Taking the block chain out of Bitcoin and applying it to concepts beyond currency will be a key part of 2015. Their trustless, decentralized nature and future smart contracts provide more than just currency.
Today, block chains are the data structure core to decentralized cryptocurrencies. Block chains are bubbles of market-driven nascent economies and platforms of permissionless innovation.
Block chains, the concept, are even more important than the bitcoins they safeguard.
For a glimpse at what the future may hold one need look no further than Ethereum. The crypto-savvy startup recently raised upwards of $18 million selling its cryptocurrency – ether. Ethereum is a next generation platform to build decentralized applications. Users interact entirely with software on a censorship-proof foundation – a block chain.
Bitcoin 2.0 is not taking the block chain out of Bitcoin. Projects like Ethereum, altcoins, and side chains build Bitcoin horizontally. All of them are running on top of the technology that Bitcoin brought to the forefront. All of them are demonstrations of what the technology can achieve.
Though the idea of applying block chains to concepts outside of finance continues to receive pushback in the community. It might be beneficial to step back for a moment and remember not long ago many of ourselves considered something like digital currency to be impossible.