Volatility, however, is an indicator that a potentially powerful force is coming into its own. In this regard, one might think of Bitcoin as a new Amazon: navigating some growing pains but developing innovative solutions to help solve them.
At this point, it’s safe to say that Amazon has achieved retail dominance, and while Bitcoin’s story is in a much more formative phase, its monumental upward trajectory points to its increasingly dominant role in the global financial landscape.
Amazon’s Early Struggles Mirror Bitcoins
Amazon, established in 1994, was originally born out of Jeff Bezos’ vision to establish “the world’s most consumer-centric company, where customers can come to buy everything they want online.” Given Amazon’s larger-than-life presence in the retail landscape today, it can be hard to remember the company in its infancy, when it was merely an online bookseller. Like most companies intent on scaling their vision, Amazon faced its fair share of growing pains and challenges in the early days, as many customers were initially wary of online shopping and additional shipping costs. While Amazon Prime, a subscription-based service offering free two-day shipping alleviated some of these concerns, it still took time for the company to gain steam and build credibility at the global level.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin, which was born in 2009 out of the financial crisis and established in order to “create a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that [would] allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution,” has also encountered its share of obstacles scaling its vision. Particularly, the legacy Bitcoin blockchain that powers Bitcoin transactions faces slow transaction processing times and high transaction fees.
But much like the developers at Amazon working tirelessly to develop new, innovative solutions, a passionate group of developers in the crypto community have been actively involved in refining old platforms and building new ones in order to present a growing number of solutions to meet a wide range of technical issues.
Amazon Pivoted to Succeed and Bitcoin Is Too
Amazon may have begun as an e-tailer marketplace, but the company quickly expanded its range of offerings by creating many of its own niche products and services, ranging from the Amazon Kindle to personal assistant Alexa. The company has also demonstrated its desire to tap into other sectors, whether by acquiring Whole Foods and reimagining the experience of shopping at a grocery chain or working with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan to control costs and reduce spending on health insurance.
Similarly, the cryptocurrency community has also been hard at work implementing platform changes to meet a growing array of user needs. The Lightning Network, a decentralized network that uses an “off-blockchain” solution in order to enable instant payments across a network of participants, is expected to launch sometime in the new future, solving the legacy Bitcoin blockchain’s scalability problem.
Furthermore, just as Amazon staked its claim as a company with versatile offerings that far surpassed its e-commerce platform, the cryptocurrency community has been actively developing technical platforms with offerings that stretch far beyond alternative payment systems. Two particularly noteworthy examples? Ethereum and Ripple.
Ethereum And Ripple Are Evolving Like Amazon’s Alexa
While Amazon may be leading the charge in cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence, Ethereum is paving the way for a new relationship with Amazon as well as smart contract technology and decentralized applications.
Ripple, too, which has two primary products for banks (xCurrent and xRapid), has demonstrated its wide range of capabilities that far exceed its function as native cryptocurrency XRP.
Indeed, the constant innovation and implementation in the cryptocurrency community ensures that, much like Amazon, the digital currency space is continuing to grow, improve, and reshape business and commerce as we know it.
The New Amazon: Bitcoin Moving Past Its Infancy
The fact that Bitcoin has moved from a mere concept in a white paper drafted during the 2008 financial crisis to one of many influential digital currencies over 10 years later is a testament to the fact that cryptocurrency is more than just a fad. Like Amazon, it will demonstrate that disruption of an industry is never without its speed bumps along the way.
This article was written By Chris Kline, Co-founder, and COO at BitcoinIRA.com