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Bitcoin 2014 – Top predictions (lightspeedindia.wordpress.com)
51 points by ankitoberoi on Jan 13, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 81 comments

Here's one that I'm sure I'm going to regret saying publicly later. But, here goes:

Dogecoin will outperform Bitcoin in terms of percentage market cap growth in 2014. Even if both are negative.

You have to be really bearish on Bitcoin to think that a practically-identical joke currency will do better than something attracting venture capital. Nobody would trust a lolcat with their money much less a shibe.

Of course, if I'm wrong then I will definitely say 'wow'; also, 'so fail' and 'much humble pie'.

>Nobody would trust a lolcat with their money much less a shibe.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying Dogecoin will pivot into a serious currency. I'm talking strictly relative growth here, and BTC is currently over 1000x bigger.

I think it'll become a defacto tipping currency of the net, and there's plenty of room for the market cap to grow to support just that niche, if it goes relatively mainstream.

As far as VC money goes, the infrastructure that's being built will likely not remain Bitcoin exclusive, so I see it more as a rising tide lifting all boats.

Speaking of dogecoin, I want to pick up some dogecoin without any bitcoin on hand to trade and without elevating my risk to fraud any more than necessary. I realize there are forums and presumably faqs, possibly "the same way you'd pick up bitcoin," but what is the HN prescription to go about doing this? Given that it's relatively nascent, low turnover, goofy and so forth, I'm apprehensive when hearing "very coinbase, wow" elsewhere.

I also realize I should find something else to do, but... I love that friggin' dog.

Tl;dr this article neglects to mention the viability of dogecoin on 2014 due to idiots like me. It appears I'm not the only one..

Even with only a Core i5 CPU, you can use cpuminer to create some yourself.

For small amounts, you could go to http://www.reddit.com/r/dogemarket, the fraud risk is not very high there. In the US, there's https://www.altquick.co/. Other than that, you need BTC/LTC first then trade on cryptsy.

Anyone selling dogecoin for Paypal is stupid, those tranactions can easily be reversed.

>you can use cpuminer to create some yourself.

Depends on how many you want, the dogecoin difficulty has really gone through the roof lately, and you are much much better off with a GPU. The Kh/s rating on most GPUs is much better.



The best Corei5 is going to get you about 1358 doge a day, with sounds like a lot, but it is a tiny number, 41 cents. Plus, the mining calculators are way way off. They always overestimate for me.

Is this an auto-updating string? I hope not!

"Over 3 LTC sold and 1 customers served to date!"

If you buy 1BTC from one of the established channels that you know, you can have a practically limitless supply of altcoins at cryptsy.com. That is assuming, you don't want more than 1BTC worth.

I got mine off of coins-e a couple of days ago without any issues. I heard if anything messes up, their customer service is pretty much non-exist, however. Apparently they went off a forked chain last week and I'm not sure if everyone recovered their funds from the mess.

But like others said - you can mine it with a normal (CPU/graphics card) hardware at the moment...


1.)cpu mine; i5 CPU gets about 60~80kh/s, which translates to around the same number of coincs per hour

2.)midrange gpus will get you a few hundred kh/s (e.g. my old ati 5770 gets around 150~200kh/s, without too much tweaking)

and assuming you don't want to do any mining at all:

3.)on reddit dogemarket, people are selling through paypal gifts etc in various amounts as small as a few dollars worth at a time, which is relatively low risk. of course, buyer beware and take a look at the community guidelines/suggestions for security.

Post a dogecoin adress and I'll donate Ð5,000.


in b4 it's too late, perhaps? much kindness, very please, so hug, many thanks.

DBLHpRcLuKM5Co4UB7HYXwK9acKif7pnWY give it a shot. Thanks for giving in advance




Because moon.


many thanks

Here's to hoping :) DQtb7RvPtZp1qxmvwuGEMXUHqEz1fRBBLw

much thanks, very generous, wow :)


Poor Shibe giving it a shot.


such generosity. wow.

DAd5urH4z4S49gUTnUaSJYr3HDvdjDJVsk thx



EDIT: Thanks :)


Thank you much!

Actually wanted to gift it to d0ugie, but eh... I guess I'll be generous today. d0ugie you can still post an adress.



What does "percentage market cap growth" mean? (Is there a glossary of financial for beginners that anyone can recommend?)

