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The global number of Bitcoins in circulation is forecast to reach 19.9 million by 2020, amidst numerous uncertainties and challenges posed by block size scaling, rising transaction fees, escalating number of unconfirmed transactions, rise in zombie bitcoins, and the imminent halving of the bitcoin mining reward. Bitcoin which emerged with the promise of challenging the global economic order and the nature of almost every financial activity from banking to payments to wealth management is being felled by changes in macro, political and technology landscapes. Bitcoin’s future as the eCash of the digital era is rapidly dying given the host of current disadvantages such as disreputation for being unstable, vulnerability to wild fluctuations, association with illicit businesses, rising transaction fees, flaky payment issues, unstable network and congestion issues, severe mismanagement of the bitcoin core, inability to raise the block size limit, and rising costs. The rise of bitcoin will most likely conclude in its demise as a successful experiment in proof-of-concept of digital currencies. Bitcoin has been a bold experiment in its own right, a starting point for envisaging an alternate financial system. Although in its current state, bitcoin does not threaten the dollar with substitution, it has nevertheless popularized the potential and the benefits of a self-regulating incentive system if implemented appropriately.


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   Study Reliability and Reporting Limitations.....I-1  
Data Interpretation & Reporting Level.....I-2
   Product Definitions and Scope of Study.....I-3  
   Bitcoin: Is It a Failed Experiment in Cryptocurrency?.....II-1
Unlike Previous Crises in Bitcoin Services Ecosystem, Will the Current Blockchain
  Challenges at the Core of the Bitcoin Wield the Final Death Blow?.....II-1
   The Politics of Increasing Block Size Ravages the Bitcoin Economy.....II-21$100
   The Tale of Two Bitcoins: Will Bitcoin Survive the Coming Halving of the Bitcoin
   Why the World Is Not Ready for the Cryptocurrency?.....II-4
The Answer to the Question “Is Bitcoin Dead?” Depends on How We Look at Disruptive
  Financial Technologies.....II-4
   The Rise of the Blockchain Technology from the Ashes of Bitcoin Marks a New Way
   Table 1: Rise in Online Banking Fraud Related Losses Drives Interest in Building Blockchain-Based Banking Systems for Foolproof Security: World Online Banking Fraud Losses (in US$ Billion) for the Years 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2018 (includes corresponding Graph/Chart).....II-61$350
   An Overview of Current Events & Insights.....II-7
2016 Bitcoin Price Predictions Remain Bullish.....II-7
Table 2: After Two Years of Slide from the November 2013 Peak, Bitcoin Prices to Rally in the Year 2016 With Future Price Movements Expected to be Unstable and Volatile: Average Price of Bitcoin (In US$) for the Years 2014, 2015, and YTD 2016.....II-7
   A Look into the State Of Bitcoin Heading into the Year 2016.....II-8
Belt Tightening in the Bitcoin Industry to Witness VC Finding in Bitcoin Start-Ups
   Falling VC Funding, Slow Consumer Adoption & Unviable Business Models Lead to the
  Widening of Bitcoin’s Deadpool to Over 30 Casualties in 2 Years: Listing of
    Select Bitcoin Startups that Died Over the Years 2014 & 2015.....II-9
   Table 3: Falling % Growth in VC Investments in Bitcoin Startups Corroborates the Belt Tightening Trend in the Bitcoin Industry: Quarterly Decline in Growth (In %) in VC Investments for the Years 2014 & 2015 (includes corresponding Graph/Chart).....II-10
