Vote: Will Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies Be Here in 5 Years?


Blockchain makes digital currency less relevant.

Bitcoin is the world’s most famous crypto-currency but, these days, you barely hear about it. Instead, the buzz has shifted to blockchain, the underlying technology for bitcoin, which banks are now using for day-to-day business. Meanwhile, newer and more versatile types of digital currency are overshadowing bitcoin.

This raises the question of whether bitcoin even has a long-term future. I recently spoke with Faisal Husain, the CEO of Synechron, which advises banks about blockchain, and asked him if he thought bitcoin and two other well-known crypto-currencies—Ripple and Ethereum—will still be around in five years.

His answer: two of the three currencies will survive, but he wouldn’t say which ones. You can weigh in yourself by taking our poll below, but I confess I don’t see an obvious candidate for failure—or success.

In the case of bitcoin, it’s by far the biggest with a market cap of around $11 billion, but its core use case is still for sketchy stuff, such as ransomware payments or buying drugs on the Internet. Meanwhile, mainstream bitcoin companies like Coinbase and Circle are pivoting as fast as they can towards more general forms of Internet money transfers.

Ripple has the advantage of being both a currency and a transport protocol, and the company that bears its name has recently locked up a number of high profile partnerships with major banking institutions.

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