If dogecoin takes off on Reddit and 4Chan as a way of showing appreciation I can see it having many users.

Market cap is a term borrowed from the share market[1]. I don't think it's technically correct applied to BTC but it commonly is.

Market cap growth as a percentage just means, if all BTCs in circulation are worth $10bn today, and $15bn tomorrow, then the market cap has grown by 50%.

I didn't use the price of the coins themselves as BTC is being minted more slowly than DOGE.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_capitalization

"Total dollar value" is the correct terminology for currencies

you can check the market cap for bitcoin and dogecoin here : http://coinmarketcap.com/ dogecoin is at 8 mil for now , bitcoin at 10 bil.

I think this is true. Dogecoin is still at the begin and it has much room to grow, bitcoin already had its share of growth.

Dogecoin's transaction volume has been higher than Bitcoin for the past few days: http://bitinfocharts.com/comparison/transactions-btc-doge.ht.... Of course, Bitcoin doesn't take into account off-chain transactions, which at this stage is probably higher than Dogecoin's. The high tx volume is most likely due to all the tipping happening with it.

Within reddit and now twitter there are easily now also thousands of off-chain transactions through the use of doge tipbots.

I was under the impression that all bitcoin transactions were on-chain. How do off-chain transactions work?

A single account holds bitcoin for a group of people, and keeps track of individual balances internally. Externally, all the network sees are deposits and withdrawls.

All transactions on/within exchanges are off chain.

Around 200 addresses own 40% of all doge:


Somebody is making a lot of money on this.

It's a nascent currency, it's natural for a smaller amount of people to get in early.

I think the more interesting statistic is that, not accounting for addresses for nil/near 0 balance, more than half of all DOGE owners have more than 100 coins. That's more than enough to go around tipping DOGE online.

History has shown that there are a lot of "greedy", but dumb people. A fantastic example comes to mind: In the Netherlands we have a saying "to sell fried air" (Gebakken lucht verkopen) to explain someone selling bullshit.

Yet, in the "dotcom"-hype, there was a Dutch company selling shares for their startup, "f/ried air" and people got in line to buy these shares.


There will be people buying into Dogecoin, simply because they are greedy and see profit, and choose to ignore the signs that it is a clear Pun.

Fried air or not. It's being used by a lot of people on Reddit now to give and receive tips. Every day new merchants start accepting Dogecoin. It's excellent to accept micropayments!

major difference between the two is that bitcoin is frustrating and difficult, while dogecoin is fun

Mining: if we're to believe in free markets, fees will adjust to the amount of available CPU resources. I hope that it won't be profitable enough for people to dedicate farms to mining, but that companies with a lot of CPU power will rentabilise their spare CPU cycles by doing a bit of mining with it. This would be reassuring, as it would keep mining decentralized, which is important to maintain trust in bitcoins.

Mining with a CPU is long since irrelevant, even GPUs are completely useless as far as mining is concerned. The network uses ASIC hardware now, basically chips designed only to mine Bitcoin quickly and efficiently. Attempting to mine on a CPU is completely futile and does absolutely nothing for the network.

It's not really useless. There is Primecoin that is searching for prime chains as proof of work. At the moment there is no (public?) GPU miner. The involved computations are also difficult to port to the GPU.

Primecoin? It's not solving a "problem" as it claims, there's nothing that can be solved with chains of primes. They're interesting but that's about the end of it. The vastly smaller network means it's a lot more susceptible to attacks.

It's not different from SHA-256 or scrypt in that regard. However there appears to be some interest in these primechains from the scientific community. I never claimed it is solving important "problems" but I like the CPU only property. The Bitcoin GPU/ASIC race favored a few wealthy individuals. 40% of all BTC is in the hands of a few people. I don't see this happen with Primecoin at the moment. GHash.io looks more like a problem for Bitcoin as e.g. botnets for Primecoin.

I'm more interested in better and faster miners for Primecoin as this is a pretty interesting problem to solve. Getting rich with either of these coins is pretty much impossible if you are not already wealthy and able to invest a good amount of money and energy - especially in the BTC ecosystem.

There are companies that buy ASICs and create farms with specialised cooling systems, in parts of the world with cheap electricity, just to mine Bitcoin.

Here's one example.


This requires serious investment and is out of the reach of most people.

Effective CPU mining of Bitcoin ended in 2010.

