In 2017 we saw tremendous growth in both the price of bitcoin and the investment in initial coin offerings in the crypto space. This year, even though the price of bitcoin and the investment in initial coin offerings both have dropped sharply, the overall blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption have seen a significant rise.
There are a lot of points which prove that 2019 will be quite beneficial for bitcoin as well the cryptocurrency space as a whole.
1. Institutional Adoption:
We are already witnessing a lot of institutional agencies getting involved in the cryptocurrency space.
A. The launch of Bakkt, an open source bitcoin futures exchange which is backed by the Intercontinental Exchange which also backs the New York Stock Exchange is set to launch in early 2019. Even before the launch, Bakkt has partnerships with huge players such as Microsoft and Starbucks. Although, Bakkt was scheduled to launch in 2018 however, the launch has been delayed two times by the company as to set a perfect time for the launch.
B. Fidelity, a multinational financial services corporation which has an estimate of over $2.5 trillion in assets as of March 2018 had launched the Fidelity Digital Assets in October this year which has resulted in a massive increase in the demand for bitcoin and ethereum by institutional investors. Also the head of the corporation, Mr. Tom Jessop is all set to launch a new startup which would consider other top cryptocurrencies. The startup will be called FDAS or Fidelity Digital Assets Services. Tom believes that cryptocurrencies will see a massive surge in 2019.
C. Big institutional players such as Morgan Stanley believes that cryptocurrency is a new asset class and the institutional investment is surely on a rise. The recently launched Bitcoin ETP in Switzerland has recorded a high volume in terms of institutional investors buying the dip. Apart from this, Nasdaq, the second largest stock market in the world has recently announced the listing of Bitcoin Futures very soon.
D. The final hearing for the VanEck Bitcoin ETF is scheduled for 27th February 2019 when the SEC has to give its final decision on the approval or disapproval of the same. People are hoping that this time maybe the SEC will approve the first Bitcoin ETF.
2. Development in Bitcoin, Ethereum and others coming up:
Bitcoin and Ethereum have a lot of developments scheduled for the upcoming year.
The lightning network is obviously in everyone’s mind when it comes to the development of bitcoin as due to being decentralized in nature, bitcoin is far away from competing with other payment gateways such as Visa and Mastercard. Currently, the bitcoin blockchain can only handle around 7 transactions per second while Visa handles around 24,000 transactions per second. The lightning network will massively increase the transaction speed of bitcoin blockchain.
The Constantinople update in on the head and is scheduled to occur in January 2019. Constantinople will significantly improve the scalability of the Ethereum network which is one of the major drawbacks currently. Apart from this the update will also improve the processing time for developers and improve the Ethereum Network’s economics. Apart from Constantinople, Serenity, which is another big update is also scheduled for 2019.
3. Security Token Offerings (STO):
STO or Security Token Offerings might be the next largest thing in the world of cryptocurrencies. Just as the ICO boom last year, the upcoming year is being predicted to bring in massive amount of investment in the STO market. STOs are quite different from ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings as in a security token offering, the tokens represent the stake in the company. So, the investors in an STO would get a percentage of Stake in that particular company in accordance to his investment amount. STOs will surely attract much more investors that ICOs as most of the initial coin offerings last year were worthless or the tokens did not actually have a significant role.
4. Bitcoin Halvening in 2020:
The next Bitcoin halvening is scheduled to happen in May 2020. Bitcoin Halvening will result in the mining rewards being cut in half which prevents hyperinflation. Thus as the mining cost will increase, the price of bitcoin is likely to increase. In the past, the Bitcoin Halvenings which occurred in 2012 and 2016 both saw a new all-time high in the price of bitcoin and the same is being predicted for 2020 as well. Analysts predict that the price of bitcoin will likely start rising massively at least 6 to 8 months before halvening actually happens.