As 2017 draws to a close, it is incontrovertible that cryptocurrencies were among the largest and hottest topics grabbing headlines during the year.
Advisors and bitcoin bulls are steadfast in their message that the cryptocurrency revolution is here and can't be ignored by companies around the world.
However, with something so new, and tumultuous, what lies ahead on the horizon is not too obvious to see.
To attempt to get the lay of the land for cryptocurrencies and related issues, South Africa will host its initial blockchain summit in March 2018, where leaders and analysts in the space will deliver their perspectives.
“On the one hand, we will need to realize that blockchain, as with any technology, is just an enabler and not a golden goose lying magical eggs, that will automatically fix all your business's problems,” said Naomi Snyman, blockchain direct at Standard Bank, who'll be speaking at the summit.
“On the flip side, it's time we move on from proof of concept manner and concentrate on scaling and expanding partner networks to induce use cases.”
Lorien Gamaroff, CEO of Bankymoon and another speaker at the summit, stated that cryptocurrencies can radically reduce the cost of cross-border remittances and increase the efficiency and convenience of transferring money.
“Capital controls are just another compelling factor driving cryptocurrencies. We could be in the watershed where fiat currencies eventually become obsolete in favour of decentralized, digital alternatives,” he said.
Investor, businessman and group co-CEO of The Creative Counsel (TCC), Ran Neu-Ner meanwhile holds cryptocurrencies‘ tumultuous qualities in high regard.
“The key word when you're thinking about the blockchain is decentralization… Just keep asking yourself, if something is centralised, how is it likely to be interrupted? Because it is going to be interrupted. It is a new market, where everybody who leads makes their fair share in tokens,” Neu-Ner explained.
A number of the major forecasts for the crypto marketplace in 2018 comprise:
- The cryptocurrency market capitalisation will triple within the following year.
- Cryptocurrency investment products, maybe even an exchange traded fund (ETF), drive retail store up.
- Bitcoin and Ethereum will lead the discussion on scaling blockchain, together with either on-chain or off-chain scaling.
- As a result of regulation, there'll be massive consolidation in the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) market, with solid ICOs remaining.