Effective GPU mining ended last year.

Now only highly-specialized ASIC hardware can mine Bitcoins effectively, and even then profits are questionable at current hardware prices.

Finally, the earliest farm mining of Bitcoins that I'm aware of started back in early 2011, and probably earlier (when did ArtForz start?).

> I hope that it won't be profitable enough for people to dedicate farms to mining

Maybe I misunderstand you but isn't that already happening?

> There will be less than 5 alt-coins (out of the 50+ in existence) that will survive 2014

From what I've seen the number is more like 3-400.

> Bitcoin community will solve problems including that of ‘anonymity’

Sorta already has, it looks like CoinJoin will be implemented into the mainline client when it's mature enough.


> Kryptokit and Eric Voorhees’ Coinapult are promising start-ups in this direction.

I desperately hope they don't gain any userbase, they are both woefully insecure products. Kryptokit can't even maintain the claims it's authors make. "It has no central server" — yeah why are these requests going back to your server then? The community suffers when it's relying on insecure, half baked software like that.

This guy certainly has a chatty crystal ball. Personally I'd recommend to everybody to ignore such "predictions". And as always, keep in mind that this is a new technology and BTC itself might be worth $0.01 at the end of the year (even if I don't hope so).

> 9. The price of Bitcoin is likely to range between $4000-5000 by the end of 2014

Setting aside the author's flawed reasoning as to what drives demand for currency - I don't see how this is a positive prediction for Bitcoin as I think it implies.

I'd like to see a decentralised currency work in the long run and the best thing for Bitcoin right now is to maintain stability against USD. It needs to prove itself as a trusted medium of exchange/store of value.

My prediction for 2014: speculators will deal a big blow to the credibility of Bitcoin slowing down widespread adoption for any decentralised currency

I'd say most of the predictions are sound. No 10 goes a bit too far though. Anyway, what I can't understand is why this rumor of bitcoin being anonymous (No 4) is so persistent (maybe wishful thinking?). What's necessary here is not a further technical development but rather some PR work (outside and unfortunately also inside the community of bitcoin users).

if all those predictions come true, including 3/4k worth and some technology implementation to bring it to the masses.

You can bet your bottom bitcoin he will.

I'm surprised that it has essentially been shown that it's easy to corner the mining market/pooling such that 51% attacks are feasible, yet nobody is bearish over this.

"Did i ever tell you the definition of insanity? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Invest big in bitcoin --> pay writers to pump up hype articles --> write hype related blog post --> shoot out huge valuation --> state that its future's currency --> repeat

Meanwhile in China:

Government warns people, bitcoin loses 400 dollars in value.. Yeah..right..something this volatile/fragile just cannot become a currency..Stop the insanity, wake up.

The BitCoin Browser is going to be very significant. I hope someone 'good' emerges to capture that market. It'd be rotten if there were a "Microsoft Bitcoin browser" and an "OSX Bitcoin browser" ...

I may have misunderstood, but I think his point '8' is more akin to saying that Bitcoin needs it's killer app, kind of like how the browser was the killer app for the internet.

In some sense, the killer app of Bitcoin is ability to preserve (and possibly multiply) wealth. That's already useful and many people jump on Bitcoin for that reason alone.

In the same time, Blockchain.info, BitPay and Coinbase are doing great job in servicing private people and businesses. These three are the most Netscape-like guys in this early history.

The thing is just that it's ridiculously hard to make a Bitcoin client that works, is secure, and doesn't introduce completely nonsense quirks. Armory has been around since 2011 and still has major issues parsing the blockchain and making transactions that aren't padded incorrectly, MultiBit doesn't use change addresses and makes it painfully obvious how much money you have. There's not much margin for error and you certainly can't have a closed source (read Microsoft) branded client.

It will bounce around $1000, as a "magic point" on a low volume - those who still want it most would buy small quantities at a price range between $1000 and $800, and then it will crash, perhaps, around April-May.

Historically, there was never a case when Bitcoin had a stable price and then crashed from it. It was always the other way: everyone who wanted to sell off, did so quickly. Then after 6-8 months of some stable price (in late 2011, mid 2012, late 2012 and mid 2013) new investors saw that it's not going down any time soon and started jumping in. The massive increases were also caused by the fact that most people got to learn about Bitcoin during the previous "bubble" and have taken some time to learn about it and wait till the prices stabilizes or starts rising again. There's no technical reason to break this pattern yet. On contrary, more and more people learn about Bitcoin and see that it's still working as well as 1 or 2 years ago.

