So 2018 has well and truly been an interesting one for cryptocurrencies with many developments globally.
January 2019 in the New Year will also mark the 10th anniversary since Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic founder of Bitcoin, published the Bitcoin code. Who knew that since that pivotal moment to know how that initial Bitcoin code would lead to the launch of hundreds of other cryptocurrencies and completely change the way people perceive virtual currency from traditional cash.
It’s fascinating to see how cryptocurrency technology and advancement can really affect change in the market not only within the last decade but also on a yearly basis.
So as we goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019, what 4 cryptocurrency trends may we see for the upcoming year.
1- The Rise of Cryptocurrency Startups
As the use of cryptocurrency increases globally, the need for startups to support the industry will grow rapidly. This would affect all startups involved with mining, new coin creation, ICO and Decentralised applications for instance.
A 2018 report from Glassdoor showed that there were ‘1,775 blockchain-related job openings in the U.S. in August 2018, a 300 percent increase over the same period last year’. We can clearly see that the startup industry will grow even bigger to keep up with the cryptocurrency growth, so it’ll be interesting to see how much that percentage grows in 2019.
2- Banks moving into the future with Cryptocurrency Technology
There has always been a reasonably firm distance between the established banking world and the blockchain industry, but developments this year have led to that gap closing. One big success was the adoption of Ripple technology for some of the biggest names in banking.
For example in the USA, PNC Bank joined up to RippleNet to allow customers and businesses to make and receive real-time cross-border payments. The CEO of Ripple Brad Garlinghouse also stated this summer that Ripple will have “dozens” of banks using their XRP Ledger.
Whilst in Japan this October, the Ripple owned MoneyTap application was rolled out to 60 Japanese banks also to allow customers to make instant and
This use of Ripple products to supplement banks operations will mean that in 2019 we are likely to see far more banking institutes partner up with blockchain solution technology. Perhaps 2019 is the year that blockchain technology threatens the dominance of SWIFT and Visa for financial
transactions. We will have to wait and see.
3- Cryptocurrency Awareness Increases
2019 may finally be the year that cryptocurrency is accepted and adopted by the mainstream.
Generally, the topic of cryptocurrency and especially Bitcoin has courted both mystery and controversy in the press.
The fact that Bitcoin transactions and user identities remain anonymous has tarnished its reputation to the public. Many see it and other cryptos as use for transactions by terrorists, drug lords, and shady dealings. This is one of the reasons that Cryptocurrency has not been adopted for use by the average citizen. The other reason that puts a lot of people from using cryptocurrency is general confusion about what it is, never mind understanding the finer details like blockchain or the concept of cryptocurrency.
However, following our outlook, 2019 could be the year that mass understanding and usage of crypto increases. Reasons for this looking probable emerge from survey results carried out in 2018 by Dalia Research.
The survey asked respondents from across the 8 largest cryptocurrency market countries if they were aware of cryptocurrency. The results showed that ‘3 in 4 people have heard about cryptocurrencies’ – seeing as 6 to 7 years ago that cryptocurrency was unheard of this spread of global awareness is quite impressive. Of course, awareness still needs to converts to usage, but naturally, it’s fundamental for potential customers to be aware of a product before investing.
Age wise a joint study by SurveyMonkey and Global Blockchain Business Council showed that the majority of Bitcoin owners – 58% are between 18 and 34 years old. The fact that most users are young reflects the fact that they have grown up alongside the internet and adapted to technology as it changed.
However to appeal to the over 40’s who may not be so technology savvy it’s vital that companies keep page layouts user-friendly and crypto terms explained simply.
2019 will be the year that Cryptocurrencies will have to focus on creating simpler user onboarding experiences for mainstream use.
4- Cryptocurrency in Asia
One trend that is destined to continue for the new year is the growth of crypto in Asia, leading to Asia is the leading market for crypto in 2019.
Asia already is a big investor in Bitcoin and other virtual coins with countries like South Korea, Thailand, Japan, and Singapore focused on promoting cryptocurrencies.
This block of countries has continued to develop blockchain technology and crypto regulations to introduce longevity to a fluctuating market. For example, Japan has already set out legalization and guidelines to regulate crypto exchanges to stabilize and advance the market.
This focus of looking to the future and creating a stable environment is attractive for crypto companies and startups wishing to settle their operations and attract new investors. Development and encouraging regulations can only lead to further development and growth in Asia.
Yet issues such as legality and regulation remain, although the cryptocurrenc market in some parts of Asia is doing very well, the regulation is not uniform. In Vietnam cryptocurrency remains illegal whilst China has repressed any crypto-based industry.
Surely it can only be a matter of time that the enormous economy of China also realizes the potential of crypto and may relax its position on cryptocurrency in the future, or at least introduce regulations. It’ll be interesting to see, but for sure Asia will continue to set the standards for change, fresh ideas, and growth as the global leader of crypto.
So although 2018 may have been a slightly turbulent year for crypto it has been one full of many advancements and milestones so it will be intriguing to see what happens regarding our outlook for 2019, but for sure it will be an interesting one. For now Seasons Greetings to you and a Happy New Year for 2019.