Bitcoin won't be the only p2p currency, just like Napster wasn't the only p2p filesharing software. There will be more, and they will improve upon the original. I have two suggestions for improvements upon the bitcoin concept.
Hmm, I don't think Napster (yeah, the good old times downloading MP3s with a 8KB/s ISDN line) was really a p2p network as it relied on Napsters servers to act as a index and broker. That's also why it was so easy to shut it down by law enforcement.
Bitcoin is like what eBay was in 2003: The only established way to do it. Now, there's quite an ecosystem around Bitcoin end it evolves every day.
- 1. Bitcoin, as a way to representate and transfer money just works, and it works now.
- 2. I don't see any mojor problems with the way Bitcoin works
- 3. An alternative must be WAY better than Bitcoin to spread in popularity
1. More ways of mining the currency - Bitcoin awards currency as an incentive for contributing your processing time to running the bitcoin network. But why not have a whole suite of distributed computing aps that users can choose from? ie: like the SETI ap. Or an ap that rewards the amount of traffic that passes through your computer as a node on the Tor network? Or for running a distributed social network like Diaspora? The social nature of these distributed aps will further the propogation and adoption of the currency
Also, I don't think that mining is the base concept and purpose of a p2p currency. It's there to have an incentive for miners to keep the network running and as with most things in life, there is a finite profitability and to me it's quite normal that mining profit will be just enough to keep existing systems running and to create new mining rigs only in a very professional matter (considering energy consuption et al). If mining was profitable for everyone, everybody would stop working and mine. Obviously, this can't work.