Past has no influence on the future - each toss of a coin is independent. Jokes aside, there was never such a massive bubble and such dramatic rise in price without any economic reasons. For me it looks like nothing but speculation.

If you would look at volumes in bitcoincharts.com you will notice that its dramatic rise was on relatively high volumes, while after the first drop, from $1200 to $1000 volume is rather low, which may suggest the impression that everyone are holding in hope or looking for an opportunity of a bulk sell. Right now, I think, there is no position who would buy, say, 200+ BTC at the ticker price of $900 or whatever it is.

And, of course, such kind of predictions are nothing but fun, like tea leafs.

Investing in BTC as a collectible unit is a huge speculation, I have no doubt about it. No matter how other Bitcoin supporters talk about "such a useful ledger", there's no way to deduce how much all BTC units should be worth. Bitcoin-as-network is as good at $10/BTC as at $1000000/BTC. You still can cheaply move dollars across the globe, or timestamp your contracts, or whatever.

The productive discussion would be about what is the basis of that speculation, or whether it can be equally huge with any other asset like a tulip bulb or dotcom stock.

I'd argue, Bitcoin is unique in a sense that it can (already does) easily act as money itself. People were investing in tulip bulbs, ponzi and dotcom stocks in order to cash out big way. Current stock market is no different. There's a lot of "bad" money pumped by Fed and from pension programs and no theoretical sustainability while all fundamentals say it's going to crash hard.

On contrary, Bitcoin is a risky long-run bet that it will be useful as a world money, so there would not be any need to "cash out" into some single asset at the "maximum" price. If Bitcoin succeeds, then there'd be no need for dollars, euros, yen, gold and silver. You'd be calmly selling portions of your BTC to buy food, travel, shelter and invest in business.

Some portion of investors bets on that exact outcome. Those who bet on short-term price increases to "cash out" produce that pyramid-looking effect (huge bubble and then huge price drop), but every time there are more and more long-term investors. This time BTC went from $140 to $1200 and quickly crashed to $500 (then, getting back to $800-900). Clearly, everyone who wanted to cash out already did and what's left are those holder who are not selling for some time now. When BTC goes to $5-10K this year, then they might sell a portion of holdings to newcomers, but keep the rest for a really long time. If everyone continues to follow the same logic, this "pyramid" will lead to a situation when almost everyone has some BTC, everyone values BTC a lot and everyone is ready to trade this BTC between each other for whatever goods and services they desire.

Right now, most investors in Bitcoin are economically disconnected (do not trade directly with each other), so you don't see much transactions. Bitcoin is used like gold: a speculative "store of wealth". But at some point the density of investors will become so big, that more and more direct economic relations will appear between them. Tomorrow you might find that your local baker is BTC investor and you can pay him in BTC. Later he will discover that his supplier also invested in BTC and thus will be able to accept even more BTC and pay his bills directly with BTC. As this second phase (increased trade bypassing fiat currency) progresses, people will see how Bitcoin is no longer just "gold 2.0", but actual money. More and more will invest in it and thus become payers and payees in BTC. As this goes on, reservation demand for USD will start to go down quite noticeably and people will rush to BTC even faster (as prices in USD grow quicker and quicker). Ultimately, USD will hyperinflate and become worthless. All tax collectors will go looking for another job (they want to be paid in BTC, but government can't just print it or buy it). In the end, inflation and taxation will become impossible. Police will have to be sponsored voluntarily on district-by-district basis. Armies will abandon their bases and poor islamic nations being raped for decades will be paid a handsome retribution as an anti-terrorist protection measure by the wealthy Bitcoin holders in U.S. Bitcoiners outside the U.S. and U.K. would not need to worry about being blown up that much, yet still will contribute greatly to protection of whatever cities/countries they reside in.

Well, I can see the logic, that a wide adoption will make it "the value transfer system" rather than "virtual risky asset" but I can't see how this would happen from the state in which it is right now without a crash.

Why do you think there must be a crash for mass adoption to happen? I'd say on contrary: some amounts of BTC must be owned by almost everyone in order to become a regular money, but that would mean that the price of 1 BTC would have to go north of $10M. The price is merely an indicator of the demand (since the supply is fixed).

