While the price of bitcoin remains lower than at the beginning of 2014, emerging use cases for the block chain are beginning to surface. This next wave of businesses are being referred to as Bitcoin 2.0. Entrepreneurs first used Bitcoin for transaction based businesses, but Bitcoin 2.0 startups are bolder and more creative.
“There’s a race going on to extend the block chain’s capabilities,” said Adam Ludwin, a co-founder of Chain.com, a start-up that seeks to help developers build Bitcoin applications. On web forums and at Bitcoin conferences, talk is shifting to the next generation of applications built on block-chain technology. So-called Bitcoin 2.0 projects dominated the conversation at the Satoshi Roundtable, a retreat for Bitcoin enthusiasts at a resort in the Dominican Republic in February, according to accounts from some participants. About 20 percent of Chain’s roughly 5,000 users are developing nonfinancial block-chain applications, compared with less than 10 percent a year ago, Mr. Ludwin said. Banks and multinational telecommunications companies are quietly expressing interest in ways to take advantage of the block chain.