to happen, due to our third point.
3. Fragmented Community
What’s the difference between Bitcoin, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, and countless other forks? Which is the “real” Bitcoin? These are questions that people have, and the answers vary depending on who you ask. This chaos is hurting Bitcoin’s ability to solve problems and become better; every time fixes are proposed to enhance Bitcoin’s performance, there’s a risk that it will just create another fork and further fragment the community. Bitcoin is decentralized in the worst way – competing factions, unstable forks, and misinformation all around.
All of this threatens to make Bitcoin a thing of the past – replaced by a faster, more usable, widely adopted cryptocurrency. Much like Myspace was replaced by Facebook, it looks like Facebook’s Libra “cryptocurrency” is trying to do the same to Bitcoin. If you’re someone who believes in cryptocurrency and what it represents, Libra is your worst nightmare.
Libra is a play by Facebook to directly compete with the US Dollar in the most undemocratic way possible – no voting, no elections, just a bunch of big Silicon Valley organizations making decisions and “promising” to do what’s right. Facebook has already proven that they can’t be trusted with your data, but now they want you to trust them with your finances, too. The overall goal of Libra is to break the knees of cryptocurrency; decentralized coins would be destroyed or absorbed by a centralized, shady, and corrupt corporate version of cryptocurrency. Facebook has already done this to countless tech startups, and now they’re gearing up to treat cryptocurrency projects the same way.
Fortunately, one cryptocurrency start-up has a head start on Libra. Metal Pay is the first ever all-in-one digital banking platform for cryptocurrency – exactly what Libra wants to be but could never become. In fact, Facebook originally invited Metal Pay’s CEO to come speak to them about cryptocurrency, and subsequently tried to imitate exactly what Metal has done. Unfortunately for them, they just can’t figure out how to do it, and they’ve run out of time to squash Metal.
Metal Pay already has a working app, a thriving marketplace, and a loyal userbase. This is the first real competitor to Libra, and represents what cryptocurrency was destined to become – easily accessible, highly usable, and truly decentralized.
Bitcoin is flawed in the way that the Ford Model T was flawed – good for its time, but not the future of its industry. The concept of the car was constantly built on and improved, it could never remain stuck in the past. Likewise, Bitcoin has been built on and improved; lessons were learned, mistakes were corrected, and changes were made. Metal is the logical evolution of cryptocurrency: leaner, faster, and more accessible.
Like Myspace, Bitcoin is being replaced. But this time Facebook doesn’t get to be the one to do it – they missed their shot.