This past year has been huge for the world of cryptocurrencies. We have seen bitcoin rise in price by 1287.69% this year, trading below $1,000 on January 1st, 2017 and almost reaching $20,000 in the month of December. In addition, a multitude of new blockchain projects were introduced and currencies were created, with the number now way above 1,400. Furthermore, we saw banks and governments become cautious with bitcoin, and discuss possible regulations. As 2017 comes to a close, it is now time to look ahead and give our predictions for 2018.
Will Bitcoin Continue to Lead?
Ever since it was created in 2009, bitcoin has been the number one digital currency. Over the years, it became increasingly popular and saw its value skyrocket. It is relatively safe to assume that bitcoin will have another bullish year and will keep rising in value and market capitalization. Bitcoin will still be the number one cryptocurrency in 2018 and will be the most talked about coin. Predicting that bitcoin will trade between $20,000 and $30,000 by the end of the year is no longer a far-fetched idea. However, a question we can ask ourselves is will bitcoin become the gold standard of cryptocurrency or will it be an everyday use currency?
This year, numerous altcoins saw incredible value and market capitalization increase. These include Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Neo, Monero and more. The year 2018 will be big for altcoins, and we can anticipate numerous currencies gaining traction. In addition, we can expect more altcoins to be created, with interesting projects and new usages to the blockchain that will solve real-world problems. We have already seen environmental cryptocurrencies like the EverGreenCoin, charity based projects like $PINK, and even medicine and research projects. In 2018, we can predict more Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and a plethora of new projects.
Increase in Popularity and Adoption
We will see a rise in popularity for cryptocurrencies next year. More and more people around the world are becoming interested in the blockchain technology and in digital currencies. Therefore, numerous people are turning into investors. This will be reflected with an increase in value for the digital currencies, and could also bring us closer to widespread adoption.
Wall Street and Big Money
In December, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the CME Group launched futures trading on bitcoin. It was the first time Wall Street directly got involved with bitcoin, and it probably will not be the last. In the upcoming year, the world of cryptocurrencies could be flooded with big investors and financial organizations wanting to join the market. Those investors could make the price fluctuate greatly, more than it already does. These actors can control the market as they have large sums to invest. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to all these new entrants in 2018.
This new year will also be the year where governments, financial organizations and lawmakers attempt to regulate decentralized digital currencies. Governments believe these currencies are being exchanged with “no rules” and are used for cybercrime, and will want to take action. As we have seen in the past, the market reacts strongly (usually downwards) to news of regulations. We can also expect additional protection measures taken to prevent excessive speculation and high risks, such as the ones Japan and South Korea took this year.
TLDR: The year 2017 was extremely eventful for cryptocurrencies, but 2018 looks to be even bigger. New cryptocurrencies will be created but bitcoin will remain the number one currency, big investors will enter the market and governments will look to introduce regulations and protection measures.