To gain an understanding of what the future holds for cryptocurrency, it may help to understand what it is and what it is not.
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized, digital medium of monetary exchange overseen or controlled by cryptography. Fiat currency is money that a centralized government has declared as legal tender.
Fiat currency takes the form of physical dollars such as paper notes or it can be electronic, such as with bank credit and the government controls the supply.
Both Fiat currency and cryptocurrency are modes of exchanging, storing and transferring value; both are used to purchases goods and services, and the value of both are controlled by factors such as supply, demand, work, scarcity, and other economic factors. The value of both Fiat and cryptocurrency are affected by the quality of the system surrounding it.
Cryptocurrency 1.0 was Bitcoin. It is an accumulation of value, and can be used for transactions and transfers of that value from person to person. With crypto 2.0 came Ethereum. Ethereum, in addition to transacting value from person to person also introduced what is called smart contracts.
Smart contracts provide another layer of functionality, and very quickly we continued forward to crypto 3.0 with the debut of digital communications such as micro transactions, private send, etc. The technology just keeps getting more refined, more functional and more convenient.
Each phase of the digital development builds upon its predecessor. The very best of the accumulated knowledge from 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 can be repurposed, re-used and made better because all of this brilliant technology is open-source.
The intrinsic ability of these technologies to openly share what has come before it boosts the capacity to expand and broaden it for use in multiple, diverse projects. Exciting projects such as SIA Coin and Golem are two examples. Golem is the world's supercomputer on the blockchain.
Golem enables individuals to lease their computing power to the global marketplace. It facilitates transactions such as selling processing speed, RAM and hard-drive space. This allows end-users to simply pay for what they need and also allows dormant web servers to switch over to the global network when not in use, thus, renting out its processing power.
This has created a worldwide network that can share processing power, and this is all completed through exchange of cryptocurrency for using that power. The cost savings to industries that utilize this ‘power-sharing’ network would be substantial.
As opposed to spending millions of dollars on building and maintaining their own computers or systems, they just “pay as they go’ (or need) and everyone connected to this power-sharing network benefits. The future of many businesses could be drastically changed and greatly enhanced by this ability to pay as you go and share what you are not using at the time.
With millions of nodes worldwide, this synergistic technology increases the incentive for us to continue sharing and building upon the best of what we learn and know. The reciprocal challenge in this new digital industry becomes, “How can I improve upon this? How can I share this with the world? How can I increase the efficiency to save our resources?"..etc.
There still remains a constructive need for competition, but not as it concerns fighting over a limited amount of resources or business opportunities. Readily sharing your progress and advancements in this open-source environment is done for the simple reason that it brings growth and improvement to you and others all at the same time.
You're in control of your future and in control of your income. That is powerful motivation. Cryptocurrency and the converging new technologies that accompany it are leading this shared prosperity.