he past, present, and future of bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology is of interest to many for many varied reasons. First of all, many people have invested (or are planning to invest) in cryptocurrency, and any form of disruption will affect them. Secondly, Bitcoin and its related technology has revived people’s hopes in currency decentralization. After many years of regulations, manipulation, and loss of time and funds through centralized currencies, people cannot stomach the idea of their new-found hope being cut short.
Even if it might appear to be a farfetched idea, blockchain technology seems threatened at the moment by major corporations such as Facebook, Google, and Apple.
Some people have been debating whether Facebook is set to suffer due to the entrance of blockchain on the global scene. The main argument is that blockchain has attracted large numbers of users who might use the network to chat, and even to perform other roles played by Facebook. This seems true to some extent, given that Facebook is based on a centralized system while blockchain’s main point of attraction is decentralization.
However, Facebook’s current and past activities show its ability to overcome competitors’ challenges. Unlike corporations that go down with competition, Facebook has not bowed to its rivals. Instead, the entity has either bought or copied their strategies to remain dominant. A good example is the recent acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, after realizing that the two pose competitive threats to the organization. Twitter could not be bought, leading Facebook to copy Twitter’s hashtags, and also to introduce a trending section where popular topics are outlined for easier access by the users.
The same thing might happen to blockchain. Even though Facebook cannot buy-off the technology, it can come up with its own competitive blockchain. In fact, Facebook recently announced that it has created a new unit which will look into blockchain technology.
This announcement has caused a lot of speculation, since Facebook has not announced its actual intentions in relation to blockchain — there are unverified rumors that the social media giant could come up with its own coin to provide users with more data control.
Whatever plans Facebook might have with blockchain, the fact remains that the social media entity has placed its foot in the crypto space. This can affect the public blockchain in various ways, such as diverting people’s attention from other cryptocurrencies. Being a huge corporation, Facebook can also affect cryptocurrencies by trying to own most of the crypto space, which would definitely affect other people’s investments and earnings.
Another corporation which can negatively affect blockchain and the Bitcoin movement is Google. Like Facebook, Google has already expressed its interest in blockchain, and has explained that it is not interested in coming up with a new cryptocurrency. Instead, Google claims to be using blockchain technology to power some of its online services.
The exact area of blockchain development the company has engaged in is the development of a digital ledger, which will be used for different services such as securing customer data. Google is also planning to distribute its developed ledgers to other parties, in order to verify and post transactions. When fully functional, blockchain technology will provide Google with a more secure data storage method.
As with Facebook’s entry in the crypto space, there are numerous concerns with Google’s increased interest in blockchain. The fact that Google have already invested heavily in some blockchain and digital ledger startups means that Google can negatively influence the crypto market and space. If the company ever decides to come up with its own crypto, there is a likelihood that people might prefer Google’s coin over Bitcoin, which will definitely affect Bitcoin’s investors.
Quantum Computing Companies
Quantum computing companies, such as Microsoft and Intel, also pose threats to blockchain technology. Although difficult to visualize at the moment, this threat could increase in the near future, which is why some Bitcoin enthusiasts and experts are highly concerned. Quantum computing has the potential of harming Bitcoin by hacking Bitcoin and blockchain technology. This is based on Bitcoin being built on cryptographic use of mathematical functions such as factorization. Although these functions are hard to compute with ordinary hardware, and despite today’s computers finding it difficult to crack Bitcoin and the related blockchain technology, future quantum computers could change matters.
The threat level is likely to rise due to increased interest in Bitcoin and blockchain technology. For some time now, corporate investors have been watching Bitcoin’s performance from afar, but as the currency has started recovering from the recent slump there is renewed interest in this coin. This attention might escalate next year if Bitcoin breaks records by expanding as expected, meaning that quantum computers might be developed to aid in decoding blockchain technology.
Large corporations like Facebook and Google have expressed their interest in blockchain technology. Such moves have been interpreted by crypto investors as a threat to the cryptocurrency market and to blockchain in general, since these companies might draw a lot of people to their currencies. Some of these companies are also involved in quantum computing, which poses a direct hacking threat to Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
However, since quantum computing technology is not yet fully developed there is at the moment little to worry about. In addition, these companies would still need a lot of effort to damage Bitcoin and other decentralized currencies for the sake of centralized currencies. Therefore, it is safe to presume for now that the blockchain movement is still secure.
More information: medium.com