It’s not a secret that 2017 was the best year for Bitcoin which saw the currency being adopted on a widescale making it the highest valued currency in the world, a development that was received with much optimism by investors and ordinary users alike. In the 12 months of 2017, the currency managed to increase its value by over 1000%.
But one thing cannot be denied especially if we look at bitcoin from a tech perspective. Things are just getting started and we definitely haven’t seen the best of bitcoin as yet. Yes, I understand that during the last few days of 2017, the currency’s value took a dive but that certainly is nothing to drool over. Bitcoin is a highly volatile asset and such price discrepancies can be expected in such cases. Nevertheless, 2018 is going to be one of the biggest years for bitcoin in that many developments are on the horizon particularly in the tech space. Here are some of the top bitcoin tech trends to keep an eye on for 2018.
1. Segregated Witness
This is often shortened to Segwit in the blockchain circles. When it was activated last year in August, SegWit was considered to be one of Bitcoins largest protocol upgrades to date. Bitcoin has what was called a standing malleability bug that causes disruptions when trying to set up second layer protocols. The activation of Segwit enabled such protocols to work perfectly with the cryptocurrency. Apart from that Segregated Witness also replaced block size limit with block weight limit which in turn allowed increased transactions within the whole bitcoin network lowering transaction costs in the process. When SegWit was launched back last year, many wallet providers where reluctant to take it up regardless of it’s benefits but this is something that’s likely to change as we move further ahead.
2. The Lightning Network
This is a second layer solution that was built on top of blockchain to help bring meaningful longterm scalability to the advantages offered by Segwit. The Lightining Network was built by Joseph Poon and Tadge Dryja back in 2015 and among the things that it’s expected to bring to the blockchain world are near free transactions and almost instant transaction confirmations without at any point violating the overall security and privacy the cryptocurrency offers. For the past two years, the solution was being actively developed behind closed doors and will likely be released to the public this year.
3. Zerolink and Tumblebit
Yes, we know, bitcoin is portrayed as being private but we can’t confidently say that it’s 100% private. There are still some loopholes that have to be dealt with and that’s what Tumblebit and Zerolink will do. Tumblebit works on a coin mixing protocol that uses a tumbler to create payment channels from all participants to all participants in a single mixing session. Everyone effectively receives different bitcoins than what they started with, breaking the trail of ownership for all. In addition to that, Tumblebit uses cryptography to ensure and make it impossible for anyone to establish a link between the bitcoin users.
So, these are the top Bitcoin tech trends that you have to watch out for in 2018 and as I said, this year is going to be a blast for the Bitcoin space.