What’s up with the Bitcoin network?

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Most cryptocurrency and blockchain discussions don’t mention Bitcoin that much. There is huge excitement around Ethereum and alternative chains, mainly due to NT and DeFi.

However, there is a good chance that Bitcoin will also enter this discussion, thanks to new developments…

Ethereum and alternative chains are gaining momentum

Several new trends have emerged in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Be it decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFT) or GameFI (gamified finance), all of these concepts involve blockchain supporting smart contract functionality. Even though many networks do precisely this, Bitcoin is not one of them. All discussions involve networks like Ethereum, BNB Chain, Solana and others, but not the blockchain representing the highest value or best security.

It may seem strange to viewers, but it is normal. Unlike Ethereum and other chains, Bitcoin does not have smart contracts. Therefore, it is very limited as to what developers can build directly on it. Initiatives like Rootstock introduce a sidechain and require wrapped versions of BTC to unlock their potential. This is not an ideal situation, which is why these efforts have yet to take off.

Instead, developers are mining Ethereum, Solana, BNB Chain and others to explore DeFi and NFT opportunities. Ethereum is the largest Total Value Locked blockchain for decentralized finance and NFT transaction volume. This is a bit weird, because the market capitalization of Bitcoin is much higher than that of Ethereum. Unfortunately, the lack of crucial programmability makes Bitcoin a non-option for developers today.

From a development perspective, Ethereum, Solana, and others offer many advantages. Coders can start building decentralized apps by coding manually or using developer tools. Plus, they can tap into a large network of users who share an interest in DeFi, NFTs, and more. Bringing such functionality to Bitcoin would be important.

Can Bitcoin become more useful?

While you might think more people should be talking about bringing or improving smart contracts to Bitcoin, that’s not the case. Instead, the mainstream discussions involving BTC revolve around the mining situation and its impact on the environment. Efforts are underway to focus more on renewable energy for Bitcoin mining, but it looks like this topic will dominate most discussions for some time.

Additionally, there is the price volatility of Bitcoin. Since hitting an all-time high of over $69,000, BTC has lost over 50% of its value. The road to recovery has been slow and the current bull run introduces more uncertainty. Bitcoin has proven volatile due to ongoing geopolitical tensions, but it thrives during these times.

It cannot be denied that Bitcoin is considered by most to be a store of value and a speculative asset.

However, very few people consider the potential of network security or building new use cases that go beyond simple payments. That is, so far, the Stacks ecosystem is introducing smart contract capabilities for the Bitcoin network, opening up many potential opportunities.

For example, the Stacks ecosystem introduces support for Bitcoin NFTs and decentralized finance with BTC rewards. Artists can benefit from new financial opportunities through smart contract functionality, and several mints/marketplaces/collections already exist. Additionally, many other decentralized applications are being built through Stacks, with more to come in the coming years.

Final Thoughts

The current landscape of decentralized applications is dominated by blockchains that are not as secure as Bitcoin or close to its liquidity and capital potential. With Stacks, developers can now build more advanced apps, products, and services, leveraging a network with over $800 billion in liquidity and the most secure blockchain on the market.

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