Predictions are basically hopes. When you look at them rationally, they are rarely based on facts but intuition. On this list:

1. More than $100M of venture capital will flow into Bitcoin start-ups.

No it won't because if you ask VCs they will mostly tell you that the value can not be extracted easily into fiat currency and that's what they need to still work in.

To that argument, some will say "BTC-only VCs" will emerge which is a regulatory nightmare, so would be restricted to angels only, or that the money will flow into making BTC<->Fiat exchange easier, but that needs buy-in from the banks, and the moment they decide it's safe to do, they'll just do it themselves so there is no market for it.

Investing in BTC startups is a risky business as it is. Putting $100mm into them would be seen by the VC industry as positively insane.

2. Mining ‘will not’ be dead

If you run the numbers, it's of marginal profitability at best right now (and in most legal use cases is a negative - you need to steal power from somewhere, basically), and the miners aren't doing their maths very well. The poster's opinion that smaller enterprises will move their mining out to the cloud means they haven't done the maths either.

3. There will be less than 5 alt-coins (out of the 50+ in existence) that will survive 2014

This made me laugh. The fact alt-coins exist at all shows how the value of BTC is being misunderstood by both sides of the "is this tulipmania or a revolution?" debate.

The advantage of BTC is that it's a decentralised "currency" based on open source algorithms and a network of workers validating itself, which can be easily replicated.

The disadvantage of BTC is it's a decentralised "currency" based on open source algorithms and a network of workers validating itself, which can be easily replicated.

It's biggest strength is also it's biggest weakness.

If you can't see that strength as a massive weakness, ask yourselves what value BTC intrinsically has over other alt-coins.

If you follow that argument down the inevitable rabbit hole you will eventually rationalise that the value is based on perception, much like fiat currencies of the modern era, and you will start hankering for the gold standard.

Except the perception of fiat currencies is so strong it is unlikely to be undermined by the majority. Is that true of BTC?

In essence, BTC will remain strong as long as people believe it will remain strong. But the moment the majority flip, or switch to an alt-coin like Litecoin, etc. then what value will it retain?

4. Bitcoin community will solve problems including that of ‘anonymity’

Anonymity is not the problem banks and governments are truly concerned about. If it were, cash would be phased out by governments just as much as BTC would be blocked. In general they are undecided but wary of BTC because it has all the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme with mysterious founders who do not make their intentions known.

It is accountability of the system that is of concern, not accountability of the transactions within it.

5. US, China and other global forces will not be at the forefront of Bitcoin adoption

If you think that the US, China and other countries are "global forces" you need to look at corporate entities more and ask who has the money and who has the debt.

Either way, the fact that BTC could be a private currency that lets corporations run free from government control and "tyrannical" central banks is just going to force more legislation outlawing BTC transactions.

6. Indian ecosystem will be slow to evolve; limited to speculators and mining pools

As indeed will the rest of the World. There are no pure consumers in the BTC space - everybody in the BTC ecosystem right now is a miner or a speculator or both, and the transactions are a side effect of suddenly having a lot of "money" that can't be easily turned into fiat currency.

There are few people - if any at all - who are using BTC because they perceive it as better for day to day transactions than fiat currency, because for the most part it is not.

7. The use of Bitcoin will evolve beyond ‘store of value’ or ‘transactions’

Adding metadata to the BTC blockchain is mildly interesting. Using the protocol for other purposes outside of the BTC transaction block chain (messaging, etc.) is much more interesting.

I have no doubt that the true value of BTC is the protocol that might inspire all sorts of wonderful P2P applications to emerge, but I don't think it's clear right now that any of them still lasting in 10-20 years will be currency.

8. The ‘browser’ of Bitcoin will come this year

By definition if you make a system easier to use, you have to make it less secure. If this happens, we can expect many more "somebody stole my BTC because I left my web browser open" stories.

Banks serve a useful purpose with BTC: they keep money safe. BTC needs something like banks to emerge, and that defeats part of the point of BTC.

And of course, it's virtually impossible for BTC banks to operate because they can't provide interest (BTC is designed to be anti-inflationary, and therefore by definition the concept of interest is hard to fit into the scheme of things), so people will either need to continue to struggle or we'll see value being stolen regularly.

