Bitcoin, undoubtedly, is the most influential cryptocurrency of all time. It is also one of the most welcomed digital asset among hard-core traders and new users. Bitcoin’s value rose astronomically last year much to the happiness of crypto-enthusiast and investors. 2017 proved to be the golden year in the history of Bitcoin. However, despite covering spectacular distance in 2017, there remains a number of challenges before Bitcoin which it will need to overcome in order to make a similar run in 2018. Some of the challenges are listed below:

1. Slower Transactions
One of the biggest challenge before Bitcoin is the issue of slower transactions. The duration for a transaction to be approved has increased drastically. This has made Bitcoin take a hit. A number of businesses, who were initially very enthusiastic about Bitcoin, have stopped accepting Bitcoin. The issue of slower transaction was always around the corner since 2009. And, this only adds to the misery that how did the developers fail to come up with a solution until now. The average time taken for a Bitcoin transaction to be verified and approved is 43 minutes. And, there is a possibility that some Bitcoin transactions remain unverified forever.
The reason behind this is the transaction fee. Those who offer higher transaction fee gets verified before others who do not. This leads to formation of a queue in the list of transactions. This becomes painful for those who pay less or do not pay transaction fee. They are kept in waiting for hours and in very few cases, for even days to get their transaction completed or verified.
This has enabled other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin to eat up the market of Bitcoin.

2. Expensive Transactions
Every transaction through blockchain is subjected to a transaction fee which creates a queue. The order of business changes according to the highest payer. In simple words, whoever pays the highest amount for transaction fee gets their transaction approved before other. So, if a person has to send the money across instantly, he/she will need to pay an extraordinary amount of money which will directly make the whole transfer expensive. This has been widely criticised by people and analysts around the world. This has led a number of people to search for alternative options in cryptocurrencies.

3. Poor Mobile Platform Support
Even when Bitcoin commands the crypto-market single-handedly, leading tech-companies like Google and Apple do not support Bitcoin on their mobile platform. Recently, in a shocking and highly surprising step, Apple Inc. has banned Bitcoin wallets on their app store. Google has no followed the stance but it does not allow payment through Bitcoin. However, Google’s Play Store has been more receptive to mobile apps related to cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. This hostile approach by such leading companies harms the ecosystem of the cryptocurrencies and give birth to doubts.
Bitcoin enables remote payment. An alternative to credit card system, Bitcoin’s remote transaction is better than transaction through QR codes. This reluctance to allow Bitcoin payment can only be understood as a fear of an innovation over which these tech-giants have no control. To sum it up, Bitcoin needs to become a mainstream method of payment in order to gain trust.

4. Privacy
Since bitcoin operates on a public blockchain, it does not offer privacy. This drawback of Bitcoin has been used by other cryptocurrencies as their unique feature. A large number of people want privacy in transaction and hence considering a switch. Contrary to popular misconception, Bitcoin is not private but anonymous. No Bitcoin transaction is encrypted, each transaction is hashed. So, every transaction is public. In place of counting this as advantage, the point has been advertised by others as a disadvantage. Rival cryptocurrencies have addressed the same to their profit.

5. Scalability
Scalability has become one of the biggest issues for Bitcoin. It is keeping the potential of the system limited. The issue of scalability arises due to limit on the number of transaction which can be approved within a time frame. The limit was originally intended to keep the system free from getting out of control. Until today, Bitcoin has never hit this limit but if Bitcoin becomes a mainstream method of payment, it will eventually hit the limit.

Despite being the number one in the crypto-world, in order to become truly global, Bitcoin needs to overcome the above stated challenges and many others.