As the third month of the current bitcoin bear market draws to a close, online search interest in related topics is similarly waning. It is certainly easy to understand the strong correlation between the price of bitcoin with Google searches (91% in fact!) when the bull is charging. At the same time, bear markets should be seen as an opportunity to put aside the habit of obsessive price checking and double-down our focus on the fundamentals of the movement.
JP Buntinx acutely describes the situation in his article titled, Looking Beyond the Bitcoin Price Dip: Solid Technical Improvements Ahead:
“In the cryptocurrency world, negative trends tend to skew people’s perception. More specifically, everyone is focused on the current Bitcoin price dip. It makes them lose track of the bigger picture, which still paints a very promising future for the world’s leading cryptocurrency. A lot of positive things will happen in the next few years, regardless of the current Bitcoin or future Bitcoin price.”
As countermeasure to the unwarranted pessimism and FUD (that is Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, for newcomers), we offer you the following video resources on some of the exciting developments and inspiring individuals in the community.
On the 10th of February, a new Bitcoin Cash wallet called HandCash was launched in beta. HandCash makes transacting in cryptocurrency as quick and easy as handing cash to a cashier - in this case, from mobile to mobile, using NFC. “Near-field communication (NFC) is a set of communication protocols that enable two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device such as a smartphone, to establish communication by bringing them within 4 cm of each other.” (Wikipedia)
While the app is currently still in beta testing, the wallet promises to push cryptocurrency in general, and Bitcoin Cash in particular even further to the front of the line of mainstream usage.
Also in February, CoinText announced the launch of an SMS Bitcoin Cash wallet that would allow users to transact with cryptocurrency without the internet or even a smartphone. New users automatically get a wallet assigned to their phone when someone sends them cryptocurrency through CoinText, or when they text a valid command to CoinText’s phone number. CoinText never holds funds and all transactions are settled directly on chain. The wallet runs on basic commands like BALANCE, DEPOSIT, SEND, and WITHDRAW. Texting HELP reveals the commands in more detail.
On the 27th of March, CoinText launched a public beta version of the wallet in eight ‘English-speaking’ countries, including South Africa and Australia. On Twitter, CoinText Beta users raved about the app’s ease of use and low fees, while others begged the company to roll out services to more locations.
Epicenter (an online show that talks about the technologies, projects and startups driving decentralisation and the blockchain revolution) interviews Elizabeth Rossiello, the CEO of BitPesa.
BitPesa was founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013 as a digital foreign exchange and payment platform for frontier markets. Today the company operates across Africa, with its base in Nigeria.
By using the blockchain, BitPesa has made fast and inexpensive international remittance services available to Africa, giving traders in developing nations greater access to international financial markets than ever before. Additionally, BitPesa enables migratory workers to transmit funds across borders to their families at low cost and great speed.
Rhodri Davies, Programme Director of Giving Thought at Charities Aid Foundation, speaks about how the blockchain has the potential to transform philanthropy at the Together We're Better Conference 2016.
“Blockchain can fundamentally transform the nature of charity and the way people can support charities,” declares Davies. “Its key features are transparency and openness. This means ledgers are public, individual donations can be traced all the way through the system from deposit to beneficiary. It’s called radical transparency.”
Davies believes that blockchain offers an opportunity for charities and philanthropy a ‘world without middle-men’, which can translate as a reduction in cost, increased trust and new governance models. There are, however, challenges that stand in the way to the sector’s adoption of this technology, including charities’ low appetite for risk and their sensitivity about discussing their finances. Davies ends on a positive note, professing that “It’s incredibly exciting to see just what this new technology (blockchain) is capable of.”
In this video, Falkvinge talks about what a permissionless environment actually means. “By calling myself the CEO of Bitcoin Cash, an organisation that doesn’t even exist, I illustrated what permissionless actually means. I tried to reinforce the idea that permissionless means that nobody gets to tell you what to do.” According to Falkvinge, this permissionlessness is what enabled Bitcoin Cash to come into being. While everyone in the community was asking permission from everyone else to increase the blocksize, Amaury Séchet just went ahead and wrote and published Bitcoin ABC.
nChain Group CEO, Jimmy Nguyen interviews Dr. Craig Wright (nChain Limited's Chief Scientist), to share Dr. Wright’s vision for a “Bitcoin/Blockchain Commerce World” where Bitcoin is used on a daily basis by merchants, consumers, banks, and other participants across the world’s economy.
The pair’s discussion covers:
the advantages of Bitcoin over traditional fiat currency and payment methods
why the newer Bitcoin Cash presents the better path to being “peer-to-peer electronic cash” what steps need to be taken to achieve global adoption
This presentation was given as part of the “We Are Fascinating Project” series in London, United Kingdom (February 1, 2018).
Continuingthe topic of bCommerce, nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen identifies 5 key features of a successful bCommerce world; on-chain scaling through Bitcoin Cash, merchant adoption, security improvements, better user interfaces, and sensible regulation. This talk was given at the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in the Philippines on the 25th of January 2018.
“95% of people are only in crypto to see the price go up, not because of what it’s actually supposed to do. This is a recipe for disaster.”
So rings the warning from Vinny Lingham, head of blockchain ID security startup Civic.com, and known as the 'Bitcoin Oracle' for his accurate forecasts of the cryptocurrency's price.
In the midst of the current market downturn, we hope that the videos above will not only give you something other to do than stare at the market charts, but highlight the ongoing technological developments and inspiring groups contributing to the crypto community. And with that in mind, the year at hand still looks incredibly promising.