Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2018 Predictions – Part IIbr>
Block Tribune continues today with its survey of industry leaders predicting what might happen in the coming year. We will run several each day through the New Year, offering insight from the people on the front lines of creating this bold new world.
The year 2017 has been a wild time for blockchain and cryptocurrency – more than $3 billion was raised via initial coin offerings and traditional investments, countless new companies were started, and cryptocurrency prices soared.
Now 2018 beckons, offering further innovations, government actions, traditional players getting more heavily involved, and (hopefully) continuing price increases for cryptocurrency.
Our experts predict:
Matt Smith, Senior Software Engineer, Gem: 2017 was the year of the token; the year of the ICO. We saw an incredible influx of capital into the space, distributed almost indiscriminately among blockchain-powered currencies and applications. Although 2017 was earlier heralded as the year of the pilot, we saw very few applications launch with anything resembling real-world data. Instead we saw a meteoric increase in speculation across the board. So what’s coming in 2018?
1) More money. Even in the face of volatile price swings typical to digital assets, awareness and sentiment are at all-time highs among professional and casual investors. Regardless of the behavior of individual assets, the market cap of digital assets as a class is very likely to increase.2) More forks. 2017 taught the market that forking existing blockchain networks can be very lucrative, even when the organizations leading the fork have clear conflicts of interest (Bitcoin Cash), highly questionable skillsets (Bitcoin Gold), and unabashedly “pre-mine” substantial amounts of money to themselves (Bitcoin Cash AND Bitcoin Gold). The market will have to learn to value these rapidly proliferating new assets.3) Production-ish Apps & dApps. Projects like Augur and SALT Lending are quickly approaching the point where they will support actual usage by real users. We’ve been promised meaningful utility for years and in 2018 we’ll see a few projects fulfill (or fail to fulfill) their promise. This will be the first opportunity for projects bootstrapped by ICOs to demonstrate their value and should offer investors and creators alike concrete metrics for how to value new and existing assets. 4) Regulation and refined ICOs. The SEC and CFTC have begun issuing clearer guidance on how they will police digital assets; so far the message has been that they see potential for bolstering innovation through token-based funding, but that they will brook no nonsense when it comes to passing off securities as anything but that. We’ll see the ICOs that launch next year converge on a set of expectations and practices, which will often include restrictions on which and how many investors may participate in a sale and how tokens are transferred after a sale. Very possibly, we’ll see a new class of compliant digital asset exchange emerge that will accept the responsibility of due diligence when allowing traders access to tokenized securities. 5) Taxes. Finally, everyone already in the space will grumble bitterly about taxes.
Ashton Addison, CEO, EventChain: 2018 will be the most exciting year yet for the acceptance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into mainstream adoption. While Bitcoin will receive a lot of mainstream attention for its price increases, the real market winners will be altcoin holders. I expect even more countries to take their own public positions on cryptocurrency moving forward. Some nations may introduce legislation, some may ban cryptocurrencies, and some will create their own. It’s also the year we will truly find out if these distributed networks will be able to scale as quickly as the industry demands, or will the network. Everyday people will soon realize that blockchain technology is not something that is just going to aid the financial industry; it introduces revolutionary changes in the way the business will be conducted in the majority of industries, including ones where you would least expect it to. Whatever it does bring, I know the Bitcoin and blockchain communities are already advocating for the transition into more decentralized infrastructure not for personal gain but for the betterment of mankind. As for predictions of Bitcoin’s price, no one knows for sure, but if history were to repeat itself and Bitcoin grows another 2000% that would put it at $400,000 a coin. While it may seem absurd to some, the same percentage growth just happened in Bitcoin, Going from below 1,000 each all the way to 20,000 USD in 2017, and the majority of this was only in the tailing months of the year. The exciting thing about this whole movement is not the price increases but the underlying value these networks can bring to improving business relationships.
Daniel Alexiuc, CEO, Living Room of Satoshi: I think that in 2018 Ledger will get sued by Apple for imitating their naming and packaging too closely. This will shut down their production temporarily, triggering a global shortage of hardware wallets, and people will pay over $1000 to get hold of one. Unanticipated advancements in mining efficiency and creative sourcing of cheap electricity will increase the global Bitcoin hashrate by three orders of magnitude. Lightning begins to be used by some early adopters for point of sale systems and online payments in the second half of 2018. Bitpay will spearhead this, and most exchanges will follow in the months after. Bitcoin will overtake Gold’s market cap in October 2018 as it becomes clear that the Blockchain is less of a payment system, and more of a global trust machine. Most superannuation funds will offer some sort of exposure to Bitcoin as an option for risk tolerant customers. Terrorist financing concerns will escalate and occupy media attention. The Japanese government will reveal they have been stockpiling Bitcoin.
Arwen Smit, CMO and Founder, Dovu: In 2018, blockchain will move from innovators to early adopters. The number of token holders will increase, and in parallel, many pilots that have been in stealth mode in 2017 will come out of development. VC’s will enter the fray and we will see a hybrid of token and equity investments. Finding the right balance in regulation will become a competitive advantage for cities to attract a new generation of founders.