crypto 2019
Cryptocurrency & Blockchain

What Does 2019 Have in Store for Crypto?

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

Give or take a week or two I think it is fair to say that the past 12 months have been one hell of an intense ride if you you were aboard the crypto train. We saw the likes of the blockchain originator, Bitcoin (BTC), reaching unprecedented valuation highs of near the $20k USD mark. We saw multi-million dollar hacks which resulted in both exchanges and traders alike seeing their funds pull a Houdini, and disappearing from under their noses. We also saw a few tasty exit scams, idiotic PR stunts (source) and multiple arrests for fraud. All of this topped off with a drop in market cap large enough to solve world poverty for at least a year (source).

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?

The absolute honest answer to that question is one I think you already know (“I don’t know, nobody does”), but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate our hair-brained theories which we pluck out the air like a dandelion seed, does it? With the current state of traditional global stock markets I am not even going to attempt to predict the price of Bitcoin etc. What I will instead speculate on is the actual tech itself, and adoption of it.

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

In my honest opinion the actual size of most of the current crypto communities is probably significantly lower than that shown in their social counters. This is down to the perfect storm created by the equation of bots + airdrops. The fact is the airdrop craze which spread last year resulted in numerous people making dummy accounts to claim said airdrops multiple times for financial gain. This has resulted in Telegram groups which have an impressive number of members by head count but probably have significantly less unique individuals present.

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

This is where I believe we will see the largest advances in the industry. With companies like Amazon already getting in on the action it is only a matter of time until other major players in the tech space begin to align themselves in the crypto-verse. I think that corporate awareness of blockchains is already at a healthy level and that the following 12 months will see numerous digitally oriented businesses begin to realise the benefits of a distributed ledger system.

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

Finally, I believe that 2019 will finally see the long anticipated death of numerous shitcoins which have little to no purpose in the world, other than providing their founders with a little extra change. The current climate of the crypto-verse is one which has seen huge swathes of tokens and coins pop-up with little to no substance behind them. Numerous coins which are currently in circulation are simply forks from anonymous entities and the majority of white-papers are ill-thought plans which simply blurt out buzzwords (decentralised this, smart contract that, dApp the other) without any actual indication as to how their publishers aim to complete the tasks which they set out.

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.