9. The price of Bitcoin is likely to range between $4000-5000 by the end of 2014

You could literally use a RNG to come up with predictions for 2014 highs this year on BTC. Here are 10 I just came up with, and all of them are equally valid: $0, $12, $87, $479, $2065, $3535, $5566, $9233, $65136, $72612. Pick one, it's your prediction for the year. Well done.

And it's that uncertainty that is driven by the fact the whole damned thing has so little liquidity and so much "value" is being sat on by speculators who could start a rush in under an hour, that makes it so hard for people to see BTC as viable long-term.

That then causes the effect that it is unlikely to ever become viable long-term.

10. Last but not the least – Satoshi nakamoto will be Time’s Person of the Year 2014.

Possibly, but I'm not sure if they give that award to ponzi scheme creators, so until they're certain it's not a ponzi scheme, aint going to happen.

> And of course, it's virtually impossible for BTC banks to operate because they can't provide interest (BTC is designed to be anti-inflationary, and therefore by definition the concept of interest is hard to fit into the scheme of things)

Here is how a bank operates: take deposits, promise withdrawals, send some fraction of the deposits to a third party to spend, charge him interest, give depositors a cut. Track him down if he won't pay, or absorb the losses, and if there are too many, fail (and all the depositors lose money). Likewise if there's a crisis of confidence and everyone rushes to withdraw all their money.

Here is how a Bitcoin bank would operate: take deposits, promise withdrawls, send some fraction of the actual cryptocurrency tokens to a third party to spend, charge him interest, give depositors a cut. Track him down if he won't pay, or absorb the losses, and if there are too many, fail (and all the depositors lose Bitcoin). Likewise if there's a crisis of confidence and everyone rushes to withdraw all their Bitcoin.

Either way, there's more money around than there used to be. Oh, there are the same number of crypto-tokens, but there's more money: money is money because people believe it is money, and you believe there's money in the bank. You could go so far as to say that all lending is, by its nature, a double-spend attack (with a promise to set things right in the future).

But since essentially no earns Bitcoin for a living, the foreign-exchange risk on a BTC-denominated loan is insane. A loan that'll cost $500 to pay back one day and $1000 a few weeks later? They'll sell like hotcakes!

1. Bitstamp is a YC company and many investors are looking to invest in the next Bank of America, unconcerned with short term liquidity.

2. Mining is currently barely profitable, but some people get economic value from heat and the mining futures market is going to stabalize the mining to bitcoin price relationship.

3. If you ever believe that a decentralized currency will be how we transact in the future (as I do) this will always be the case. The benefits of crypto currencies are vast, and the institutional support seems to be behind bitcoin at the moment, but this could change if a strong contender arises.

4. You misunderstood the author. He is saying that it will be easier to be anon with bitcoin in 2014 (think Tor backed bitcoin clients).

5. Global forces are complex. Corporations are some of the actors, politicians others, and the military and intelligence groups others. It is fair to talk of America's interests, as papers like the economist do.

6. Bitcoin is hard to use right now, it only competes well on irreversibility and on annonimity. People use it to buy drugs in western countries, but as it gets easier this may change.

8. Making something easier to use does not necessarily change its security. It is both easier and more secure to make a voice call over the internet than next to a land line.

9. Most people (including you it seems) don't have an intuitive understanding of inelastic supply. The price changes look more rational when you do.

I think you mean Coinbase is a YC company. Bitstamp is an exchange based in Slovenia.

err, yeah, thanks.

>If you can't see that strength as a massive weakness, ask yourselves what value BTC intrinsically has over other alt-coins.

That's an easy one: the network effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect). Same why you cannot simply start another successful social web and eat Facebook's lunch.

Just like MySpace, or Friendster, Facebook's dominance is eternal.

Bitcoin's adoption in broad society is next to nil.

By that logic, Facebook shouldn't have been possible. MySpace (etc.) were popular at the time, and a start up (Facebook) ate their lunch.

Most of your points are reasonable, but your last ruined it all for me.

> I'm not sure if they give that award to ponzi scheme creators

A Ponzi scheme requires new money all the time for it to continue. If new money stops going into Bitcoin, it's not doomed to collapse like an actual Ponzi scheme. Bitcoin is not a Ponzi scheme.