Bitcoin as a Payment & Funds Transfer Platform Fails ......II-10
   Table 4: Escalation in Unconfirmed Transactions Kills Bitcoin’s Potential as a Payment Platform & as a Substitute for Credit Cards: Half-Yearly Cumulative Total of Unconfirmed Transactions (In Million) for the Years 2014, 2015 & 2016 YTD (includes corresponding Graph/Chart).....II-12
In Addition to Weak Privacy, Transaction Delays Emerge as a Primary Bottleneck,
  Capping the Currency’s Potential to Rival Cash.....II-12
   Competing Digital Currencies Gain in Popularity as Bitcoin Networks & Their
  Transaction Processing Capabilities Slows Down to a Snail’s Pace.....II-13
Bitcoin ATM Installations Slowdown, While Closures & Non-Operational & Offline
  Units Increase.....II-13
   Table 5: Installed Number of Bitcoin ATMs Worldwide for the Years 2015 & 2016 (includes corresponding Graph/Chart).....II-141$350
   Table 6: Disproportionate Spread of Bitcoin ATMs Mirrors the Technology’s Haphazard Popularity & Mixed Success Worldwide: Percentage Breakdown of Bitcoin ATMs by Region for 2016 (includes corresponding Graph/Chart).....II-15
Love-Hate Relationship With Bitcoin Leads the Chinese Government to Play a Dubious
  Role in the Currency’s Evolution.....II-15
   Bitcoin Attracts Flake for Being an Energy Inefficient Based Money System.....II-17
Rising Difficulty in Mining Bitcoins Makes Mining Operations Unviable.....II-17
   Table 7: Average Mining Revenue Per Day (In US$) Paid in the Form of Block Rewards & Transaction Fees for the Years 2015 & 2016 (includes corresponding Graph/Chart).....II-18
Bitcoin Mining Hardware & Cloud Based Bitcoin Mining Grow in Popularity.....II-18
   Complexity of Bitcoin Mining Drives Popularity of Pooled Mining.....II-19
Weak Banking Systems & High Mobile Penetration Favor Bitcoin Proliferation in
   The 2007-09 Recession Marks The Emergence of The Bitcoin System.....II-20
Continued Global Market Instability of 2009-2014 Fuels Bitcoin’s Rise to Boom.....II-20
   Argentina Goes Down in History as One of the Early Adopters of Bitcoin Fuelling its
  Early Boom.....II-22
Partial Government Shutdown in the U.S. Triggers the Escalation in Bitcoin Value
  Witnessed in 2013.....II-22
   Bitcoin’s Early Promise as a Full Reserve Banking Alternative to Fractional Reserve
  Banking System.....II-23
   Bitcoin’s Liquidity Characteristics & Its Hyped Ability to Challenge Fiat
   A Retrospective Review of Bitcoin’s Early Rise to Fame & Its Ensuing Downfall.....II-25
The Rise to Fame .....II-25
   The Epic Fall From Grace .....II-261$100
   A Peek Into the String of Events That Crippled the Bitcoin System Since its
Troubled by its Early Success, Governments Wield the First Major Blow to the Bitcoin
   How the U.S. Government Killed Innovation in Bitcoin .....II-29
By Bringing Bitcoin Under the BSA Act.....II-29
By Introducing ‘BitLicense’.....II-29
   By Taxing Bitcoin.....II-30
Loopholes in Bitcoin Network & Trading Technology Wields the Second Major Blow to
  Bitcoin’s Technological Integrity.....II-30
   Busting of the Silk Road Drug Market Wields the Third Mortal Blow to Bitcoin’s Fragile
   Use of Bitcoin as an Investment Asset Wields the Final Blow to Bitcoin’s Potential as a
  Future Currency.....II-32
   Bitcoin: An Introduction.....II-34
   Regulatory Environment.....II-35
Key Benefits Driving Adoption of Bitcoin.....II-35
Pseudo-Anonymity & Privacy.....II-35
Immune to Monetary Inflation.....II-35
Impervious to Manipulation.....II-35
   Irreversible Transactions.....II-36
Low Cost.....II-36
Economic Independence.....II-36
   Key Challenges to Adoption of Bitcoin.....II-37
