Top Five Bitcoin Bull Run Factors Bound to Come to Fruition so We Can Party Like Its December 2017
About a week ago, a new bull run hit the crypto market, causing numerous coins to start seeing significant gains. While Bitcoin struggled to overcome the barrier which took form as $4,000 mark, the coin still managed to participate in the surge, encouraging many to buy Bitcoin and HODL, hoping that the price increase will continue. Indeed, the surge has been anticipated for a long time, and while the market is currently seeing a correction that took down coins' prices by 10% on average, this is likely not the end of the bullish trend.
Many are hoping that the surge will continue after short-term corrections, which would not be unusual for the highly-volatile market. However, while the sentiment is definitely present, it is not the only reason why the bull run is possible. Here are five other reasons why 2019 will likely see a massive price surge.
1) Institutions Are Entering The Crypto Space
In previous years, cryptocurrencies managed to grow without any support from the government, central banks, or institutional investors. However, while they were not present, the community was convinced that the institutions would enter the market sooner or later. The bull run of 2017 was seen by many as a perfect time for institutions to enter the crypto investment game, although this did not happen. Banks were skeptical of the growth, calling it a bubble and predicting that it will burst, rather than continue to grow.
It turned out that they were half-right. The bubble did burst in early 2018. However, this was not the death for crypto, as they expected. In fact, digital currencies managed to survive the longest and hardest crypto winter of the last decade. Now, they are growing again, and institutions are finally showing interest. Nasdaq itself added Bitcoin and Ethereum indexes on February 11th, showing to the world that the Wall Street is ready to become serious about crypto.
The Bakkt project also took the world by surprise when it was announced back in 2018, and while the Bakkt exchange has yet to fully launch as it was delayed due to the government shutdown, the project is still highly anticipated. Then, there was Fidelity's announcement that it would start Fidelity Digital Assets, which is basically a Bitcoin custody service. The announcement came last October, and the January announcement stated that the launch of the FDA would likely come in March 2019.
Finally, JP Morgan recently announced the launch of JPM Coin, its own cryptocurrency. And while many are ready to argue that this will not be the real crypto, it is still a big step towards dealing with actual cryptocurrencies, and as such, it should not be overlooked.
2) Second Layer Technologies Aimed At Improving Scalability Are Arriving
Ever since Bitcoin's launch, and maybe even before it — it was clear that the BTC network has a huge issue when it comes to its ability to scale. The problems became obvious as the number of traders and investors grew, and it is not unusual for transactions to have to wait a long period before being processed because of it.
However, there were also many attempts to solve the issue, and while a large number of them led to dead ends, the idea to add an additional layer to Bitcoin's blockchain stuck around. This is how Bitcoin Lightning Network was conceived, and while it has yet to be completed, it shows great promise.
Recently, a Lightning Network startup announced that it would start accepting Bitcoin payments almost instantly over the LN, with extremely low fees. While many were expecting something like this to happen in 2019, the announcement still took the crypto space by storm, with the community anxiously waiting to test it out.
3) Bitcoin ATMs Are Popping Out Everywhere
While it was never particularly difficult to buy cryptocurrencies, the process is getting simpler all the time. Not only that, but it is also getting more practical to buy coins or cash out thanks to numerous Bitcoin ATMs that are appearing around the world.
The best example of this in the US is Chicago, which recently got 30 new Bitcoin ATMs, bringing their total number to 100. This is also something that Chicago shares with Philadelphia, which also offers around 100 ATMs for crypto users.
4) Governments Are Entering The Crypto Space As Well
For a long time, governments were as skeptical when it comes to cryptocurrencies as some of the banks still are. There were a few countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Malta, or Switzerland that are known as early adopters. Whether they managed to see the coins' potential, or they did it for another reason, these are now some of the favorite destinations for crypto and blockchain startups that are looking for a crypto-friendly place to start their business at.
However, more countries have started joining the crypto space in recent years, such as Venezuela, which even launched its own cryptocurrency — Petro — in February 2018. While the Petro project turned out to be less successful as the country's government anticipated, the crypto trend is still strong in the country, although most opt to go for privacy coins instead.
Another country that made a big bet on crypto is Paraguay, which is a major hub of hydroelectric renewable energy. The country's government managed to complete its talks with the Blockchain Technology Foundation of South Korea for using its cheap energy for BTC. The two are now planning to create the largest crypto mining farm in the world, and eventually, create the largest crypto exchange on top of it.
5) Large Retailers Are Turning To Bitcoin As Well
While Japan is known around the world for being the first country to start accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment, one of its largest companies recently confirmed the sentiment. Rakuten, known to many as “Japan's Amazon,” recently stated that it is planning a major update for its mobile app platform, Rakuten Pay. The update is expected to arrive in March, and it might bring the option to make payments with crypto, alongside fiat currencies.
This move came unexpectedly, although the company established a connection with the crypto world before by acquiring a crypto exchange Everybody's Bitcoin last August. Many around the world are hoping that other similar moves will be made by large companies, particularly Amazon, although there are no announcements that this can be expected as of yet.