Top 5 Changes the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry Could Expect to See in 2019
In the ten years of its existence, the crypto space has already gone through numerous transformations that have brought major changes to it. The progression of the new industry is constant, and often relatively sharp, which has numerous negative impacts, such as the bear market, change of focus, and alike.
Even so, it is still far from being fully developed, and it is still trying to find its shape and establish its true purpose. While this is especially true for cryptocurrencies, it also includes its underlying technology, the blockchain. Both are evolving extremely fast even now, which is why investors should be aware that several big changes are expected in 2019.
1. The Change In Presentation
A few years ago, while cryptocurrencies were largely unknown to the world, announcements of new coins were pretty modest, and most of them resulted in a post on crypto forums like BitcoinTalk, accompanied with a few links. After the crypto craze struck, the project developers had to become creative in order to stand out from the sea of new coin announcements.
This shift resulted in the creation of countless websites trying to be professional and interesting, with graphics, huge white papers, LinkedIn profiles, and alike. Even this trend is still evolving, and now, there is a new shift where new tokens are announced through videos, animations, extremely short white papers which often contain only a single page, and more.
While developers once tried to explain their projects in detail, they are now trying to attract investors attention. This is an interesting twist, but it still comes with negative consequences, such as making it difficult to understand which projects actually have potential, and which are just trying to confuse investors and take their money.
2. Coins Will Start Disappearing
The cryptocurrency market constantly evolves, and it is not unusual for new projects to take over and replace some of the old hits. Even the list of top ten largest coins by market cap is almost completely different than the one from several years ago. For example, Bitcoin, XRP, and Litecoin are the only three coins from the 2013 top ten list that can still be found among on the top today. Even so, the list is somewhat changed, with XRP now holding the second place after overtaking Ethereum, while Litecoin currently holds the 7th spot.
There were also many changes among the coins' status in 2018, due to the market crash and the crypto winter that followed. Some tokens lost as much as 99% of their value and market cap, which made them drop out of the top 100 list. Something similar is likely to happen in 2019, as projects such as EOS are already becoming unprofitable for block producers, while mining rewards for BTC are dropping due to the design. If Bitcoin's price fails to grow, miners will start experiencing losses instead of gains. This has already started happening, and many of them left the mining industry, as reported in late 2018, when several mining farms had to shut down.
3. The SEC Might Make Its Move
The US SEC is one of the country's regulators that has attempted to tackle some of the issues regarding cryptocurrencies, and according to them, most of the coins are securities. While the chairman Jim Clayton pointed out that Bitcoin is not a security, almost every other coin has yet to receive this kind of pass.
Even Clayton himself stated that most of the ICOs that are in the center of the attention are, in fact, securities. Those who aim to offer and sell securities must do so in compliance with the current US laws, otherwise, they can expect a crackdown. While the US government is in the state of a shutdown at the moment, once the SEC returns to work full time, there will be plenty of targets among the 2,100+ currently active cryptos.
4. Blockchain Will Go Big In 2019
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency came in pair back in 2009, but since then, their development started moving in different ways. There is still a strong connection between the two, as blockchain still serves as the technology on which cryptos are created. Furthermore, smart contracts and dApps all use cryptocurrencies to operate. However, blockchain's use cases go far beyond just crypto, and cryptos are merely one of its countless potential use cases.
Blockchain development is also still in its infancy stages, and analysts claim that we barely scratched the surface of its full potential. With the hype regarding crypto now being in the past, developers are now focusing more strongly on blockchain technology, and 2019 might be the year of large breakthroughs.
5. More Attention To Hybrid Payment Channels
Binance Launchpad has recently launched BitTorrent Token (BTT), which captured the attention of numerous investors. The token sale has ended within 18 minutes, which might just be the record in the world of token sales. However, one important thing to note is that BTT payments, as revealed by TRON CEO Justin Sun, will use hybrid payment channels.
Another thing to remember is that XRP's parent company, Ripple Labs, managed to partner up with over a hundred banks around the world so far. All of these banks wish to improve their current payment systems by implementing Ripple's xCurrent and xRapid products, which can make payments instant and significantly cheaper.
Projects like these will likely start receiving a lot more attention in 2019, and possibly grow in number as a result. While pure crypto and blockchain payments are seemingly having difficulties with adoption, a combination of old and new technologies might find it easier to break through and enter the mainstream usage.