Lightspeed India has a post with ten predictions for Bitcoin in 2014. It’s a good read and I agree with many of them. But prediction number 7 is the one I am most interested in right now:
7. The use of Bitcoin will evolve beyond ‘store of value’ or ‘transactions’
The underlying Bitcoin protocol makes itself applicable beyond the use cases of ‘store of value’ and ‘payments’. The Bitcoin foundation took a huge step in allowing meta data to be included in the blockchain. This will unlock a lot of innovation and maybe even prompt regulators to acknowledge the potential of Bitcoin, making it all the more difficult for them to shut it down or suppress it. As one can see from the current Bitcoin ecosystem map (http://bit.ly/1krEd0Z) that there are almost no start-ups, which solely use the protocol without using the ‘coin’ or the ‘currency’ as a function. 2014 will be the first year to see some of these.
I think there have been three phases to Bitcoin so far
1) Bitcoin emerges, community develops, mining, wallets
2) Bitcoin vice, silk road, etc
3) Speculation, trading, collecting, price spike
I think the next two phases will be/need to be
4) Commerce – real people buying real stuff with Bitcoin
5) Bitcoin as infrastructure – this is what prediction number 7 is all about. When will we see entrepreneurs coming to USV to talk about the marketplace for XYZ that they build on top of the Bitcoin architecture?
Soon I hope. I would like it to happen today actually.