Cryptocurrency is worth around $500 billion and projected to be in the trillions by the end of 2018. 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.
One of the best ways to gauge the growth of the digital currency market is by looking at the exchanges and investment channels.
After 2017, Bitcoin transitioned from being an investment for nerds to 90% of Americans knowing what Bitcoin is. Exchanges and investment channels are changing to meet the needs of these new retail investors.
At the start of 2017, investors had to go through crypto-to-crypto exchanges for many altcoins and this could pose security risks for the traditional retail investor. To address this issue, fiat-to-cryptocurrency wallets like Coinbase began to offer more tokens and there were more mainstream ways for investors to access crypto.
In the last year, over a hundred hedge funds have been launched for crypto. The main exchanges and software wallets have upped their game. Soon Coinbase will offer more ERC20 tokens, tokens built on the Ethereum platform, on its platform. These include VeChain, OmiseGo, Golem, Storj, EOS, Tron, and Binance Coin. New tokens on Coinbase will attract more investors and encourage demand. It will also boost market liquidity. This indicates that the digital currency space is going to grow significantly.
But the question is: will big governments allow digital currencies to succeed? The answer may surprise you. Many governments are running full tilt at blockchain. In China, President Xi Jinping praised blockchain technology as a “breakthrough.” China is considering blockchain technology as one of its priorities alongside AI, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and mobile communication. 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.
In the United States, multiple government officials and states support blockchain technology. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summer stated, “blockchain will change a great deal of financial practice and exchange.” Governments are opening up to blockchain technology, but what about the cryptocurrencies blockchain supports?
To many governments, digital currencies are still high risk, posing a risk to retail investors because of volatility. he Securities and Exchange Commission in the US is holding initial coin offerings (or ICOs) to the same standards as other forms of venture capitalism. This will help protect investors, while still empowering small companies to take advantage of coin offerings, which have dozens of benefits.
Since the start of 2018, regulators are making crypto safer for the retail investor. Some cities, like Hong Kong, are embracing their own digital currencies.
So where will things be in 2019?
Based on increased adoption, more tools, and a general increase in interest, blockchain technology is gearing up to end 2018 strongly:
- Security tokens will become more common as companies opt to use regulated initial coin offerings. Security tokens present a unique opportunity for investors and will allow them to participate in early-stage companies.
- More tokens will come onto the fiat-to-crypto exchanges. We've come a long way since the early days of Bitcoin, and now digital assets are becoming mainstream use and adoption.
If you don’t have digital assets already, now is the time to start.
There is a school of thought that says Cryptos will come into its own when Qantum computing gets nailed - and that he says is imminent!