Bitcoin Anonymity & Unregulated Attributes.....II-37
Lack of Accountability.....II-37
Impairs National Development.....II-37
   Hoarding & Speculative Trading.....II-38
Inequitable Distribution of Wealth.....II-38
Extreme Volatility.....II-38
Merchant Acceptability.....II-38
Security Breach.....II-39
Difficult to Coordinate.....II-39
Negative Foundation.....II-39
Vulnerable to Malicious Manipulation.....II-39
   The Promising Future of Cryptocurrency Spurs Competitive Alternatives to
Litecoin (LTC).....II-40
PPCoin (PPC).....II-40
   Freicoin (FRC).....II-41
“Bitcoin Bridge" to Ripple: A Threat or an Opportunity?.....II-42
   Bitwage Introduces Bitcoin Payroll Services in Mexico.....II-43
Gemini Unveils Bitcoin Services in the UK.....II-43
BTCC Introduces New Titanium Physical Bitcoins.....II-43
Ciphrex Unveils Bitcoin Wallet.....II-43
CoinTerra™ Unveils GSX I™ Bitcoin Mining Card.....II-43
   Vitaxel Inks Agreement with Bitspark to Introduce Bitcoin Remittance Service in
Blockstream Takes Over GreenAddress.....II-44
Kraken Takes Over CleverCoin.....II-44
Coinsecure Inks Partnership Agreement with BitPay.....II-44
KinerjaPay Enters into Partnership with Bitcoin Indonesia.....II-44
Kraken Takes Over Cavirtex and Coinsetter.....II-44
BitGo Forms Partnership with Kraken Bitcoin Exchange.....II-44
   Coinify Forms Bitcoin Partnership with DigixGlobal in Singapore.....II-45
Coinbase Forays into Singapore Bitcoin Market.....II-45
Coinbase Enters into Canadian Bitcoin Market.....II-45
Ripple Enters into Asia-Pacific Bitcoin Market.....II-45
Coinbase Forays into the UK Market.....II-45
WPCS Concludes Agreement on Divesting its Seattle Operations.....II-45
Microelectronics Technology Corporation Buys Bitcoin Miner Company.....II-45
LeoGroup Uses Bitcoin to Buy Stradivarius Violin.....II-45
   BitPay Inaugurates its Amsterdam based European Headquarters.....II-46
Bitcoin ATM Introduced in New Zealand.....II-46 Begins Accepting Bitcoin Payments.....II-46
RMBTB Shuts Down Trading Operations.....II-46
   Bitcoin Mining Equipment Manufacturers.....II-47
Bitmain Technologies Ltd. (China).....II-47
Butterfly Labs, Inc. (USA).....II-47
Genesis Coin, Inc. (USA).....II-47
KnCMiner AB (Sweden).....II-47
   Bitcoin Mining Pools & Companies.....II-48
AntPool (China).....II-48
BitFury Group Limited (USA).....II-48
F2Pool (China).....II-48
Genesis Mining (Hong Kong).....II-48
Slush's Pool.....II-49
Bitcoin Exchanges & Trading Platforms.....II-49
Bit2C (Israel).....II-49
Bitcoinde (Germany).....II-49
Bitcurex (Poland).....II-49
Bitfinex (Hong Kong).....II-49
   Bitstamp Ltd. (UK).....II-50
BTC Markets (Australia).....II-50
BTCChina (China).....II-50
BTC-e (USA).....II-50
Campbx (USA).....II-50
   Coinbase (USA).....II-51
Huobi (China).....II-51
Kraken (US).....II-51
OKCoin (China).....II-51
Bitcoin Brokers, Wallet Providers & Payment Processing Companies, Among Others.....II-51
1Broker (USA).....II-51
   Airbitz (USA).....II-52
BitPay, Inc. (USA).....II-52 (Luxembourg).....II-52
Blockstream (USA).....II-52
BlockTrail B.V. (The Netherlands).....II-52
   BTCJam (Brazil).....II-53
Coinsetter Inc. (USA).....II-53
Gliph, Inc. (USA).....II-53
   Table 8: World Recent Past, Current and Future Analysis for Bitcoin Analyzed by Cumulative Number of Bitcoins in Circulation in Thousands for Years 2015 through 2020 (includes corresponding Graph/Chart).....II-541$350
   Table 9: World Historic Review for Bitcoin Analyzed by Cumulative Number of Bitcoins in Circulation in Thousands for Years 2010 through 2014 (includes corresponding Graph/Chart).....II-551$350

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