This past year, as the price of bitcoin rocketed to absurd heights and then dipped back down to a reasonable level of support, financial commentators were split between naysayers and true believers. In a relative sense, cryptocurrency is such a fresh phenomenon, and as such, there is no established pattern or data to weigh its fluctuations against. It’s easy for cynical pundits to dismiss crypto as a flash in the pan – consistency is not a requirement of finance writers, and they can easily change their tune later.
What seems to be emerging, however, is the first phase of a somewhat stabilized cryptocurrency ecosystem supported by consumer user, adoption by businesses and a robust currency trading market spearheaded by merchant banks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Based on the current state of things, 2019 looks like it will be the year that crypto finds a foothold and becomes an integrated part of global society – with the exception of a few holdout governments. In this post, we’ll explore the favourable factors in the crypto expansion, the obstacles and the likelihood of global acceptance.
Factors Pushing Forward
In a world where humans are increasingly managing their lives online, privacy, protecting personal data and avoiding pesky targeted ads are huge priorities. Blockchain technology offers a way to pay for goods and services without those transactions being tracked or recorded by banks or corporations. Because of an uptick in user-friendly platforms that teach you how to buy cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, complete transactions and convert your digital coin back into fiat with a minimal amount of hassle, a greater portion of the population is adopting this method of payment and transfer. Financial institutions such as the TSX are creating a market for trading crypto as well, which signals a shift to legitimacy.
Establishing regulations for the novel blockchain technology is a challenge – to put it mildly – so banks, governments and an army of technology lawyers have their work cut out establishing standards and best practices around crypto. China has banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the central bank in India issued a ban on partnering with crypto exchanges. These kinds of large-scale setbacks tend to push the price of crypto down, which can scare prospective investors.
While making predictions in macroeconomic matters dictated by the infinite complexities of the global economy is tricky, the current state of crypto indicates that 2019 will be a year of mass adoption and stabilization. Blockbuster coins like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum are increasingly safe, stable currencies to trade in, and if consumer adoption continues on the current growth trajectory, then over the counter (OTC) and exchange trading of crypto will become more and more attractive to investors.
We are currently living in an age of hyper-accelerated innovation and change. Certain phenomena that were dismissed out of hand as novel and strange a decade ago are being adopted as the new normal. The period of time when exchanging and paying with digital coins was seen as a bizarre and risky adventure is ending, and we will likely see a world that has integrated crypto into its core infrastructure in a few short years.