2018 is here for Australia, and in a few hours for all of us, as a new year arrives on a world largely at peace.
We hope 2018 brings us Casper and Sharding for ethereum, the Lightning Network for bitcoin, and more merchants, including perhaps even Steam, for Bitcoin Cash.
But more than that we hope all three communities find grace to work with each other and not against each other because one thing has become very clear this year.
However much some participants within either project may hate the other projects, market action tells us all three are in fact stupendously complementary.
Ethereum woke up this space from sleeping slumber, initiating the current bull run in 2016 after it became clear there were so many applications for blockchain technology that in effect it encompasses almost everything.
That optimism extended to bitcoin, not least because it has a very different spirit to eth. Bitcoin, after all, was a direct reply to the banking crash of 2008, while ethereum expanded attention to the tech aspects.
And if the two are complementary, so is Bitcoin Cash to both. The chain-split fork of August 1st provided a re-invigorating energy as the entire world watched how you can split a currency.
It showed that the people’s money wasn’t just empty words. The people could really actually fully control just what money they want.
As all heads turned to watch that alchemic process, bitcoin roared. Bitcoin Cash roared too, as did ethereum, and then pretty much all other cryptocurrencies.
In this new year therefore they may all realize they are all in this together. There may be different approaches, but as far as the top three are concerned, they have been complementary according to price action.
As such, we hope they rediscover a friendship of old. Ethereum’s founder, after all, was a bitcoiner first, as were the most vocal supporters of Bitcoin Cash.
They may have different views where details are concerned, but where it really matters, they are all effectively one.
Hopefully most of them realize it in this new year and see what strongly unites them while also seeing what makes them unique.
For the world has now descended onto this space and what was previously a dream has in some ways become a reality in 2017.
In 2018, the first pilot projects might start going into production and launch to market, with some advances towards scalability likely, opening the way for many more projects.
The increased diversity, variety and sheer numbers in this space may mean far more merchants might start accepting digital currencies and the end of that endless debates over minute details might mean energy can now focus towards doing, coding and producing.
The miracle of 2017 has been that for the first time in a bull run we have experienced no black swan event. We hope that continues in 2018 and, if it does, the year might be the most promising yet.
For this technology and its ecosystem has now matured somewhat. There are refinements to be made, there is still amateurism around, some parts remain quite a wild west, but it does now feel like we know where we are going and how to get there.
Making it all perhaps a matter of time. And for those who worked hard to get to this stage, they might say now is the easiest part.
We won the war. The war is thus over. To win the peace won’t be easy, but undoubtedly far easier than what was. After the turbulent transition years, this space now has a clear road ahead.
Scalability has conceptually been solved. Whatever anyone says, the solution will most likely be a parallelization (sharding) both on-chain and off-chain. That would give it, perhaps as good as, unlimited capacity.
Privacy has been pretty much solved too, with security remaining a concern, but unfortunately that can never be fully solved, only minimized. Planes still crash after all.
With those three addressed, perhaps this space is even ready. Maybe not quite in 2018, but perhaps it can begin there.
May thus we all enjoy a very happy new year, and may it bring us, first, peace on earth, and second, booming innovation the likes of which we have never seen. And if you want a third, may we find love.