Blockchain Theory and Technology

Any thoughts on what happens when bitcoin starts approaching it's technical coin limit over the next 5-7 years?

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I see two distinct possibilities. 1) bitcoin has emerged as a functional day-to-day currency widely used to make purchases. In this case, I think it's likely that a hard fork would occur as we approach the technical coin limit to double it since the hard forked version would incentivize miners without imposing high transaction rates for day-to-day users. 2) bitcoin emerges as a perceived digital store of value rather than a functional currency; it would function much like gold functions in our modern society. Day-to-day transactions would occur with a handful of coins like ether while sidechains would allow seamless integration of digital assets to be used on various decentralized applications; in this case, high transaction fees wouldn't dissuade bitcoin holders since transaction volume would be low. Holders of bitcoin would have their wealth grow in tandem with the growth of the entire decentralized ecosystem. I think this case is the most likely since it's the direction cryptocurrency functionality seems to be heading toward; bitcoin could operate as sort of a long-term savings account while functional platform-oriented tokens would be used on a day-to-day level, each following their own consensus protocols and not affecting bitcoin transaction volume.

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I'm guessing increased transaction rates to keep the miners incentivized is the immediate result, but I wonder about the longer term like mass sell-off or high coin hoarding or miner exodus preventing further transactions or extremely slow/expensive transactions. I'm assuming a huge short to medium term boost in alt values around the 5 year mark when about 90% of coins have been mined and people are uncertain about BTC future. Maybe a fork to a higher coin cap?

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I think you're probably right on the mark with #2. It's fascinating to have an underlying common denominator (blockchain) that allows a single marketplace to make regular use of multiple specialized use-case currencies. Litecoin or similar for day to day, bitcoin for value storage, ether for investment, monero for your more prurient interests. Very interesting to see what the revealed preference for types of specialization will be as this whole thing matures

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@EY1 I think you’re right on with #2 above. For folks with plenty of BTC though, their best move is to keep buying alts that show potential to generate returns like they’ve seen with BTC. As BTC transaction rates drop, the stored values to likely to keep going up so people will start selling more, since alts will get more expensive relative to BTC.

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A lot more hard forks I’d think

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