The evolution of cryptocurrencies continues to unfold in the market. Today, the crypto sector encompasses a huge variety of technologies. Blockchain networks have found use in most major industries in the world. Additionally, the introduction of more token standards and platforms has helped to drive interest further.
The journey to today’s market has been a long one that has been filled with excitement, innovation, and intrigue. A flood of intuitive concepts and services has made the market more welcoming for the average user. Here’s some valuable insight into the evolution of cryptocurrencies.
The concept of digital money is by no means new. The first ventures into this concept occurred before the internet existed. The introduction of ATMs and Debit/Credit cards helped to demonstrate the convenience of digital money. However, these early attempts to transform fiat currency into a digital option were plagued with options.
The First Digital Cards
Two incidents are credited with catapulting digital cards into the public sphere. In the 1950s, the Diners Club introduced a charge card that could be used to make purchases at multiple retailers. This was decades before the first personal computers became small enough to fit into a single room.
Another contributing factor was the use of digital cards on a Norwegian trucking route to protect the drivers from thieves. This particular route was plagued with thieves who knew that the truckers were nearly helpless in the wild. The stops were so far apart that incidents would result in truckers being stranded for days.
Robbers would target truckers and the few stops along the route because they understood their locations needed to hold a large number of reserves to service the drivers. The problem got so bad that the community decided they needed to think of a way to stop it.
They decided to create a card that could be loaded with value and used at these gas stations. This would eliminate the use of cash and lower the overall payout for thieves. The plan was a huge success and the ice route was back operational shortly after its implementation.
ATMs began to spin up in the 70s. The first ATM was installed in England in 1967. It enabled users to deposit checks and cash only. A British inventor named John Shepherd-Barron is credited as the mind behind this game-hanging technology.
Problems with these Systems
The main issue is that fiat currency requires so many extra steps to be sent digitally. On average, fiat currency transactions can go through +36 different third-party verification systems. Each of these systems adds to the cost of conducting transactions. They also increase the amount of censorship and centralization in the market.
One of the biggest issues that held back early attempts to create an alternative to digital fiat was that they were unable to solve the double spending issue. Double spending is when a person sends a digital payment and before the payment clears, they send another payment using the same funds. This would cause the system to register both payments.
Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, solved the double-spend issue in a very unique and simplistic manner. He proposed the introduction of a timestamp into the hashing function of Bitcoin. Because this time function was impossible to duplicate in two transactions as they would never be sent exactly at the same moment, it finally solved the issue.
This discovery helped prove to the world that a viable electronic cash system was possible to create. Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has inspired and helped to drive innovation in the market. Notably, it’s still the largest cryptocurrency by market cap and holds more value than its predecessors.
Bitcoin has launched with a purpose. The coin’s anonymous creator famously included a headline from the times in the genesis block of his creation. The headline read: “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This inclusion points to Bitcoin’s greater purpose to provide the world with a more transparent alternative to the centralized systems.
Game Changing Thoughts And Concepts
Nakamoto knew his creation would stir changes and perhaps that’s why the creators decided to remain anonymous. Notably, over the last 13 years, multiple people have come forth claiming to be Nakamoto. In one incident, Newsweek destroyed a man with the same name Satoshi Nakamoto’s peaceful life when they posted he was Bitcoin’s creator.
He denied being the creator after further investigation. The entire fiasco resulted in a now-famous Satoshi Nakamoto meme that features the man that Newsweek wrongly ousted as a Bitcoin developer. There have also been incidents where people have come forth to claim they are Satoshi Nakamoto.
Craig Wright is the best example of a person fighting legally to claim the title of Bitcoin creator. Wright, who is experienced enough o have created the project, has stated that he and his partner made Bitcoin and then lost access to the wallet keys for the million BTCs mined after the launch of the network.
Of course, many people find this explanation a bit too convenient. The majority of people want to see these coins moved to prove their identity as Satoshi Nakamoto. For now, no one has claimed the prize. Interestingly, there is a point where Bitcoin’s value will make Nakamoto the richest man in the world.
Until the introduction of centralized exchanges, Bitcoin could only be traded directly between people who communicated with each other. The introduction of Bitcoin exchanges helped to drive interest and profits higher. One of the first and largest exchanges to make its mark on the industry was Mt.Gox. At one point in time, Mt.Gox was responsible for over 70% of Bitcoin’s daily trading volume.
Mt.Gox suffered a massive hack that saw more than 800,000 BTC stolen. This hack resulted in a massive bear market that lasted for years in the crypto market. However, it did not kill the dream of digital money. Instead, it only drove development to become more innovative.
Today, CEXs play a vital role as a fiat onramp into the blockchain market. Platforms such as Coinbase, Binance, and Gemini all provide easy and regulated ways for people to purchase and trade digital assets. For most people, a CEX is the first step in their crypto journey.
