2017 was the year of cryptocurrencies, from the massive rise of value of the big three (Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum’s Ether), to the explosion of ICOs and millions of dollars raised through the offering, plus the serious interest of financial markets and institutions.

Governments, like the Japanese, regularized Bitcoin, while the Chinese are cracking down on it.

What is 2018 going to mean for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, and how will it influence our lives?

Here are some thoughts.

Rise & Death Of Currencies

New cryptocurrencies are popping up left and right. Your newsfeed is full of it while Facebook’s annoying suggested video is always showing off ICOs or a new currency.

The truth is, with more people jumping on the bandwagon and trying to cash in, many currencies will be born and many will perish. Perhaps a few will survive and challenge the top ones.

However, that will be only due to these currencies having a specific characteristic that the others will lack. You should follow closely every currency out there. Perhaps that worthless currency you ignore today will be the next big thing!

Year of the Forks

Some currencies will be not new, but born out of old ones. Bitcoin Cash was a successful fork and as systems get overwhelmed, newer forks will be created.

Indeed, 2018 might be the Year of the Forks.

Enter Player Two

Cryptocurrencies were the domain of the public. Seen as a fad, no major financial institution or a government took it seriously.

Now with Japan accepting it as a legal form of payment and China’s attempt to crush it, things are shaking up and major investors are finally taking these seriously and starting to invest in cryptocurrencies.

It’s a reasonable bet that 2018 will see major multinationals start trading in these digital currencies.

From Hipster to Mainstream

While Litecoin is not the king of cryptocurrencies that Bitcoin (currently) is, more and more stores and organizations are starting to accept it as a payment.

Sometime in 2018 when you go out to get coffee, ask your barista and there’s a good chance you will find you can pay for your morning elixir with Litecoin or another cryptocurrency!

More Leaving Banks Behind

High transfer charges and longer transaction time by banks were a couple of main reasons of cryptocurrencies’ success. What a traditional bank could do in days or hours, cryptocurrencies can generally do in a few minutes.

2018 will see more and more people converting their cash into cryptocurrencies and leaving the traditional banks altogether, storing their wealth on the blockchain.

Digital Loans

Regarding holding cryptocurrencies versus fiat currency, some may argue that at least banks gave interest on your deposited fiat.

Enter the Lending Groups: platforms based on blockchain that let you loan out your cryptocurrency against their own currency and you earn interest on it (note: Poloniex offers this on their platform right now).

Many analysts are warning people that handing your crypto money to other people is a high-risk game, but so was converting your cash into pieces of computer code in the first place!

DAO

Imagine a corporation that does not have a financial head or a CEO.

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With a high interest in the working of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, we will definitely see one or another form of an organization that will have no board of directors and it will be governed through autonomous set of orders that its investors and shareholders will have decided at a previous time.

Decentralized Exchanges

Do you trade regularly on crypto exchanges?

Do you deal with delays in verifying transactions?

It might be that decentralization will be an even bigger buzzword in 2018.

Your crypto currency is decentralized, so why not the exchange you use to trade, too?

It’s pretty clear that a decentralized exchange (or DEX) is inevitable.

But, Then Again, What Do We Know?

We are no wizards and we cannot predict the future. Our thoughts are based on the current trends and the innovative technologies being developed.

What are your thoughts for 2018?

 

(Cover photo by Jiyeon Park on Unsplash.)

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