One possible outcome may very well be that the longest chain ever such as Bitcoin, will be utilized by some of the most important value exchanges, or in other words, the highest level of value transfers only, such as IRS payments, or even governments/international exchanges.
This configuration would draw a “based on utility” scheme for the new economic system. The foundation of this comes from the definition of value. In a short explanation, we could summarize value as an amount of what another party is ready to pay for. A nice summary from Cosmos whitepaper says:
Blockchain ecosystem tokens can be considered a type of commodity. In classical economics, commodities have two identiﬁed types of value: use value and exchange value. Use value is deﬁned the “want satisfying power” of a commodity. It is based on the utility of the commodity. Meanwhile, the exchange value of a commodity is deﬁned as “the amount of goods and services which we may obtain in the market in exchange for a particular thing”. We may commonly think of this as the price of the commodity.
At this time, we can already witness the fact that Bitcoin behaves as an index of the crypto market. It has been pictured this way by multiple sources too, but I believe even more than an index, it remains to date the entry gate of anything related to this market. While Ethereum took part of this “default” value, that part is much smaller and is entirely included in the circle of Bitcoin coverage. No one can really predict what will become of the two stars, somewhat complementary on usage thus far, yet the feeling that Bitcoin will just be the de facto unit, the worldwide/spacial/global unit of value is only getting stronger to me.
In other words, I strongly believe that an organic growth of all the different networks will happen in a hierarchical type of structure. It will start with Bitcoin being heavily used for significant transfers, trickling down to another network for smaller level of transfers, and so on. It will not be as simple as level 1, level 2, level 3. It would make sense to see different structures based on the purpose and the type of usage.
For example, on the machine to machine payments, we could see IOTA (or another competitor for that matter) becoming a standard protocol, so much that it would trickle down to sub-networks or other networks more specific to certain devices/purposes, and so on.
In the end, we can all speculate of what it will become, but in my book, Bitcoin, along with its subsequent developments, are part of the questions that only time can answer. I remain positive on the select few that have a long-term vision and aim to be disruptive for the good cause, adding value via real (world) advantages. There is a reason why forks have not been more successful than their original so far. They lack the original and innovative vision of the creators. They want to do well, but they are not the ones that came up with a beginning of a concept, that only creators know their long-term plans and usage. This is why, in my opinion, Ethereum and IOTA, for example, will continue to do well in the next decade.
On the positive and realistic side, let us keep in mind some of the following:
Adoption time — we know how long it took for everyone to recognize emails as efficient, or even essential in modern life. In the big picture (think of centuries), the transition was really fast (first electronic message in 1965). In the daily life, we could say that it was a very long process, going from invention use, to academic use, to enterprise use, to consumer use (worth noting that the email is apparently dying according to this). Point is, we can expect very much of the same with borderless payments and transfer of value. Patterns are similar, waves of different usage and audience are coming one after the other, each one remixing the survivors with the new arrival, letting the skeptic on the side, for a while. It is all a question of time, not so much a question of ‘if’. That being said, I still believe the pace of those waves is accelerating over time, making the total number of years for mainstream adoption smaller with each new tech revolution cycle.
Talents — People tend to forget some of the most underlying value of this space currently, in 2018 and most likely in the next 15 years: talents. Not only some of the smartest and most competent people are naturally attracted to those new transformative concepts, both technologically and economically, but they are also offered the best-paid jobs given how much money is flowing around and rising here and there.
“be the disrupters, not the disruptees.”
“ The difference between speculating (or throwing your money blindly into something) and investing, is the amount of time you spend researching and performing due diligence.” from CoinCrunch.