In just a few years time, the landscape of blockchain and cryptocurrency has changed a lot. In 2018, changes appear to be happening even more rapidly than years prior. Here are the top ten trends (both good and bad) any cryptocurrency investor should watch out for when making investment decisions.
10 Key Crypto Investment Trends
1. More Proactive Cross-Industry Collaboration
In the past, we have seen cross-industry collaboration shape the global economy. However, the reason has been mostly reactive rather than proactive. This hasn’t been the case when it comes to the implementation of blockchain technology.
Instead, projects seem increasingly willing to form strategic partnerships in order to remain ahead of potential competition. We are beginning to see important blockchain collaborations with established companies like IBM and Maersk as well as blockchain-specific projects like Ethereum and Raiden.
2. Greater Mobile Accessibility of Cryptocurrencies
When Bitcoin was first invented in 2009, mobile apps barely even existed. Flashforward to 2018 and mobile apps are an integral part of the daily lives of billions of people around the world.
However, cryptocurrencies still have limited usability on mobile devices. Yet, this trend is quickly changing as more decentralized applications (dapps) and dapp platforms emerge to make crypto mobile-friendly.
Additionally, blockchain projects like the one proposed by Sirin Labs aim to create mobile devices specifically for the use of blockchain-based applications and cryptocurrencies.
3. Emergence of New Token Platforms
In early 2018, most cryptocurrency projects utilise ERC20 tokens, which utilise the Ethereum blockchain. While Ethereum still provides the best usability in the minds of many project founders, there are a variety of new platforms emerging to rival and possibly even surpass Ethereum in the near future.
NEO, EOS, Tron, and others are looking to take more market share. Will this become a reality? The answer is yet to be determined; however, it’s important to keep track of which platforms gain more widespread adoption and which don’t. Ultimately, this could have a major impact on the token prices and market cap rankings of these projects.
4. More Testnets Before ICO
With increasing competition to raise funds and a number of successful blockchain projects providing higher quality prototypes, investors can expect to see that project teams will begin to provide more proof-of-concepts/technical milestones before going out to raise funds.
5. Consensus Algorithm Changes
Amongst the cryptocurrency community, it’s no secret that major consensus algorithm changes are on the way. From a technology perspective, this can help make blockchain transactions faster and more scalable.
Ethereum, for example, is changing from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. Also, most PoW projects are implementing ASIC resistance algorithms to prevent the centralisation of token supplies via large-scale mining farms.
6. New Regulation Frameworks
Governments in quite a few nations around the world are enacting legislation on cryptocurrency ICOs, trading, mining, and other activities. For some investors in the cryptocurrency community, regulation means that it will be difficult to participate in the new token economy. However, for others, it will actually be easier and move crypto much closer to the mainstream.
AML and KYC checks are becoming industry standards. Projects like SingleSource are working to provide up-to-date resources to help project teams and potential investors to comply with new regulations.
7. Greater Token Supply Decentralisation
As mentioned in number five in this list, more projects are looking to decentralisation of cryptocurrency mining. This is also part of a bigger trend to decentralise token supplies altogether. This brings a lot more egalitarianism to cryptocurrency, making it possible for more people to use tokens. In turn, this could actually lead to better chances for long-term price stabilisation.
For project teams, this movement makes sense for long-term adoption. After all, the potential for project teams to orchestrate pump and dump schemes is far more likely with those that own a majority of tokens in circulation. Centralisation, in essence, presents a huge obstacle to creating a systematically ‘trustless’ token economy.
8. Higher Number of Project Failures
Cryptocurrency projects should be viewed like any tech startup, even if the economic model is a bit different. Ultimately, not every token will achieve all desired technical milestones or receive widespread user adoption.
With a continued high number of new tokens being introduced to the market comes many potential failures. In the end, some projects will merely be hype. Meanwhile, other project teams will succeed in their efforts.
Even with more market attention and greater adoption of crypto in general, failure in the long-term for many projects should not come as a surprise. Therefore, it’s good to make investment decisions with a degree of caution.
9. Well-Established Companies Launching Cryptocurrencies
We have already seen well-established companies like Telegram and Kodak try to unsuccessfully launch ICOs. Regardless of success or failure, we will likely see more companies attempt to enter the space.
Will companies like Amazon or Google create their own ICOs? This is not a likely scenario considering they already boast billions in revenues annually. However, it would make sense that large companies would at least create their own cryptocurrencies and try to dip their toes in the waters to gauge the public’s reception. After all, Amazon did buy three domains related to cryptocurrency back in 2017. Could this be a part of a strategic move towards the creation of a new cryptocurrency?
10. Increasing Number of ‘Crypto Capitals’
When looking at the increasing number of strict regulations placed on cryptocurrencies by national governments, it can be easy to assume that cryptocurrency is not welcomed by any governments. However, this assumption would be wrong.
We have already seen the creation of cryptocurrency-friendly legal frameworks in nations like Switzerland and Malta, which have also provided blockchain companies with major incentives. For investors, this means much greater certainty for the future of cryptocurrency in general.
As a result, we are beginning to see the creation of new, innovative national economies that embrace rather than reject the potential for real-world implementation of digital currencies.
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