So 2018 has well and truly been an interesting one for cryptocurrencies with many developments globally. It will 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 knew that since that moment when Bitcoin was created that it would lead to the launch of hundreds of other cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies have completely changed the way people perceive virtual currency from traditional cash.
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 may 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 grow 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 for some of the biggest names in banking.
For example in the USA, 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 this October the Ripple owned MoneyTap application was rolled out to 60 Japanese banks. The MoneyTap application will allow customers to make instant and
This use of Ripple products to supplement banks operations will mean that we are likely to see 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 caused 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 Bitcoin and other cryptos as use for transactions by terrorists and criminals. This is one of the reasons that cryptocurrency has not been adopted for use by the average citizen.
The other reason that has stopped people from using cryptocurrency is general confusion about what it is. There is also the other details like blockchain or the concept of cryptocurrency that need to be understood too.
2019 though could be the year that mass usage of crypto increases. Reasons for this looking probable come 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 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 a 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 point 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 over 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 will have to focus on creating simpler user on boarding 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. 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 and crypto regulations to introduce longevity to a fluctuating market. For example, Japan has already set out guidelines to regulate crypto exchanges to stabilize the market.
This focus of looking to the future and creating a stable environment is attractive for 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.
The fact though that China is still investing in blockchain development is a positive sign, as it means that they can see the potential of the new technology. China’s 3 giant internet companies which are Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are all investing in blockchain, so it’s clear there is a demand there for it.
Even if China wishes to be a leader in blockchain development regardless of the crypto ban, 2019 will be interesting to see if there are further crackdowns on the crypto industry. Maybe there could be new regulations on crypto mining which have been rumoured. But the positive side is that whilst there is Chinese investment in blockchain, crypto companies can grow and develop in that area for next year.
Maybe in time China will also realise the potential of cryptocurrency and may relax its legal position in the future. 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 one full of many advancements and milestones. 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.
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