You need to read it in conjunction with the sentence that follows it - I'm saying the burden of proof that it isn't a Ponzi scheme in public perception is currently on BTC, not that it is a Ponzi scheme.

Pretty sure if all the miners stopped mining, bitcoin would be dead in the water, unless there is a secondary transaction mechanism that doesn't rely on miners.

Pretty sure if all humans stopped working, the human race would be dead in the water.

Sorry, but what you said is absurd as long as bitcoin has value.

My prediction is special-purpose devices that store private keys and sign transactions, without the ability to obtain the private keys directly, like smart cards.

Here are my predictions for the next couple of years (with a bit of wishful thinking thrown in):

1 - There'll be a new Google for cryptos. It'll come onto the scene at full-speed like Google did, not needing user requests, not caring about stepping on anyone's toes. It'll know what needs to be done. It'll have a lot of creativity and a large Labs divisions. It could even introduce its own blockchain at some point, and may move into equity coins or alternate use coins. It'll probably be based outside the US, or else have special government tie-ins if in the US as with Google. It'd likely require a highly libertarian government to work well if in the US.

2 - Bitcoin will retain its first-mover advantage but people will be aware of alternatives and be cool to work with a few.

3 - A new set of startups will arise that are unbiased as to what coins they work with... just like with the newer exchanges. "Bitcoin-only" as a syndrome or as a consequence will be and old mindset. Bitstamp, Blockchain wallet, Mt Gox - the mainstays of the current system will adapt or fade from domination. It will be a demonstration of strategic agility and scalability.

4 - More alliances between exchanges/wallets/ecommerce providers/banks. More conferences.

5 - Certain countries will attract more cryptocurrency innovation than others depending on their policies. They will accept bitcoins and altcoins for tax payments, and use them for spending on government projects. They may create their own blockchain, and give tax incentives and tender advantages to businesses using the government chain.

6 - More businesses will want move into cryptocurrencies, but it'll take startups to offer the software and solutions that will enable them to do it.

7 - Shopping carts will start offering bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment options (as modules) which tie-in with the larger global exchanges or smaller local ones (or they'll run their own exchanges) that autosell coins as they are received by shoppers. An advanced wallet may move into this space as well: a wallet that is shared by buyer and seller means no waiting for confirmations.

8 - The price of bitcoin will determine to a large extent the price of other coins, but slowly coins will decouple.

9 - The price of coins will go up, but be contingent on events that force or scare people to move into cryptocurrency.

10 - Logistical loopholes will be found in China to purchase cryptocurrencies. More Chinese will simply obtain them by trading with people outside of China. Pressure may come from Chinese sellers on ebay, and ebay may take large fees for enabling it.

11 - Many new metrics beyond market cap will help evaluate coins to consumers and businesses. One's holdings may move between coins automatically into the most stable or rising one - or alerts will be given to prompt for this.

12 - Proof-of-stake coins will fine-tune themselves and the dev teams of older coins will offer straight conversions into 2.0 versions of their coins - an upgrade, but not necessarily a compulsory one, ideally backwards compatible. Also blockchain pruning will occur.

13 - P2P pools and other improvements will become more important to 1.0 coins, and there'll be pressure for an "x86 architecture for life, but with improvements" type mindset from many coin holders and their dev teams.

14 - New point-of-sale options for physical stores involving chip or swipe cards based on commodity hardware as people want to spend their coins in everyday life -- and others will see them doing it.

15 - More people resisting cryptocurrency or ignorant of it will be forced to use it, just like email, web, mobile phones. The sign of true viral software.

16 - AMD, Intel and other large chip-makers will move into this space with tailored products, or be looking for acquisitions in it. Dedicated appliances could become a reality as well as systems built for the cryptocurrency space - in all price brackets. Similar to Google's Search Appliance.

15 - Old financial institutions will lower their fees, or improve their services as enabled by present cryptocurrency technology to be implemented. Consulting firms will seek solutions in this space to sell to banks and financial institutions.

16 - There'll be a bitcoin-related IPO. One of many to come. New asset classes and mutual funds will arise that expose investors through conventional means to cryptocurrency based instruments.

17 - A meme like Dogecoin can spread to zombies. For better or worse, look out. But, other countries will create their own language coins equivalent to Doge, perhaps by governments, which they will premine for themselves. And governments will want software to do that. So too with corporations. 2014/15 - the year of the premined, forced alternative.

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