The Future of Bitcoin

This is not a prediction, but one plausible timeline out of the many I can imagine:

  • Late 2013: The media reports that organized crime, tax evaders, and “terrorists” are using Bitcoin.
  • Early 2014: Politicians call for investigation of claims that Bitcoin is being used to facilitate illegal activities. The rhetoric is ratcheted up over the course of the year.
  • Late 2014: Bitcoin transactions have grown exponentially for several years. The world’s established financial institutions cannot compete with the lower costs of unregulated financial markets and pressure governments to act.
  • 2015: Western governments raid and shut down all the major BitCoin exchangers and effectively kill the currency. Operators are put away for lengthy sentences, while others are found to have cooperated with authorities for some time.
  • 2020’s: Bitcoin (or something very much like it) revives on a small scale as an underground currency and slowly grows over the next two decades.
  • 2020-2030: The US empire collapses. The EU has already fallen.
    China tries, but fails to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. People hoard gold, but governments prevent it from being effectively used as money.
  • 2030’s: 3D printing takes off. Established industries attack unlicensed home printing as a violation of their IP. The major non-affiliated (“pirate”) pattern markets are blocked from handling financial transactions, and for a while, a pirate industry matures.
  • Late 2030’s: Something very much like BitCoin resurges. This time, it has a killer app: micro payments for 3D printing patterns. Ubiquitous encryption prevents governments and corporations from monitoring transactions and hoarded gold provides the base for monetary exchange.
  • 2040’s: With much of the economy being conducted in unregulated 3D pattern markers and most transactions being conducted over BitCoin, the tax base collapses.
  • Late 2040’s: Governments seize fiat-denominated savings in a desperate power grab, but fiat money is now worthless compared to an untraceable currency like Bitcoin. Governments attempt to seize real assets to replace lost income, but are met by large-scale protests backed by homemade 3D printed weapons. Mass chaos and violence follows.
  • 2050’s: Stability re-emerges, as new judicial systems evolve backed by anonymous transactions. Large states become increasingly irrelevant.
  • Late 2050’s: The last stand of centralized governments: politicians call in the military in an attempt to rebuild the surveillance state and kill digital currencies for good. Assassination markets, long used in organized crime, are turned against politicians, as the populace fights back.

 

See also:

“….IT security specialist David Veksler and writer Tim Swanson discuss alternative digital currencies currently being developed and deployed including cryptocurriencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin. In addition, cyber security and hacking issues in China are reviewed.”

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 Responses to The Future of Bitcoin

  1. Adam

    Have you thought about turning something like this into a novel? Reading it I started getting very excited about the future. It is obvious though that governments will resist decentralization, privacy, & freedom in extremely violent ways. The future will be brutal, but the idea of technology as the key to escaping the system offers some hope.

  2. Paul

    I don’t know when you posted this but it’s just fantasy.

    It’s December 2013.

    What happened:

    18 November 2013 the US Senate received well the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is mentioned that drug deals and child pornography are bought using the Bitcoin.

    5 December 2013 the Chinese authorities banned banks that act on the domestic market to exchange currency for Bitcoin. They considered that it does not meet the criteria to be considered currency (Of course this doesn’t mean that mining and selling is prohibited).

    What you say will happen:

    Early 2014: Politicians call for investigation of claims that Bitcoin is being used to facilitate illegal activities. The rhetoric is ratcheted up over the course of the year.

    What I say will happen:

    Early 2014 Politicians and “financial institutions” (financial corporations and central banks) will make investments in it. Some will start mining it. Chinese authorities will have a problem with selling the bitcoins that will be mined.

    What you say will happen:

    Late 2014: Bitcoin transactions have grown exponentially for several years. The world’s established financial institutions cannot compete with the lower costs of unregulated financial markets and pressure governments to act.

    What I say will happen:

    Bitcoin transactions grow fast, they’ve grown exponentially for several years. Price of the Bitcoin goes up. Fewer middle class people can afford it. Lower class can’t afford it. People start mining alternative cryptocurrencies like the Peercoin, Primecoin, Namecoin and Litecoin.

    What you say will happen:

    2015: Western governments raid and shut down all the major BitCoin exchangers and effectively kill the currency. Operators are put away for lengthy sentences, while others are found to have cooperated with authorities for some time.

    What I say will happen:

    2015: Western governments start a policy of controlling the Bitcoin. Specialists are hired and trained by governments to find existing back doors and weaknesses on encryption used on the Bitcoin and secure it. Most of the libertarians start investing in alternative digital currencies because of the governments’ involvement. People who mined alternative currencies start making money.

    What you say will happen:

    2020′s: Bitcoin (or something very much like it) revives on a small scale as an underground currency and slowly grows over the next two decades.

