I went to the future for a few months and I can tell you what I saw.
Fifty years from now, Bitcoin is a highly stable and reliable backbone for most digital financial services. Most transactions no longer take place directly on the first layer. Many second and third-layer solutions are now mass-adopted applications, and many of the biggest new tech businesses achieved their standing in this market. Many things that used to require paper contracts are now quickly and easily handled on the third layer — personal identification, real estate purchases, legal proceedings, retirement plans, inheritance contracts, marriage and divorce, ownership of anything of higher value (like paintings) etc.
There is no longer any doubt that Bitcoin is a permanent bedrock of society. There are some who still protest against it, as inequality has quickly risen and there are no political means or even a political will to alleviate this. The list of the ten richest people on earth is exclusively occupied by BTC early adopters and entrepreneurs.
Custodial solutions are widespread, the big majority of people don’t hold their own keys, and most barely have the know-how anymore to do so. The risk is mitigated by a few big players who have been reliably storing and safekeeping the wealth of others. These are now the global financial elite and have dethroned traditional banking completely.
The number of altcoins has grown exponentially over the years, there are now millions of different tokens for different purposes. Most people have neither the wish nor the time to get acquainted with their inner workings, they are used in the background to facilitate this or that service. There are many consolidation projects which enable quick transfer between most existing tokens. Blockchain Consultancy is a booming and well-paying industry.
Many assets that were traditionally used to store value have lost most of their worth in BTC, and are now closer to their practical and intrinsical values. Beautifully crafted art, statues, and paintings are much more abundant and affordable, a great success for culture and society. Living space is still a general issue for a number of reasons, but housing is more affordable. Gold is now much more regularly and extensively used in electronics.
Fiat still exists in digital form in many countries, with different levels of government control. Some countries have built their currencies on top of Bitcoin.
Governments generally struggle with the regulation of markets, as their monetary policies are much more limited than they were in the past. Taxation has become the main government control mechanism, but here, too, some governments struggle. Especially individuals with hidden amassed riches pose an issue, and they are many.
The economy has had some ups and downs, with periods of little spending and missing liquidity over the past 50 years, as consumers weighed new purchases against future gains. However, the gradual stabilization of the price has slowly begun to fix this issue, and by now neither the deflationary nature of Bitcoin nor the psychological hype/growth phases of old have any tangible effects on purchasing decisions. New price cycles are streamlined and will take decades to play out.
A few citadels are now standing, but nobody I knew had ever entered one or could say what it’s like inside.