It is no secret that 2018 has been a pretty wild year for cryptocurrencies and those involved with them. After two market crashes and more than 12 months of the bearish market (and counting), many are waiting for a shift in the crypto ecosystem that will bring back the prosperous times.
According to experts, this will undoubtedly happen at some point, and crypto is far from being dead right now. Instead, it is simply experiencing a natural flow which moves in circles. The theory of a circular behavioral pattern is taking place more and more, and many believe that the crypto winter is nearing its end. While there are claims that the worst has yet to come, the belief that positive momentum will follow is even stronger.
The only thing that the analysts cannot predict with precision is when is this shift going to occur. Optimists believe that it will happen soon, and definitely at some point in 2019. Whether this will turn out to be true or not remains to be seen. In the meanwhile, 2019 is a year where a lot is expected to happen in the crypto world, most of which should have a very positive impact on the market. Here are some of the main changes that are predicted to come in the crypto and blockchain spaces in 2019.
1) Institutions going crypto
Bringing institutional investors to the crypto world has been one of the long-lasting desires of the space, as institutions tend to move much larger amounts of investment money than individual investors. Cryptocurrencies managed to come to life and develop for an entire decade without having help or support from institutions, banks, or governments. However, in order for them to take the next step, they will require investors.
Steps to make the crypto space more interesting to institutions have already been taken in several ways. One of them includes different attempts to gain the US SEC’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs, which the regulator continued to reject for years. Now, however, there are indications that one of the applications — submitted by VanEck and SolidX — might have a chance of getting the positive response. The date for the SEC’s decision is February 27th.
Another method of bringing institutions to crypto is the pending launch of Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Exchange. Bakkt announcements were also surrounded by a lot of excitement, and the project was supposed to go live in late 2018. Unfortunately, due to delays in getting regulatory approval, the launch was delayed for January 24th. As the date is less than a week away, many believe that another delay will be announced in the following days.
2) The rise in popularity of DEXes
DEXes, or decentralized exchanges, are seen by many as the logical next step on the road of decentralizing the web. While cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology depend on decentralization in order to fulfill their purposes, most of the largest exchanges are still heavily centralized, and as such, traders’ coins are not truly theirs until they leave the exchange.
DEXes have started gaining popularity for this exact reason, and many believe that 2019 is the year when they will truly go big, and mark the next milestone in crypto development.
3) Large companies might shift towards blockchain and crypto
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology won the interest of large companies a long time ago. However, most of them have been hesitant to make a move towards adopting them due to lack of regulations, high volatility, lack of proper security measures, and other problems.
While these issues still remain unresolved, many believe that companies might decide to implement new technologies and adopt crypto relatively soon. One popular belief is that only one small step is preventing large firms from going crypto. Digital currencies have already proven their potential to reach large heights and survive extremely difficult periods. As a very resilient and popular form of money, it would not be unimaginable for firms to start adopting them at some point, maybe even in 2019.
4) Security tokens might go big
Ever since the ICO trend died out, the crypto space was searching for its spiritual successor. Now, experts believe that security tokens and STOs might be the right way to go. The main difference between STOs and ICOs is that ICOs depended on investors trust in the project they invest in. They had to part with their funds, hoping that the coins they receive in return will become valuable in the future, as the project proves its value to others.
This has led to scams, coins going useless due to weak projects, and other troubles that have quickly shown that ICOs are definitely not the way to go.
However, STOs may be different, due to the way security tokens operate. There is no need for trust in the projects, as security tokens get their worth from tokenized real-world assets. This may include anything from diamonds and gold to real estate, art, or anything else that has value. In a way, security tokens can work as shares of the company that provides them, which eliminates the need for trust, and provides token holders with a guarantee that they are not being scammed.
There are many other changes expected to arrive in 2019, with these ones being among the largest. Naturally, there is no guarantee when it comes to the future, but whatever happens in the following months — the year will certainly be quite eventful.