Some days it feels like it’s all bad news for crypto. When the Federal Bureau says it’s not even a blip on the radar, the SEC delays another important decision, or the Chinese clamp down on content. The Ethereum scaling issue is putting everyone in a bad mood and regulatory uncertainty is causing confusion.
But, hey. If there’s anything we know about this crazy space, it’s that the situation can turn on a dime. Daily fluctuations and weak hands aside, a lot of hard work is being done. Countries like Switzerland and Malta are leading the way on regulation. Robust platforms are getting built. And those truly dedicated to crypto have hung up a “business as usual” sign despite the market slump.
But what’s in store for the year ahead and as we move into Q4 2018? Check out these top 7 predictions for 2019… Any thoughts of your own?
7. The Year of the Security Token
If 2017 was all about raising tons of money without fear of regulatory interference, the day of reckoning has come. In the United States, particularly, there’s an overall consensus from the SEC that most tokens are securities. And even if they aren’t, well, people just aren’t taking chances.
Therefore, STOs look set to replace ICOs in 2019, if not completely, then by a sizable amount. All US offerings will be held in compliance with SEC rules under Reg D 506 (b) or (c); Reg A+, or Reg CF. “The advent of security tokens in 2019 will be a big game changer, it will do to the traditional VC industry what email did to the post office,” says CEO and managing partner of Vellum Capital Eric Kovalak.
“Next year will be the year of the security token,” says Kyle Asman, partner, and co-founder of blockchain business advisory firm BX3 Capital. “People are tired of purchasing assets that aren’t tied to something with equity, a share of future profits, or a hard asset such as real estate.
6. Further Price Decline Before Upward Swing
You were probably hoping to hear about rainbows and butterflies and Bitcoin and Ethereum skyrocketing in price. Well, that isn’t necessarily going to happen. At least, not until a further drop first. According to Kovalak:
“The largest cryptocurrencies will test lower prices before new all-time highs. Would not be unreasonable to see Bitcoin go below $3,500 and I think at these levels the fundamental story becomes hugely attractive.” Are you ready for another drop? Better buckle your belt!
5. Decentralized Exchanges and Greater Security
It’s not only John McAfee who thinks that decentralized exchanges will take over as we move into the future. There’s always been something just not quite right about centralizing a peer-to-peer technology.
But with decentralized exchanges suffering from poor usability and transaction limitations, they’re still struggling to take on the incumbents. 2019 will change all that, not only making transacting cheaper but also keeping our crypto safer since having one single point of failure has been many an exchange’s undoing.
4. Enterprise Adoption
Ledger CEO Eric Larchevêque said, “Enterprises are really at the gates of cryptocurrencies. They are waiting to invest as much as they can.” And 2019 will see larger companies integrating blockchain technology into their business processes. They’ll start to see the benefits of cost savings, fraud reduction, and greater efficiency.
Khaled Khorshid, Co-Founder | Technology for Treon, says “I predict that 2019 will be similar to 1999 when Enterprise Systems like Oracle, Siebel, Clarify, SAP, Broadvision, and others brought a leap in companies’ efficiencies by automating and integrating business processes. Starting in 2019 Blockchain technology will take companies to the next level, from data management to the information age. DApps will be the focus.”
3. Institutional Investors Jump In
As regulation finally makes it to a point where traditional investors are comfortable enough to go all-in, the crypto space will explode. Projects that are similar to existing financial systems will gain in popularity first, including Bitcoin Futures and ETFs. Says Zhang Jian, Founder of Fcoin:
“2019 will be the year that traditional investors within the stock market will take the leap into digital assets. Compliance standards and regulations will begin maturing in their understanding of blockchain, both domestically and internationally. As these specific regulations materialize and roll out to the public, a new wave of market-makers will pour into the space.”
2. Scaling Solutions
“The most interesting ongoing development in cryptocurrency today is the prototyping and release of Layer 2 solutions such as Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and Ethereum’s Plasma,” says Co-Founder and CSO Dhruv Bansal of Unchained Capital. “It’s become clear that cryptocurrencies lucky enough to attract sufficient investors and users inevitably succumb to the twin afflictions of increasing fees and limited throughput.”
Solving most existing blockchains’ scalability issues can and must take front and center in the year ahead if they’re to stay in the race. Says Bansal, “Bitcoin’s Lightning Network was beta released to the public earlier this year and already has some 3000+ nodes with 10k+ payment channels between them, providing a capacity of more than $500k in BTC for near-instant peer-to-peer transactions.
Ethereum’s Plasma project has not yet launched but a new paper by lead developers Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon suggests much progress has been made on the structure and design of Ethereum’s answer to the Lightning Network.” Watch this space.
1. Mass Adoption
That 2019 will be the year of mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is hard for many to believe. Most of the wider US and UK public have never heard of blockchain or–if they have–think it’s something illegal.
Most likely, when we start to see wider usage, Asia will take the lead, although, it’s doubtful that blockchain solutions will have enough maturity for mass appeal in the coming months.
The general consensus from the crypto community seems to be that next year is too soon to see mass adoption of crypto. We first need scaling solutions, investor buy-in, enterprise integration, tighter security, and, of course, regulation. But who knows what’s in store for 2020? That’s a little harder to gauge.
Claims That Former TRON CTO Was Sacked For Bribery & Theft Surface
Earlier this month, the Chief Techincal Officer of TRON, Lucien Chen announced his departure from the project. He had been with TRON since 2017 and laid out a three-point explanation as to why TRON just isn’t TRON anymore.
