So 2018 has been an interesting year for cryptocurrencies and one with many developments. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in 2019.
January 3rd 2019 will also mark the 10th anniversary since Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous founder of Bitcoin, launched the Bitcoin network.
Who could have known that the creation of Bitcoin would have been the catalyst for the launch of other cryptocurrencies.
It’s fascinating to see how cryptocurrency technology can really affect change in the market. Not only within the last decade, but also on a yearly basis.
So as we say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019, what 4 cryptocurrency trends could we see for the upcoming year?
1- The Rise Of Cryptocurrency Startups
As the use of cryptocurrency increases worldwide, the need for startups to support the industry will grow rapidly.
This would affect all startups involved with crypto mining, new coin creation, ICOs 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′. This is a 300 percent increase over the same period compared to 2017.
We can clearly see that the startup industry will become even bigger to keep up with the cryptocurrency growth. It’ll be curious 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 by some of the biggest names in banking.
For example, in the United States PNC Bank joined up to RippleNet, which is blockchain technology owned by Ripple.
RippleNet will 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.
In Japan, the Ripple owned MoneyTap application was rolled out to 60 Japanese banks this October. The MoneyTap application will allow customers to make instant and
This use of Ripple products to supplement banks operations is an important partnership. It’ll mean that we’re likely to see more banking firms 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’ll have to wait and see.
3- Cryptocurrency Awareness Increases
2019 may finally be the year that cryptocurrency is accepted and adopted by the mainstream.
Although cryptocurrencies have completely changed the way people view virtual currency, not many people really understand how it works.
Generally the topic of cryptocurrency (and Bitcoin especially) has caused mystery and controversy in the press. The fact that Bitcoin owners and their transactions can remain anonymous has damaged its reputation with the public.
Many see Bitcoin as a way that terrorists and criminals can transfer funds. This is one of the reasons why the average citizen may have been put off from using cryptocurrency themselves.
The other reason that has prevented people from using cryptocurrency is general confusion about what it is. Blockchain or the concept of cryptocurrency might be hard for some people to fully understand. It needs to be explained so people are not put off from using it.
2019 could be the year that this changes though. Especially with the increased mass usage of crypto. Reasons for this looking probable come from survey results carried out in 2018 by Dalia Research.
The survey asked participants 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 that 7 years ago cryptocurrency was unheard-of, this spread of global awareness is quite impressive.
Of course awareness still needs to convert people to using crypto, but it’s important for potential customers to be aware of any product before investing.
Age & Cryptocurrency Awareness
Age wise a joint study by SurveyMonkey and Global Blockchain Business Council showed that the majority of Bitcoin owners are young. A total of 58% of Bitcoin owners are between 18 and 34 years old.
The fact that most users are young reflects how that age group have grown up alongside the internet and adapted to changing technology.
To appeal to the older 40+ age group (who may not be so technologically aware), brokers must keep crypto trading page layouts user-friendly. It’s also important that cryptocurrency terms are explained simply.
2019 will be the year that cryptocurrency brokers must focus on creating simpler user on boarding experiences for their customers.
4- Cryptocurrency In Asia
One trend that is destined to continue for the new year is the growth of crypto in Asia. This could cause Asia to become the leading market for cryptocurrency in 2019.
Asia is already is a big investor in Bitcoin and other virtual coins. Countries like South Korea, Thailand, Japan and Singapore are all focused on promoting cryptocurrencies.
This block of countries have continued to develop blockchain technology. They have also implemented crypto regulations to add longevity to a fluctuating market. For example, Japan has already set out guidelines to regulate crypto exchanges to stabilize the market.
By looking to the future and creating a stable environment for digital currencies, these countries are attractive to new crypto companies and startups. Companies will want to base their operations in stable countries in order to 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 cryptocurrency market in some parts of Asia is doing very well, the regulation is not uniform. For instance in Vietnam cryptocurrency remains illegal whilst China has repressed any crypto-based trading.
Chinese Regulations In 2019
Although China may have prohibited cryptocurrency trading plus the promotion of crypto events. The Government still has an active interest in blockchain technology.
The easiest way to sum up China’s relationship to crypto is a love/hate one.
China is still investing in blockchain development, which is a positive sign as it means that they can see the potential of the new technology.
Besides this, China’s 3 giant internet companies: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are all still investing in blockchain. This shows that there’s a demand for using the technology.
Regardless of the crypto ban, China still wishes to be involved in blockchain development. Maybe they will launch their own state digital currency one day, we will need to wait and see.
2019 will be interesting to see if there are further crackdowns by the Government on the crypto industry. Maybe there could be new regulations on crypto mining which have been rumoured.
In the future China may realise the full potential of cryptocurrency and relax its legal position as a consequence. It’ll be interesting to see, but for sure Asia will continue to set the standards for change.
Fresh ideas, good regulation and growth will help Asia grow to be the global leader of crypto.
So although 2018 may have been a slightly turbulent year for crypto it has been full of many advancements and milestones.
It will be intriguing to see if our cryptocurrency predictions for 2019 come into fruition or not. Whatever happens though, 2019 will be an interesting year.
For now though, Seasons Greetings to you and a Happy New Year for 2019.
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