• Bitcoin is going through another year of immense growth as it receives more widespread adoption.
  • Alyse Killeen, founder of bitcoin VC Stillmark, said it will become more usable for transactions.
  • The Stillmark managing partner told Insider her main bitcoin predictions for the next five years.

Bitcoin has never been more popular and for good reason. The cryptocurrency started off 2021 at around $29,000, ballooned to over $63,000 in April and is now valued at just over 50,000according to figures from Coinbase.

Such soaring values, and the investor interest that generates, is good news for Alyse Killeen, founder and managing partner of venture firm Stillmark, specializing in backing crypto-related startups.

Killeen has been backing bitcoin companies since 2013 before opening her own venture firm two-and-a-half years ago. She sits on the board of companies like crypto storage firm Casa, and bitcoin infrastructure company Blockstream.

One of the main differences between backing these firms now as opposed to five years ago is the emergence of the lightning network, Killeen said.

The lightning network acts as a second layer on top of the bitcoin network that speeds up micropayments between users. It hopes to alleviate one of the cryptocurrency’s main flaws as a form of transactionary tender by making it seamless to move money.

“In 2014 and early 2015 there was a lot of venture money that went into payments companies in the bitcoin space,” she said. “But the tech wasn’t ready for that so the throughput of bitcoin’s core protocol didn’t match — nor did its near-term potential match — the metrics that those payment companies had to hit to fulfill the promises they made to those that were backing them.”

While the arrival of the lightning network promises much for bitcoin’s future growth, the digital asset also faces the prospect of regulation.

Still, Killeen remains bullish on crypto’s future and made four predictions for the next five years. 

People will stop buying bitcoin and start earning it

“Right now, most people get access to bitcoin via purchase. In three or four years from now, most people will get access to bitcoin through earning,” Killeen said.

One example: she predicts bitcoin microtransactions will become a common way to pay creators. 

More VCs will back crypto startups

Right now, new crypto companies often tend to be funded with crypto coins. But more traditional VCs, led by industry giant Andreessen Horowitz, are starting to get involved. Killeen predicts “there will be a greater influx of venture capital to the space.”

As traditional capital moves in, Killeen thinks many of the “really flashy” projects and startups not built on solid tech will start to diminish, too.

Bitcoin’s value will become more stable

“Historically volatility has dropped over time as adoption has grown,” she said. As more people use bitcoin she says that within the next five years “Bitcoin’s volatility will start to lessen.” Source https://www.businessinsider.com/stillmark-vc-bitcoin-investor-picks-4-trends-the-digtial-asset-2021-8

By block head

Block Head is a blockchain journalist.