Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, have received a ton of criticism from finance experts, banks and governments. Throughout the years, many people have claimed that cryptos will eventually die or that they will be worthless because they are not backed by anything and their value is made up.
A cryptocurrency is basically digital money and each crypto is backed by a service, product, and even fiat or gold. We now have stablecoins which are directly backed by fiat in most cases, the rhetoric about cryptocurrencies not having intrinsic value and that they are not backed by anything is slowly dying.
Cryptocurrencies are not Dead But Can They Die in the Future?
Individual cryptocurrencies are ‘dying’ every single day. Any given cryptocurrency can die if people simply stop using it, the price will drop to $0 and there will be no more transactions on its blockchain.
Even the mighty Bitcoin could die, perhaps a horrible bug within the code or other catastrophic event that would force people to stop using it. However, even if Bitcoin died, another cryptocurrency will simply occupy its place even though the whole market would be heavily affected, cryptocurrencies would not die.
It’s hard to imagine how a whole market could simply die, currently, according to Coinmarketcap, the daily trading volume for the whole market ranges from $55 billion to $105 billion most days. The current market cap of all cryptocurrencies is a whopping $208 billion and there are over 5000 different cryptocurrencies and 20,000 markets.
But What About Quantum Computers?
Quantum computing would supposedly have enormous processing power enough to crack the current algorithms used by the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies, the blockchain technology.
Any data that’s encrypted uses some sort of mathematical equation, even banks and governments use the same encryption technology. A quantum computer would have the potential to decrypt anything easily so in reality, if such a computer can be created, it would not only destroy cryptocurrencies but the entire world.
But how real is this threat? Mathematically, this was actually considered impossible until only recently. However, even if quantum computers are invented and the current SHA-256 function used in mining is compromised, we could still fight back.
There are a number of ways to combat quantum computers, in fact, some newer blockchain projects are already preparing for this event. Existing blockchains will be able to migrate to quantum-resistant systems.
The only real threat for cryptocurrencies is quantum computing but even that can be mitigated or prevented entirely. It could damage the crypto market in the short term, for sure, however, it will not be able to destroy all cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is currently the number 1 crypto and will probably stay that way for a long time. Cryptocurrencies are very much alive and more startups are using the blockchain technology to create better alternative solutions to existing problems.