Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2018 Predictions

Blockchain, FinTech, Investing, News, Opinion | December 26, 2017 By:

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

Block Tribune asked industry leaders for their predictions on 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.

Dan Novaes, CEO, Current: Consumers are getting more and more comfortable with the notion of bitcoin and, more importantly, cryptocurrency as a whole. Adoption has skyrocketed in the recent months, and I think we will see it continue to grow as people embrace the technology. The next phase of blockchain will be mainstream consumers seeing it in their everyday lives with products or platforms they interact with daily. We will begin to see media and entertainment companies embrace blockchain technology by rewarding their users for their data and attention. Today, companies are taking their user’s data for their own benefit. As we transition to Web 3.0, I think we will see a shift in the business model of how many of these companies operate, and they will use tokens in order to incentivize their users to do things that would benefit the host platform, but also align incentives between all stakeholders (The users and the larger ecosystem.) This will lead to enormous network effects. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the next “Facebook” or “Netflix” will operate under this model.These incentives will lead us to see the beginning bits of global decentralized media distribution that actually makes sense, rights attribution that doesn’t involve a variety of middlemen, and a whole host of groundbreaking advancements in the media space.

Jason Goldberg, CEO, Simple Token2017 has been this year where the world woke up to crypotocurrency. A large part of that was fueled by the tremendous gains that crypto speculators have achieved and the mainstreaming of crypto investment markets. What I think will happen in 2018 is more consumers getting in. My mom knows about the coin. It’s going mainstream from a speculation and investment standpoint. But the biggest thing we will see in 2018 is a very important next step from the value chain to the utility chain. To me, bitcoin is still on the value chain – the utility chain is when you get some of the applications that are being built on ethereum, where the value is based on the work that people are doing, the staking that is taking place, enabling a whole new class of decentralized apps. That will unleash a whole new Internet and basis for the economy. It won’t be fully in 2018;  it will be a continued chaotic year and then you will have the emergence of some useful applications of cryptocurrency,  and I think we roll into 2019, which will be the breakout year for blockchain as an application.

John-Paul Thorbjornsen, CEO, CanYa.io2017 was the year that crypto went mainstream, but 2018 will be the year that crypto grows up. There will be increased regulation in some countries, but others will embrace it and will launch their own cryptocurrencies. More countries will follow Gibraltar’s lead on the DLT framework. Crypto exchanges will get audited and regulated, which will push everyone to decentralized exchanges. Some of them will even be taken down, which may cause widespread FUD and market corrections. ICOs will be cleaner and tighter, and investors will look for governance as part of their due diligence. Scammers will become smarter and more victims will be hit. Venture capital will die quietly, along with banks and insurance providers (but they will make a lot of noise first). If your job is an intermediary forwarding emails around, then expect you’ll lose your job to a smart contract.

We’ll see a wave of non-fungible token ICOs (perfect for assets), and in the back half of 2018, regulated security tokens will hit the market. Incorporating a company with shares will no longer make sense, and IPOs will stop.

Ethereum will start scaling, as will bitcoin – but not before transaction fees exceed $100. There’ll be a lot more bitcoin forks, as everyone realizes how easy it is to do.  As we are still so far from widespread adoption, the growth potential is still huge. The market will break $1 trillion early 2018, and bitcoin will surpass $50k before mid-2018.

Paul Puey, CEO of Edge: 2017 is going out with a bang for bitcoin. The rapid spike in media coverage surrounding the announcement of futures trading and the corresponding value escalation has brought bitcoin into the public eye like never before. The spotlight on bitcoin has led to a broader awareness of the wider cryptocurrency world as well, and of the broad market of related blockchain technologies, such as smart contracts and tokenization. In 2018, I expect that bitcoin will serve as a gateway through which many people will begin to engage with the wider world of cryptocurrency and decentralized blockchain technologies.

Because of bitcoin’s rapid ascent in value, I’ve heard some people characterize it as a bubble and predict an impending crash. But bitcoin isn’t a buble. It’s the pin that will pop the bubble of government money. While bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole will continue to experience volatility through 2018 and may even experience a significant correction, I don’t foresee a long-term crash like we saw in 2014 through 2016. Remember that bitcoin doesn’t behave like other tradeable assets.

2018 may also see the rise of other cryptocurrencies – particularly if bitcoin scaling solutions like the Lighting Network don’t prove immediately viable. Bitcoin’s scalability issues could open the door to Bitcoin Cash, ethereum, Dash, or Litecoin potentially displacing it as the dominant cryptocurrency. Each has scalability issues of its own, but are actively looking for solutions.