The Framework is Adaptable
One of the most overlooked aspects of Bitcoin (among other cryptocurrencies) is that the framework used for things like accepting and sending payments is very much alike between the different coins. For example, if you are already accepting Bitcoin for your business, making the switch to something like Litecoin or Dogecoin is a very simple process: run a different wallet and start using LTC/DOGE instead of BTC when giving balances. Some are a bit more difficult, such as NXT, but the overall setup is the same and can be quickly and easily swapped.
Why this is important to understand is because Bitcoin is often seen as the “king” due to how widely accepted it is. However, in a matter of minutes, anyone that supports BTC could drop it and start using something else instead. All it takes is for a better alternative to pop up.
Regulation is Mounting
Many people use BTC as a way to avoid the world’s banking system. Everything has to go through places like the central bank, and that brings about inconveniences, both in the time it takes to transfer funds and in the anonymity of doing so. Most banks, for example, won’t even allow you to deposit cash to your own account without a valid photo identification. Bitcoin, on the other hand, lets you send funds to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and doesn’t force you to jump through hoops or inform government agencies about what you’re doing and why. It’s your money, and you are able to use it as you wish.
The issue here is that regulation is slowly getting more and more ramped up with cryptocurrencies. From stepping in against businesses that take part in Bitcoin mining to creating convoluted reporting mechanisms for earnings in the cryptocurrency, governments are stepping in to make it more difficult to use the coins. And that goes completely against the concept of the system, as it could potentially put it on the same level as the current banking system.
It’s a Niche Technology
Arguably, Bitcoin is a system that is hard to use for those that are not technically savvy. It relies on a lot of concepts that the average person just doesn’t have a full grasp on, such as solid computer security and understanding some of the specifics behind sending payments to others. Along with this, being that it is different and requires users to get involved on a deeper level than other payment systems – like credit cards, for example – users are often afraid of not knowing exactly how it works and how they are protected. Due to the lack of protection through systems that remove liability for fraud, it further makes people uneasy using it. There are multiple projects that aim to help to help make this easier for the average person, though none have really taken off as of yet. If they do, however, it will help solidify the way of Bitcoin going mainstream.
While Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency of its kind and the most known and used one, it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be taken over by a successor. The framework has been laid, but a better project could easily come along and take over by using that same framework. That said, it has kept a fairly solid footing so far and has proven to be a solid competitor to fiat currencies when it comes to freedom of use and the ability to hold funds on your own – without requiring a third party.