Following the announcement by Chen, the TRON PR sprung into action and according to the representatives from the project, Chen was actually sacked from his position months ago because:
“Suspicion of misappropriation of funds, bribery, competitive infringement, and theft of trade secrets and intellectual property.”
The CEO and founder of TRON, Justin Sun lent validation to this claim by retweeting it and a Reddit thread came up which relayed this information to the community.
A reported response from @Tronfoundation on the dismissal of CTO Lucien Chen, J. Zhu & X. Xie in Jan 2019 due to suspicion of misappropriation of funds, bribery, competitive infringement, & theft of trade secrets & intellectual property#TRON Reddit link:https://t.co/LeotF31NsS pic.twitter.com/RYMsn2J9rw
— Misha Lederman (@mishalederman) May 11, 2019
Giving his reasons for leaving, Chen said:
“The whole project has developed into a monetary tool without any “decentralize the web” spirit… The technology platform of TRON was built by me. I certainly know that the real Internet applications cannot function in TRON network at all currently. The TRON ecosystem is still far from commercial applications that users can really apply to.”
There are now claims that the former CTO was bribing people, misappropriately using funds, theft and so on. A post on Reddit claims:
“Chen, Zhu, and Xie were dismissed in January, 2019 for violation of corporate policies and the law. Relevant documents and materials have been handed over to the judiciary.”
Living on Bitcoin Just Got Even Easier, AT&T Accept Crypto Payments With Bitpay
Earlier today, US telecom giant AT&T proudly announced that it had become the first major American mobile carrier to accept crypto assets for the payment of bills. Customers will be able to settle their accounts using Bitcoin thanks to a deal with BitPay.
Although such developments are great for those earning in Bitcoin, for most people interested in the number one digital currency, the appeal will likely be limited. They therefore do not quite represent the holy grail’s of crypto adoption many portray them to be.
AT&T to Accept Bitcoin Payments Through BitPay
It’s getting easier than ever to live your life exclusively using digital currency. More and more online merchants are opening up to crypto assets in one way or another.
Many with a vested interest in digital currency were excited recently by the news that several large companies would be accepting Bitcoin payments – albeit in a round about way. Bitcoin users can now kit out their wardrobes at Nordstrom, shop for gaming supplies at GameStop, and even pay directly for their groceries at Whole Foods using their favourite digital currency.
This latter point got people particularly excited given that internet retail behemoth Amazon owns WholeFoods. Speculation is rife that Amazon itself could be next to accept Bitcoin via this convoluted method of using a payment processor to pay with a peer-to-peer currency.
You see, part of the recent wave of increased acceptance has been made possible by a deal between crypto exchange Gemini and a payments start-up called Flexa. Users actually pay using an application called Spedn. The merchants themselves don’t receive Bitcoin but they for very little investment they can look supportive of uber-trendy things like cryptocurrency.
The latest company to join the pseudo acceptance bandwagon is US mobile giant AT&T. It announcedvia a blog post earlier today that it would be using crypto payments processing company BitPay to receive payments from its customers online.
In the AT&T press release, Kevin McDorman, the vice president of the company’s business operations, stated of the move:
“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services… We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”
Sure, It’s Great for Crypto USERS, Not so Much for Speculators
Just like the other recent announcements of so-called merchant acceptance, this is not really the bullish news that many have made it out to be. Since AT&T will be using BitPay to process payments, they will simply receive dollars as they always would have done. To get those dollars, the Bitcoin is immediately sold creating additional downside pressure on the price of Bitcoin. For those purely speculating, it should be realised that by using such services you are increasing the likelihood of dropping the price of Bitcoin. It will be truly exciting when a major retailers takes payment directly in Bitcoin themselves and goes on to finance the business itself using the crypto asset.
Of course, these stories of increased acceptance are great for those who get paid in Bitcoin and don’t want to have to deal with an exchange just to go about their daily routines. Having more options than ever to spend crypto directly at is certainly advantageous for those trying to live without fiat.
Bitcoin [BTC] Going Above $7,950 will Start Another Breakout – Analyst
Bitcoin has been in a slight pullback for a few days now and those who have been watching the charts during this time may be confused as to the direction Bitcoin, and indeed the whole market is going next. A cryptocurrency trader known as DonAlt on Twitter has given some light on the market. He said the lead currency will see some light if it manages to rise to $7,950 from the current $7,842 price.
When will this happen?
Bitcoin grew really fast especially in May, rising way above $8,000 and the crypto community expected a move towards $10,000. However, the market started pulling back in what seemed to be a crash, but analysts said was normal. At the time, the cryptocurrency was said to be growing too fast and needed to correct again before rising at a slower pace.
This seems to agree with DonAlt’s position as the cryptocurrency has eventually corrected but its growth has become significantly slower than before. Another analyst Josh Rager says the asset will be consolidating this week and great volatility should be expected on Friday, May 31st. This may eventually lead to a climb to DonAlt’s critical $7,950 price and the long-awaited recovery above $8,000 again.
$BTC – Price movement
Expect consolidation to happen through this week
Major volatility likely by Fri May 31st with the CME BTC futures expiration
This is also the apex of the meme triangle apex (condensing price)
Support/Resistance areas labeled pic.twitter.com/S5SFBV6uXk
— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) May 23, 2019
A long-awaited rise
The initial price rise evidently raised the expectations of the crypto community and many Bitcoin holders cannot wait for the price to go up again. Not only that, altcoins were expected to rise with Bitcoin’s pullback but the current one has held down even the alts. The rise of Bitcoin is currently probably the only hope for the market and the entire space is looking forward to it.