Bitcoin - Digital Currency designed and developed in 2009 by unknown person or a group called Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin was first successful decentralized digital currency, but overall it wasn't first attempt at achieving one.
In 1983(or 1985 as some sources claim) ecash came to life by efforts of David Chaum, it operated to year 1998, partly by introduction and popularization of credit cards. Citing Chaum “As the Web grew, the average level of sophistication of users dropped. It was hard to explain the importance of privacy to them”. Back at late 90's and early 2000's, people's demand for privacy in internet was negligible, due to fact that web wasn't so extensive at the time, to put it simply, there was almost no task that a simple user of internet would need privacy for.
But as internet grew, so did its applications. In today's world, people host their life, business, life savings, and most importantly spend a lot of their time on the internet. It's usefulness is undeniable, so the need for privacy grew.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, caused by "Predatory lending targeting low-income homebuyers, excessive risk-taking by global financial institutions, and the bursting of the United States housing bubble", the idea of safe, transparent way of exchange of value came to life once again in the form of aforementioned Bitcoin. ~Wikipedia.
Back in 1990's the world didn't had many visionaries that would predict growth of value of digital currencies. But their effort back at the days, fruited into what we today call Cryptos. Cryptocurrencies today serve different purposes, some are purposed to be a better mean of payment eg. Bitcoin, some serve the need of privacy eg. Monero, some are parts of advanced systems of Smart Contracts eg. Ethereum. Some are just scams and pump'n'dump schemes.
The question is: What are possible futures?
In 1985, if you asked David Chaum, what are his thoughts about future of his ecash project, he probably would come up with few theories and explanations. So let's play this game, and in todays world, lets try to theorize what may be the future.
The easy way.
Despite many ill intentions about cryptocurrencies, the industry grows exponentially. The need for privacy and egalitarian thought following Bitcoin spreads around the world. Unbanked become banked. Cryptocurrencies become main way of digital value exchange. Many serve different purposes. Not many survived from the moment we are currently at. We have optimized and introduced technologies that allow us to decrease power and time consumption of transactions to unimaginably low levels. Blockchain democracy have been introduced to democratic nations around the world.
The medium way.
Cryptocurrencies are widely used around the world in different branches of business. You can pay with different Cryptos, you can pay your taxes, dollar and other fiat currencies didn't vanish, CBDC turned out to be widely disappointing concept, only a few totalitarian and dictatorships around the world use it. Regulations came, some are bad, some are reasonable, Bitcoin's price in dollar continues to swing in a 4 years manner, so do altcoins. Overall populations awareness about Bitcoin and others is high. Some African and South American countries adapted it to be their national currency. Governments around the world accepted Crypto, and aren't acting like hunting hounds. Crypto turned out to have it's limitations, but their usage is high.
The hard way.
Governments around the world rejected concept of crypto, calling it a lie, a fraud, and a way for criminals to exchange their money. For a common man it is prohibited to use cryptocurrency. CBDC's are a way to go. All the achievements and technology building crypto have been used against its vocation. Everyone is silently, passively tracked, what they buy, to whom they send their money is registered by global systems, everything is traceable but only by the authorities. There are conspiracy theories about high ranked official who seem to have unlimited money. But despite such grim perspective, nobody seems to oppose, from time to time there is a political campaign advocating for abolition of CBDC's. But the voices are silent. Everyone swallowed a bitter pill and continued to live their everyday life.
Let me know what you think the future is in the comments. Thanks for reading.
I'm not a financial advisor. Nothing here is a financial advice,
only my thoughts and theories I wanted to share with this wonderful community.