Ethereum was another major milestone for the crypto market. Ethereum differed from Bitcoin in a couple of key ways. For one, it introduced the market to the concept of smart contracts. Smart contracts are decentralized protocols designed to operate on blockchain networks. They are a critical component of most cryptocurrencies today.
The introduction of smart contracts changed the game for the crypto sector. For the first time, developers could build blockchain applications that would enjoy the full security and functionality of the Ethereum blockchain. This development led to the next big development in the market, the introduction of the ERC-20 protocol.
The ERC-20 token standard changed the market again. It enabled Ethereum developers to easily create their tokens. Notably, the ERC-20 tokens standard was built to simplify token creation for Ethereum developers. However, the Ethereum team realized early on that there was a real market demand for a token standard. The introduction of the ERC-20 token ushered in a new age for crypto development.
The combination of rising Bitcoin prices and the introduction of the ERC-20 standard created the perfect environment for the 2017 ICO (initial coin offering) rush. ICOs leverage the efficiency and transparency of blockchain technology to streamline crowdfunding efforts.
Compared to an IPO (Initial Public Offering) on the stock market, ICOs provide more freedom and options to both users and companies. The average cost of an IPO is +$600k. In comparison, companies can launch ICOs for less than $60K. Additionally, there are far fewer regulatory loops to jump through.
Companies launching IPOs must provide a treasure trove of vital data to regulators. Additionally, they are limited as to who qualifies to participate in their crowdfunding campaigns. Only KYC-vetted traders from Government approved regions gain access to these options. It’s also common for companies and firms to restrict trader participation to only accredited persons.
Notably, an accredited trader can show at least +$1 million in assets. For the average person, these requirements are too much to meet. As such they miss out on the best opportunities in the centralized markets. However, the blockchain sector provides a viable alternative.
Unlike IPOs, ICOs are open to the global market. As such, they are more democratic than attempting to join in an IPO. Most ICOs have very low requirements in terms of minimal amounts. This strategy removes the financial barriers that have held back regular users. As such, the ICO sector experienced astounding growth since 2017.
The introduction of DEXs (decentralized exchanges) to the market created more opportunities for traders and crypto users. DEXs are exchanges that remove all the centralized aspects from the equation. As such, they are usually non-custodial. This designation means that your crypto remains in your possession until the moment you trade.
Uniswap was pivotal in the success of these platforms. Uniswap is an Ethereum-based DEX that enables users to trade crypto in a permissionless and peer-to-peer manner. Uniswap also introduced the concept of liquidity pools to the sector with success.
A liquidity pool is like an ICO in that it enables startups to secure access to public funding. However, liquidity pools are far more open than launching an ICO because there are no gatekeepers. Firms can launch a liquidity pool simply by seeding the liquidity pool smart contract with an equal amount of their token and Ethereum. This open approach to crowdfunding helped to drive innovation and eventually led to a huge increase in the use of DeFi (Decentralized Finance) services.
DeFi is one of the fastest-growing areas in the blockchain market. These networks remove the centralized entities from financial services and share the profits among the network users. Since using DeFi services are easier than trading, new users have found that they can secure more consistent returns using these networks.
Today, platforms like the META Exchange blend DeFi’s profitability with the security of DEXs and the scalability of CEXs. These next-gen protocols enable users to secure passive returns with minimal risk and no technical knowledge. You can stake your META1 stablecoins and secure rewards without giving up ownership of your assets.
The META Exchange provides traders with a plethora of powerful tools to improve their ROIs. There are charting tools and access to the most popular indicators including MACD, candlesticks, and Bollinger bands. Users can find the most popular projects and direct META 1 Coin trading pairs, which helps to lower overall trading costs.
Best of all, the META Exchange operates as a non-custodial protocol. You never separated from your crypto. This approach improves security and privacy. Non-custodial exchanges are considered the best option for traders due to their lower fees and technical structure.
The META VAULT
The META VAULT is a fourth-generation DeFi protocol that enables users to secure 10% simply by opening a savings account. This APY outpaces inflation. Additionally, the returns are paid directly into the networked wallet. This payment structure enables you to enjoy compounding APYs.
The META VAULT Visa is another game changer worth mentioning. The crypto card connects directly to your META VAULT account. It enables you to spend your crypto like fiat currency at all of your favorite vendors. The protocol functions like a normal VISA debit on the front end. However, the back end is more complex. Your crypto gets sold at the time of sale and converted to the fiat currency you require.
Crypto Take Over Now that you have a better understanding of how far cryptocurrencies have come, it’s easy to see that they have a bright future ahead. The market is full of new and exciting concepts that have the potential to spend entire industries. As such, you can expect to hear much more from these platforms as users continue to seek out better options to create wealth.