I am just wondering how bitcoin will end and what are the possibilities it takes to shut down bitcoin. We all know the cryptocurrencies were fully decentralized - no central server that controls the network, every user including you and me are part of the system that operates within the network of cryptocurrency. But let's open a small room of possibilities for it to shut down, given the advancement of technology that we have right now. Blockchain system empowered bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, without it, bitcoin is just merely a virtual currency that can't be transacted or transferred. This is the first in human history that something "virtual-nothing-not existent" is so expensive surpassing even the gold and other precious jewels.
I just list down some points wherein have arguments on the possibilities that will take down bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Government - If ever the government's all over the world banned Bitcoin then most likely Bitcoin will get shut down due to government interference. They could make a very fair case saying the terrorists and drug traffickers use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and therefore it should be banned. The main challenge is on how to enforce such law since Bitcoin and cryptocurrency network is severely decentralized and there are no servers for the government to shut down. As long as there is an internet that connects the whole world, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will still exist and every user and investors in these currencies are part of the system. It will be a herculean task to caught someone engaging in cryptocurrencies since its transaction is fully anonymous and untraceable. We can only see the crypto address but the person doing the transaction is totally anonymous. Moreover, such a ban would only give rise to other technologies to prevent people and the government from getting into the Bitcoin wallets and making it easier for you to hide it on your phone. When the government bans something, it will just make it more popular and people will be curious and will then engage in the black market.
Miners - what if mining becomes unprofitable and miners stop mining? During a transaction, the blockchain should be updated in order to transfer coins from the sender to the receiver. Someone used to create a request to broadcast it over the peer-to-peer network and it goes into the hands of miners. They receive all the requests and verify the signatures if it is correct and check the wallet if there are enough funds to carry out the operation. They bundle these records together into a block and send it to the blockchain. If the miners successfully add the block, they get rewarded and get very little from the transaction fees. I don't think miners will never stop mining as long as there are transactions for them to scoop up. The network will still be a profitable environment for the miners. If ever there will be no miners then every transaction will fail since no one will work in the blockchain to process those transactions.
Quantum Computer - this can solve millions of cryptography equations simultaneously whereas a regular computer solves them one by one which makes a quantum computer a big threat to the encryption mechanisms that bitcoins actually use because it is miles ahead and more efficient than of regular computers. If this will trip, it will do some damage to the network and some people see quantum computers as a huge threat to the blockchain. Quantum computer has a strong influence on a Bitcoin network, however, bitcoin is an ever-evolving infrastructure and a new set of cryptographic security equations can be added as another layer from quantum computers.
Founders - the one who control Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies mess it up and if they keep doing hard Forks that will piss off investors. It's just simply another threat to the operation by splitting Bitcoin blockchain into two or having another spin-off currencies such as the few recent hard forks - BCH, BCG, BCD & Segwit 2X was almost took place. If these forks will continuously do, it will somehow damage bitcoin's reputation and lowered its credibility and eventually lead to its downfall.
Volatility - due to high volatility in Bitcoin, some investors and business capitalist were fearful to engage in this currency. It suddenly dropped its value without a hint and this gives a negative effect on the investor's part. Some critics will add insult to the injury of bitcoin's sudden drop and the so-called "experts" gives their unsolicited opinion and predicts the end of bitcoin. This will somehow damage bitcoin's reputation and leads to massive withdrawal of investors and makes bitcoin value into jeopardy.
In conclusion, Bitcoin has already cemented its foundation and its a herculean task to shutdown it. Even though it is so volatile but the technology behind it - the blockchain system is so powerful tool that holds bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in place. China has already tried to banned cryptocurrency on their land, they closed exchanges but to no avail - it is still surging up. As powerful as China in terms of its economic might can't stop the bull run of cryptocurrencies then who can? But in spite of these, I still give a room of possibilities of shutting down bitcoin given the advancement of technology that we have. For now, we will just celebrate for the bitcoin's achievement of reaching the $11.50k+ high mark.