Are you wondering where cryptos will go next or predictions for cryptocurrencies in 2018? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
It’s impossible to dispute – 2017 was the year bitcoin and its ilk went mainstream. At the beginning of the year, bitcoin was still on the fringe of popular consciousness; a tech world niche and nothing more.
By the end of the year, bitcoin’s value increased from $967 dollars per coin in January to a high of $19,000 in December. Chicago became the first stock exchange in the U.S. to allow cryptocurrency trading on the floor; Argentina plan to make it a feature of their stock exchange.
The market value of cryptocurrencies on the whole went from a measly $17.7 billion in January, to an eye-watering $515 billion at the year’s close. That’s a whopping increase of 2810%.
Economists the world over are issuing dire warnings about bitcoin and other cryptos, painting them as a poor target for investment. Sometimes these warnings, from financial leaders attached to central banks and governments, sound like the fears of people inside the system, worried about a currency doing so well beyond conventional channels.
Whatever the cause, 2018 opens to dire predictions from people about cryptocurrencies. People are saying the bubble is guaranteed to burst, and everything will go back to how it was.
Perhaps the bubble will burst, but everything calmly returning to how it was before seems unlikely.
Even if individual cryptocurrencies are on their way out, developments in blockchain technology – the ledger behind most cryptocurrencies – are here to stay.
Here we’ve collated some of the biggest predictions for cryptocurrencies in 2018.
1Central Banks Will Start Holding Cryptocurrencies
A lot of people who are invested in the success of cryptocurrencies have suggested that central banks will start to hold shares in 2018.
On one level, it makes sense; in terms of supply, Bitcoin is already top thirty of currencies worldwide. Central banks also traditionally hold assets other than the currency of their base. Popular assets banks have traditionally held are silver and gold, but blockchain-based currencies are a valuable asset in the digital age. You could call them ‘digital gold’.
2Nation States Will Develop Their Own Cryptocurrencies
It was in October that Saudi Arabia announced they would be developing their own blockchain based digital currency to enable faster transactions across borders, although it would only be used within their banking system.
Estonia wanted to develop their own cryptocurrency Estcoin, but the EU deemed no country with the Euro is allowed to develop their own currency.
Canada’s central bank has flirted with blockchain as its infrastructure for payments, and has been confirmed to use blockchain technology for cross-border payments to the U.S.
After banning cryptocurrency holdings within its borders, China is apparently interesting in developing a cryptocurrency itself.
As you can see, there’s been a lot of interests from Nation States about developing their own cryptocurrency in 2017 – prepare to see more of that in the year ahead.
3Greater Adoption in Other Industries
It’s important to remember that blockchain technology isn’t just useful as a means of financial exchange. In any field or industry which could benefit from instant transfers, and complete oversight when recording transactions, blockchain is guaranteed to be adopted at some point. It’s just so much more efficient than any ledger system we are using now.
4The Development of Smart Contracts
Blockchain technology would allow the conditions of contracts to be automatically fulfilled when certain demands are met.
Lots of things in our lives are based on contracts, such as whenever anyone buys anything online. Blockchain technology can make sure no money is debited until each condition of the contract is fulfilled.
On a more global level, insurance giant AIG are looking at developing a system on blockchain of smart contracts for their international insurance operations.
5Cryptocurrencies Will Overcome Scalability Issues
Some of the big dogs in the cryptocurrency game, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, have had massive problems with poor scalability as market interest in them has increased.
2018 will see cryptocurrencies overcoming the challenges with scalability issues, as new currencies, like IOTA, for example, are developed with the specific focus of allowing expansion, and enabling fast transactions.
6Prepare to See More Hacks
In December 2017, we’ve seen a South Korean bitcoin exchange go bust after a hack, with customers losing 25% of their investments. Prepare to see even more hacks in 2018, and a lot of people suffering huge losses.
The cryptocurrency market is unregulated, and the rewards are mouth-watering – essentially, online cryptocurrency wallets are quite the target for a hacker with money on her mind.
Author: Ellie Wiseman
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