Where Will Crypto Be in 2019?
On May 31st, world-famous venture capitalist Mary Meeker published a list you need to take a look at.
The list details the top internet trends of 2018. It's important for you to take a look at this list because it isolates some of the major technology trends to keep an eye on.
So what are the top trends of 2018?
Well, a lot of them are fairly obvious. They are trends we've been talking about on Wealth Daily for a while. Mobile usage has continued to grow in the United States, intensifying the need for 5G networks. E-commerce purchasing increased by 13%, with most customers turning to Amazon at the very start of their product search. Personal assistants are getting better, and sales of these devices are on the rise.
And then there is the trend I want to focus on in this article: cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is still a major trend in 2018. In just two years, the digital currency market went from being worth under $20 billion to over $500 billion.
And now some experts are projecting that the value of the market will be in the trillions by the end of 2018.
But is that the truth? Are digital currencies here to stay or are they just an investment fad driven by hype?
For investors who are still critical, there are a few events taking place that set crypto up for long-term growth and help highlight where the industry will be by the end of the year.
Exchanges Are Growing, and There Are Now More Ways to Invest
One of the best ways to gauge the growth of the digital currency market is by looking at the exchanges and investment channels.
Why? Well, after 2017, Bitcoin transitioned away from being an investment for rebels and nerds. Suddenly, 90% of Americans knew what Bitcoin was and wanted a piece of the action. And this meant exchanges and investment channels had to change to meet the needs of retail investors.
At the start of 2017, digital assets were still hard to get ahold of. Investors had to go through crypto-to-crypto exchanges for many altcoins. These routes are better suited for the technically savvy and could pose security risks for the traditional retail investor.
To fix this problem, fiat-to-cryptocurrency wallets like Coinbase need to offer more tokens. There also needed to be more mainstream ways for investors to access crypto.
And now these things are happening.
In just the last year, over a hundred hedge funds have been launched for crypto.
Beyond that, the main exchanges and software wallets have started to step up their game. Just a few weeks ago, Coinbase acquired Paradex, a platform that allows investors to trade ERC20 tokens between their peers.
The acquisition means that soon Coinbase could offer more ERC20 tokens on its platform. For those of you newer to crypto, an ERC20 token is any token built on the Ethereum platform. Today, some of the more notable ERC20 tokens include VeChain, OmiseGo, Golem, Storj, EOS, Tron, and Binance Coin.
New tokens on Coinbase will likely attract more investors and encourage demand. It will also boost market liquidity.
All of that is exciting news, and it indicates that the digital currency space is going to grow rather than shrink. But there is still one important question.
Will the big government allow digital currencies to succeed? After all, didn't we see sweeping regulatory measures at the start of 2018?
The answer here may surprise you.
Push for Blockchain and Acceptance of Cryptocurrency
Despite being uneasy about digital currencies themselves, many governments are running full tilt at blockchain.
In China, President Xi Jinping praised blockchain technology as a “breakthrough.” China is now considering blockchain technology as one of its priorities alongside AI, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and mobile communication.
In other Asian countries, blockchain is also picking up momentum. South Korea is using blockchain technology to track packages, and in neighboring Japan, massive gaming company Gumi launched a $30 million global blockchain investment fund.
When you venture into the West, blockchain projects are no less ambitious.
In the United States, multiple government officials and states have come forward in support of blockchain technology.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summer stated, “I’m reasonably confident... that the blockchain will change a great deal of financial practice and exchange.”
All of these efforts and statements make it pretty clear that governments are opening up to blockchain technology. But what about the cryptocurrencies blockchain supports?
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On this topic, governments are a bit more uncertain.
To many governments, digital currencies are still incredibly high risk, posing a risk to retail investors because of volatility. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission has stepped in to hold initial coin offerings (or ICOs) to the same litigious standards as other forms of venture capitalism.
This, in the long run, will help protect investors, while still empowering small companies to take advantage of coin offerings, which have dozens of benefits.
In other countries, regulatory measures are still up in the air. Both South Korea and Japan are considering lifting their ICO ban, while China remains firm that ICOs are illegal and criminal activity.
All that said, the entire global community has still made significant progress in the world of blockchain and digital currency.
At the start of 2017, digital currency investing was essentially the same as going into the Wild West armed with nothing but your wits. Now, regulators are making crypto a bit safer for the retail investor. Some cities, like Hong Kong, are embracing their own digital currencies.
But where will things be in 2019?
Blockchain and Crypto 2019
Based on increased adoption, more tools, and a general increase in interest, it looks like blockchain technology is gearing up to end 2018 strong. Here at Wealth Daily, we believe the following events are likely on the horizon:
More blockchain adoption and development will likely take place in the corporate space. This will increase blockchain awareness and further industry growth and the use of blockchain-based tokens.
Security tokens will become more common in the United States, with companies opting to use initial coin offerings while submitting to regulation. To date, ICOs are still faster and more cost-effective than many traditional venture capital methods. Security tokens present a unique opportunity for investors and could allow them to partake in early-stage companies.
More tokens will come onto the fiat-to-crypto exchanges. This seems less like speculation and more like a game of waiting. Gemini just added new token Zcash, and Coinbase is publicly building out infrastructure to facilitate more tokens.
We've come a long way since the early days of Bitcoin, and now digital assets are working their way toward mainstream use and adoption. That means if you haven't learned about digital assets already, now is a good time to start.
If you're curious about digital currencies and would like to learn more, make sure to take advantage of our FREE digital currency education service. To learn more about that service, click here.
@AlexandraPerryC on Twitter
Alexandra Perry is a contributing analyst for Wealth Daily and Energy and Capital. She has multiple years of experience working with startup companies, primarily focusing on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, alternative energy, and biotech. Her take on investing is simple: a new age of investor can make monumental returns by investing in emerging industries and foundational startup ventures.
P.S. In this article we talked briefly about the recent Coinbase acquisition of Paradex and what this could mean for investors. If you would like to read more about this topic, make sure to check out the latest article on our digital currency-focused website Token Authority. Just click here.
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