Most discussions regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain do not mention Bitcoin all that much. There is tremendous excitement surrounding Ethereum and alternative chains, primarily due to NTs and DeFi.
However, there is a good chance Bitcoin will enter that discussion, too, thanks to some new developments…
Ethereum And Alternative Chains Gain Momentum
Several new trends have emerged in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Whether it is decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or GameFI (gamified finance), all of these concepts involve a blockchain supporting smart contract functionality. Even though many networks do precisely that, 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.
That may seem strange to onlookers, but it is par for the course. Unlike Ethereum and other chains, Bitcoin has no smart contracts. Therefore, it is very limited as to what developers can build on top of it directly. Initiatives like Rootstock introduce a side chain and require wrapped versions of BTC to unlock their potential. It is not an ideal situation, which is why these efforts have not taken off yet.
Instead, developers tap Ethereum, Solana, BNB Chain, and others to explore DeFi and NFT opportunities. Ethereum is the biggest blockchain in Total Value Locked for decentralized finance and NFT trading volume. That is a bit weird, as Bitcoin’s market cap is much higher than Ethereum’s. Unfortunately, the lack of crucial programmability makes Bitcoin a non-option for developers today.
From a development viewpoint, Ethereum, Solana, and others provide many benefits. Coders can start building decentralized applications by coding manually or using developer tools. Moreover, they can tap into a vast network of users who share an interest in DeFi, NFTs, and more. Bringing such functionality to Bitcoin would be significant.
Can Bitcoin Become More Useful?
While one may think more people should talk about bringing or enhancing smart contracts to Bitcoin, that is 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, yet it seems that topic will dominate most discussion for a while to come.
Additionally, there is Bitcoin price volatility. Since reaching an all-time high of over $69,000, BTC has lost over 50% of its value. The path to recovery has been slow, and the current bullish spell introduces more uncertainty. Bitcoin has proven volatile due to ongoing geopolitical tension, but it thrives during such periods.
One cannot deny Bitcoin is seen as a store-of-value and speculative asset by most.
However, very few people consider the potential of the network’s security or building new use cases that go beyond mere payments. That is, until now, as the Stacks ecosystem introduces smart contract capabilities for the Bitcoin network, unlocking many potential opportunities.
For instance, the Stacks ecosystem introduces support for Bitcoin NFTs and decentralized finance with BTC rewards. Artists can benefit from new financial opportunities through the smart contract functionality, and multiple minting/marketplace/collections exist already. Additionally, numerous other decentralized applications are built via Stacks, with more to come in the years ahead.
The current decentralized application landscape is dominated by blockchains that aren’t as secure as Bitcoin or close to its liquidity and capital potential. With Stacks, developers can now build more advanced applications, products, and services, tapping into a network with over $800 billion in liquidity and the most secure blockchain on the market.