The year 2018 is behind us, and it has been a challenging year for Crypto, with growing institutional opposition and the sector rocked by scams and technical problems. Champions of crypto are not downtrodden, however, and they are hopeful looking forward to the year ahead. Here we look at some of the most exciting upcoming developments and trends that give supporters hope for 2019.
This has been a long-awaited development for users, who until now have only been able to rely on bigger centralized platforms that essentially take control of their funds once submitted. New platforms in 2019 like those from Nex and Binance will be simplified and give control back to the users. What’s more, with multiple platforms vying for success in the marketplace, it’s good news for consumers who will have more choice. Possible drawbacks include difficulty in managing high liquidity and providing customer support to such a large, sprawling platform.
Security Token Offerings (STOs)
Crypto enthusiasts are already starting to refer to 2019 as “The Year of the STO,” boosted by a huge online buzz. A shift from ICO to STO is already happening, with many stating that the latter can solve many of the former’s existing issues. STOs will allow companies to profit share, and put equity into the security tokens, for example, which means in the long run that if the company is doing well, then the token will always remain profitable. There are significant regulatory hurdles to overcome, however, not to mention a lack of international cooperation, and immediate hostility to STOs in countries like China.
Growth in Gaming
In 2018 CryptoKitties proved a hit, showing the potential of blockchain-based gaming, but active user numbers have been in decline, with some days not even exceeding 1000 users. In 2019 we are predicting a shift in the model, away from quick cash generation back to giving users a fun-filled experience. The model’s main potential lies in efficiency and avoidance of high fees from credit cards. It will take time to mature, but 2019 will see the formulae perfected and implemented. Success will follow.
CryptoKitties was backed by some serious institutional cash from Wall Street investors. As technology continues to mature, investor confidence is growing, now even reaching the most established funds and enticing capital injections from them. This gives the cryptocurrency sector greater legitimacy. This process takes time, but what has started in 2018 will continue to grow and develop, as institutional investment brings more order and stability.
Growth of the Lightning network, and improved scalability
Save the best for last, right? Scalability has been the bane of the crypto blue chips, like Bitcoin. Running at seven transactions per second limits growth, and even scaling up to 15 won’t make a significant dent. The best hope for 2019 is the growth of the Lightning network, which currently supports just under 3,000 nodes. As more people join, the network’s promise of instantaneous and fluid transactions becomes a reality. It’s not the easiest platform to use, but growth in 2019 will bring more user-friendly interfaces, especially if they gain the support of the larger exchanges.
And there you have it, still a lot of work ahead, but despite everything, the future for crypto continues to look brigh. Bring on, 2019!