Bitcoin has had a lot of ups and downs. I have been really surprised and impressed though with how the community seems to keep trucking along. Currently, bitcoin seems to be in a bit of lingo. The hype is dying down and more people have expressed their hesitation about bitcoin's future. With all this happening, how are bitcoin founders doing? Do they still think there is hope or are they coming up with pivots/backup plans?
Generalize can be difficult here, although I must agree the morale isn't the same of 12-18 months ago.Bitcoin has had always up and downs, in this phase (despite the good and quite stable exchange rate) I would go for a "down" moment.The main reason is uncertainty around the leadership of protocol developers, something that for the first time is raising technical concerns - which is new since in the past this side has always been considered "rock solid".This situation is opening a window for interesting alternatives such as Ethereum, bringing on the table serious contenders on the "traction" that the Bitcoin itself has had for years now. A look on Github is sufficient to see how many forks and experiments are running on the Bitcoin protocol and - with a simple keyword query - how many are starting to experiment on Ethereum.Most probably this is anyway a transitional situation: Blockstream proposal (called "elements") is quite impressive and is bringing important evolutions on the protocol itself, without even requiring an "hard fork". It's also interesting to see when complementary projects, like Factom and Rootstock, will bring the "turing complete" functionalities (currently a distinctive feature of Ethereum) also on the old - and in some ways more reliable - Bitcoin blockchain.