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What Did World Leaders Study at School? In this fascinating modern history of U. The Entire Blockchain Ecosystem in One Visualization View the full-size version. The size of the bitcoin market may still be microscopic when contrasted with other global markets, but that hasn’t stopped the eight-year-old cryptocurrency, as well as the surrounding blockchain ecosystem, from evolving. As Bitcoin approaches its eighth birthday, we see things changing. It is turning into that curious, wide-eyed technology with ideas as widespread as any normal eight-year-old.

Cross-border payments, machine-to-machine transactions, smart contracts, microtransactions and stock settlements all have been discussed and developed. The blockchain, which is the technological infrastructure behind how Bitcoin transactions work, is now much more heralded in many circles than the original cryptocurrency itself. That’s because it is now clear how the blockchain can be further applied to many other disciplines, including payments, trading assets digitally, identity management, data verification, and smart contracts. Venture capital has continued to pour into the sector to untap this potential. Meanwhile, 2016 has already seen notable investments in companies like Augur, a decentralized prediction market, or Ethereum, a smart contract and publishing platform. As of today, than 65 banks and financial institutions have made investments in the industry in a wide range of businesses and ideas.

Y Combinator applications, which does raise a potential concern for the development of future Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Less startups focusing on the applications of the blockchain could be a sign of a slowdown, but it could also be temporary. Even despite this potential setback, Bitcoin has always done well in the face of adversity. Based on this, it would seem that the blockchain ecosystem, including Bitcoin, is still alive and well. Jeff is the Editor-in-Chief of Visual Capitalist, a media site that creates and curates visuals on business and investing. Visual Capitalist creates and curates enriched visual content focused on emerging trends in business and investing.