    What I say will happen:

    2020s: Bitcoin is used as a currency for big transactions between corporations and governments alongside the US Dollar, the Euro, the Japanese Yen and British Sterling. Very few people see it anymore. The Euro and Japanese Yen start being used as reserve currency by many nations. The Peercoin, Litecoin, Namecoin and Primecoin become expensive. Many companies accept these currencies as payment.

    What you say will happen:

    2020-2030: The US empire collapses. The EU has already fallen.
    China tries, but fails to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. People hoard gold, but governments prevent it from being effectively used as money.

    What I say will happen:

    2020 -2030: China joins the EU, Japan, the US, Russia, Australia, Canada and Great Britain as the countries whose currencies are reserve currencies. A multiple reserve currency system appears.

    What you say will happen:

    2030′s: 3D printing takes off. Established industries attack unlicensed home printing as a violation of their IP. The major non-affiliated (“pirate”) pattern markets are blocked from handling financial transactions, and for a while, a pirate industry matures.

    What I say will happen:

    2030s: Additive construction, better known as 3D printing, starts to enter the homes of the middle class. Manufacturers start suing “professional pirates” that sell these replicas of the products. Governments track 3D printer sales and manufacturing, predict the importance of alternative cryptocurrencies in this new grey market trade and start focusing on them. Hacking techniques improve for new encryption methods in government backed programs.

    What you say will happen:

    Late 2030′s: Something very much like BitCoin resurges. This time, it has a killer app: micro payments for 3D printing patterns. Ubiquitous encryption prevents governments and corporations from monitoring transactions and hoarded gold provides the base for monetary exchange.

    What I say will happen:

    Late 2030s: A new digital cryptocurrency appears which offers improved safety and better privacy because of ubiquitous encryption, being built on the experience of 30 years of cryptocurrencies. The Litecoin, Primecoin, Namecoin and Peercoin are under a strong influence by governments but this isn’t well known. The new digital currency is used by cautious individuals mainly for micropayments for additive manufactured goods and additive manufacturing patterns since it offers some safety. New currency won’t offer safety for as much as it’s expected since governments have better means of hacking and infiltration than expected.

    What you say will happen:

    2040′s: With much of the economy being conducted in unregulated 3D pattern markers and most transactions being conducted over BitCoin, the tax base collapses.

    THERE’S NO [email protected]#$ING BITCOIN. ACCORDING TO YOUR PREDICTIONS IT COLLAPSED IN 2015, BESIDES IT WOULD BE OUTDATED.

    What I say will happen:

    2040s: Transactions in the now classical Bitcoin, Litecoin, Peercoin, Namecoin and Primecoinare are being monitored by governments. Unregistered additive constructors also known as unregulated 3D printers are tracked online or with the help of informants. Gold is being traded in all currencies. Propangada is refined.

    What you say will happen:

    Late 2040′s: Governments seize fiat-denominated savings in a desperate power grab, but fiat money is now worthless compared to an untraceable currency like Bitcoin. Governments attempt to seize real assets to replace lost income, but are met by large-scale protests backed by homemade 3D printed weapons. Mass chaos and violence follows.

    BITCOIN DOESN’T EXIST ANYMORE.

    What I say will happen:

    Late 2040s: People become as reliant on digital cryptocurrencies as they are on fiat money. Governments start taxing cryptocurrency transfers and confiscate unstated rich people turning them into “public enemies”. The new currency has been “hacked” and is under surveillance.

    What you say will happen:

    2050′s: Stability re-emerges, as new judicial systems evolve backed by anonymous transactions. Large states become increasingly irrelevant.

    What I say will happen:

    2050s: Governments extend their power. They start checking everyone’s digital currency after a public opinion campaign (propaganda).

    What you say will happen:

    Late 2050′s: The last stand of centralized governments: politicians call in the military in an attempt to rebuild the surveillance state and kill digital currencies for good. Assassination markets, long used in organized crime, are turned against politicians, as the populace fights back. Governments prepare for digital currency problems.

    What I say will happen:

    Late 2050s: Bitcoin isn’t mined anymore because all the Bitcoins have been made/mined. It’s value isn’t stable anymore. The governments intervene. Digital currency solidifies governments’ power.

    How your scenario will continue:

    2070s: Governments have fallen, politicians are dead and Armed Forces have split up. They captured the power plants and many cities that became independent have surrendered to the generals and admirals. Those who haven’t have been conquered with the help of the other cities.

    2110s: Generals, admirals and officers start getting titles similar to dukes and counts. A form of feudalism appears. Prima noctis might have been a myth but in these conditions in can actually start happening.

    @Adam (the guy who commented above): I think that novel should have an unpleasant ending to be more realistic. You can’t maintain that technology, that’s the problem. Digital currency doesn’t exist without electricity. There’s no hope in anarchy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *