I want to start this post off by stating the obvious; If you’re expecting some form of Mystic Meg type prediction regarding the price of Bitcoin et al you’re in the wrong place; You are also in the wrong place if you are expecting some kind of naive, doughy-eyed, verdict which paint’s blockchain technology as the saviour to all of the world’s problems. That being said, I do still wholeheartedly believe in the technology and its purpose I just want to be as clear and objective as possible.
The Tumultuous Year Just Passed
All this considered I think it would still be unfair to say that the past 12 months have not harboured any progress in the development and adoption of blockchain technology in general. The technological capabilities of blockchains have increased to the point of developers being able to release real time multiplayer games which utilise the decentralised nature of the technology (source), while the corporate awareness of the tech has grown to the point of Amazon announcing their intention to release their own blockchain service (source).
So What’s in Store for Next Year?
If you read my blogs you’ll know I am a believer in the tech behind cryptocurrencies, I believe it will eventually be used everyday in society and that it will power the next generation of smart(er) devices. However, I do not think that will be happening anytime soon. Right now the whole blockchain industry is in its extreme infancy. While corporate awareness is growing, public adoption and awareness of cryptocurrencies/blockchain tech is still very low.
Public Awareness & Adoption
I think that the following twelve months will possibly help us all to see how big the crypto-verse truly is. With the monetary value of cryptocurrencies declining people are going to be less inclined to jump through hurdles to get a token which may or may not be worth something if/when they get it. Social networks are becoming smarter and stricter regarding removing spam accounts/bots so I would expect a number of them which were created to claim airdrops will begin to disappear.
All that said I do believe public awareness of cryptocurrencies and blockchains will improve overall, it will just seem like less of an uptake when compared to the last twelve months due to the lower number of fake/bot accounts.
Corporate Awareness & Adoption
One of the main hurdles for blockchains has always been the clunkiness of their operation but with the DPOS (delegated proof of stake) system offered by EOS a lot of the pitfalls of blockchains such at ETH and BTC have been eliminated, although that isn’t to say EOS does not have its own problems to solve. Add to the DPOS system offered by EOS the fact that Ethereum will eventually move to a PoS (proof of stake) mining algorithm and Bitcoin’s intention to implement the Lightning Network, and things start to look a lot more promising in terms of realtime usage without inexplicably long confirmation times.
I think that, while it may not be shouted from the rooftops of all major cities, by the end of the next twelve months we will be witnessing a surprising number of companies beginning to utilise blockchain technology behind the scenes, to emphasise my point I would like to point you to this article about an Ethereum based game due to be released on the PS4.
The Death of Shitcoins and Birth of Regulation
As is always the case, with corporate adoption comes regulation and accountability and I am of the opinion that the current batch of cryptocurrencies which fail to organise themselves in a way which allows for accountability and legal/financial scrutiny will all disappear in the coming year(s). Exit scams such as the recent PRL debacle will always be on the mind of investors and users of blockchains, this is going to make it extremely hard for any anonymously operated chain to successfully compete with those which have a publicly verifiable face to hold accountable for any possible shortcomings of the project.
In the past year we have seen numerous governments around the globe begin to take cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology seriously and I believe the next year will see them begin to implement regulatory procedures. These speculated regulations will be what cause anonymous crypto founders to do one of three things:
- reveal their identity
- hand over the reigns to someone who is prepared to do so
- shut down operations and cut their losses (or count their gains)
So, there you have it, my (probably wrong) opinion as to what the following twelve months hold for our beloved crypto-verse. Whether I am wrong or right about it I think it is safe to say one thing, it will be an entertaining year none-the-less.