The big question in crypto space has been whatever we need all these other coins or not. Will this all emerge into a beautiful ecosystem where different blockchain work together or will we have one coin for all the functionality?
Everything could be built on top of Bitcoin. However currently one of the limiting factors is the transaction fee. It’s not feasible to do tiny micropayments, that many platforms would require. This could change though if Bitcoin network becomes more scalable through a lightning network, for example.
Until that however, it makes more sense to build your own blockchain where you can have extremely low transaction fees. Furthermore, the latest technology can be included in the blockchain making it faster and soon even scalable. Lastly, the blockchain platform can be tweaked to meet the needs of each project.
There are other reasons too to consider. Creating a new currency and launching an ICO is a convenient way for a new project to get funding. Having your own coin and blockchain maximizes your independence from the other platforms, but on the other hand, your blockchain might not be as secure as Bitcoin. By raising money through a colored coin and by building on top of Bitcoin you could have a very strong security.
Anyhow, the situation is the following: almost all major projects launch with a new coin and blockchain. Even though they are “coins” they don’t necessarily try to be money – like Bitcoin. A good example of this is the Waves token, which acts as a fuel for their decentralized crowdfunding platform.
Let’s assume Bitcoin would become scalable and cheap to use: what would happen to the countless projects who have built their independent platforms? Competing projects could launch similar platforms build on top of Bitcoin. However, what would they have to offer that the existing projects could not? Like Bitcoin has demonstrated in the case of money: there is always the first-mover advantage.
What about the security then? A platform built on top of Bitcoin would surely be more secure. However, even that is changing. Just a while ago SuperNET announced a new consensus method called delayed Proof of Work, and the new anonymous coin Komodo will have it. Effectively any other weak blockchain can secure itself with Bitcoin’s hash rate through Komodo. Thus the new projects – no matter how small they are – can get all the other benefits while still enjoying Bitcoin level security.
It looks like over the past few years we have got dozens of quality projects each targeting a specific niche. They all have their own blockchains and through future technology, it is possible to bring those independent chains closer together. SuperNET has been on the forefront of building a crypto framework: an infrastructure for blockchains. Their goal is to unite crypto under one roof and capitalize all their innovations against the true competitor: traditional third party solutions and fiat currencies.
Apart from Komodo another big project just around the corner is Iguana. It is a multi-coin parallel syncing Bitcoin protocol that will eventually lead to atomic swaps and a decentralized exchange. At first, the Iguana client will enable the end user to store multiple different coins under his full control. From Iguana the user will have the same functionality as he would from a native wallet of each coin.
A decentralized exchange would effectively remove the centralized linkage between different cryptocurrencies and Komodo will make sure all the chains are secure. An important note to make is that Bitcoin plays a major role in this ecosystem: it secures other chains and functions as a trusted medium of exchange, i.e. money.
It looks like the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem is getting bigger and bigger along with a promising infrastructure. The future looks bright for Bitcoin and blockchains.