The previous year was quite a landmark year for cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole. The constantly soaring prices of the Bitcoin drove more and more people towards investing in cryptocurrencies. Whether this trend will continue in 2018 remains to be seen; there are however certain developments which are likely to shape the future of cryptocurrencies in the coming year.
Some of these have been discussed below as follows:
- The last year has been popularly called “Year of the Fork”; as many as 8 forks evolved from the Bitcoin(Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Silver, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Platinum, Super Bitcoin, Bitcoin Uranium etc). Some of these met with a lot of success like the Bitcoin Cash; so, it is expected that there will be some more forks for 2018.
- IFO or Initial Fork Offerings are expected to rule 2018.Since the Bitcoin market suffered a blow dipping below 33% last year it is expected that this year will be one for the altcoins. In this regard, it can be argued that Ethereum is slated to emerge as the leading altcoins in 2018. While this cryptocurrency has scaling problems a lot of hope has been pinned on it for this year.
- The ICOs will also grow as they had in the last year. The governments are also keener to regulate the ICOs and they may ban these completely instead of regulating the cryptocurrencies. This year is also expected to witness the entry of new players like MNCs which can no more stay out of this game.
- As far as a crack down on these cryptocurrencies goes, the US has already done its bit. The markets are being regularly watched by the government and stringent regulations can be expected. The IRs may make statements about taxes and tax amnesty is likely to have a big impact. A huge tax reform bill has already been approved by the Senate and the US House and this introduced the new law “First In First Out” which could be detrimental for cryptocurrencies.
- With new regulations coming in and places like CoinBase requesting for user information, there is likely to be a growth in the use of privacy coins. This is why players like Zcash and Monero might become leaders because of their privacy features.
- With the arrival of 2018, there are also likely to be changes in traditional advertising methods. A significant change that is expected to happen is that possibility of mining cryptocurrencies through in-browsers when visitors are at websites. Newer advertising platforms such as BAT are expected to find out more creative ways of generating content.
- The emergence of an era of Internet of Things is slated to get a bigger thrust from this cryptocurrency world. An affinity for IoT devices is likely to witness integration with cryptocurrencies in many different ways.
- The previous year saw huge funds leaving traditional investment institutions to move into the world of cryptocurrencies. So, as a result, banks have been left behind in the race. Every person now wants to be a part of this new game and people are willing to leave traditional banks to place their fund in the blockchain.
- Another important phenomenon which resulted from the rise of cryptocurrency popularity was the problems exchanges faced in dealing with this growth. The surging client bases shook exchanges like Coinbase. Its user base grew at an astronomical rate, almost more than 800% only in the last year. Investors earlier were not very enthusiastic about how exchanges were performing till 2017. But now, they are expected to boost their scaling efforts.
- Not only are the ICOs going to stick around; they will even branch out further, beyond the Ethereum. In short, Ethereum’s status will also be challenged in 2018.
- There had also been many devastating crimes in the world of cryptocurrency in the previous year. This trend is not likely to lessen as cyber criminals always manage to adapt to advanced technologies and they will not stop where profits are assured.
- So, even bigger exploits can be expected in this year when malicious users will discover newer ways to siphon digital assets.
- Market capitalization is also expected hit the trillion mark this year and it is predicted that cryptocurrency space will hit market cap of almost $2 trillion. If this happens, the whole ecosystem will have adapted in such a way that there will be no turning back.
- There has been a split between the Bitcoin or BTC and Bitcoin Cash BCH camps in the last year. So, politics within the Bitcoin community have assumed complex proportions. The rift is slated to widen in the future as there is no proof yet of any negotiation.
- State-backed digital cryptocurrencies are expected to make their entry this year. Countries like Russia, Venezuela and Estonia have been considering their own cryptocurrencies. They will be followed by others surely; so, it remains to be seen which of these countries ultimately takes the plunge.