After a bearish 2018 which has brought huge losses to the crypto industry, investors around the world are looking forward to 2019 and new changes that will arrive with it. Many believe that the next year will be the one when cryptos will finally take over and go mainstream.
While this is unlikely to happen so soon, as there are many obstacles along the way, it might be a year when the process will actually start. Even so, many are hesitant to make particularly bullish price predictions, as the crypto market remains volatile and unpredictable.
However, there are still numerous new trends that might arrive, which is something that many are looking forward to.
1. The Role Of Stablecoins Might Change
Around a year ago, cryptocurrencies were at their peak, and most of them hit new heights in terms of value and market cap. New investors flooded the space, and the money flow was massive. At the time, no one had any reason to believe that the trend will stop in 2018, and that changes in the new year will be so drastic.
However, one trend that took off is the popularity of stablecoins. In the highly-volatile market that impacts the prices in the most unpredictable ways, having at least some sort of stability can mean a huge difference. This is exactly what dollar-pegged coins brought, which is why many of them became quite popular.
No matter how investors feel about them, stablecoins became a big force in the crypto space in 2018. It is currently unclear what might happen to them in 2019, as the crypto market still evolves, and new changes can be expected on every turn. If the bear market continues in the next year, stablecoins will remain useful and popular. On the other hand, if positive changes arrive, the resulting impact might make them obsolete.
2. The Evolution Of Privacy Protocols
Online privacy was always one of the most important aspects of the internet, and the same is true for digital currencies. After Bitcoin turned out to be not as private as everyone believed it to be, a lot of new privacy protocols entered the development. However, this is yet another aspect of the crypto space that has yet to mature and fully develop, and many believe that Mimblewimble-powered Grin and Beam could bring all the necessary privacy that crypto holders might want.
Naturally, a single privacy protocol will not change the entire crypto space. However, it will be a big milestone in an attempt to fight back against blockchain surveillance that started to take place.
Furthermore, Bitcoin Core is expected to get Schnorr signatures in the following year, which might bring additional privacy technology, such as Coinjoin. Similar efforts are being made to make the Ethereum network more private, and numerous pro-private projects, protocols, and platforms are already in the making.
3. 2019: The Year Of Security Tokens?
ICO was a trend that really took off in 2017, and while many new startups saw potential in it, it soon grew out of control, and countless issues emerged. In 2018, however, things took a turn for the worse, and it can be said without any doubt that this year killed ICOs entirely. While the crypto community still speculates about the ICO era, it is unlikely that anyone will try to bring it back ever again. Even if they tried, it would likely result in a failure, as everyone has learned just how many pitfalls lie along that way.
Back in early 2018, everyone expected this year to be the one where security tokens will blow up and start dominating the space. As we now know, this prediction never came to be. However, it is still possible that it was simply too early for it to happen, and that it might arrive at some point in 2019.
Of course, there is still no guarantee, as there are countless technical issues to be taken care of first. Even if that happens, there are still regulations that need to arrive in order to properly stabilize the space. It is important to remind ourselves that cryptocurrencies are still very much new and that it has been only a decade since they even came to be. While many are ready for a change, the shift to digital money is an extremely massive one, and it will require time.
Even so, analysts believe that security tokens and STOs will eventually become the standard model for deploying crypto projects of the future.
4. The Rise Of Decentralized Credit Networks
Decentralized credit networks brought a lot of new changes when it comes to infrastructure development. Things such as social credit, collateralized loans, open finance, and alike did not only receive tools necessary for them to become possible, but the entire concept was confirmed to work.
Now that this milestone was reached, 2019 is expected to be the year when the trend will take off. Finally, billions of unbanked and underbanked people around the world will be able to gain access to this sort of services, with numerous new projects appearing throughout the year. Some projects that were already launched in 2018 managed to prove their value even under this year’s conditions, which were more than unfriendly for a new type of service based on crypto. Not only that, but they will likely expand on the number of coins they will accept, and even go beyond, to include non-crypto assets.
5. Mass Adoption Of dApps
Decentralized applications were a part of the crypto world ever since Ethereum was launched. Since then, many other projects appeared, dedicated to application development instead of just offering a digital currency. However, the lack of any real killer apps prevented dApps from going mainstream, in addition to other issues that the crypto space has had to face.
This might change in 2019, and even if one or more dApps finally get to experience mass adoption, it will be a big victory for the crypto and blockchain space. Of course, this may be nothing but wishful thinking at the moment, with many experts claiming that it will be at least a few more years before a blockchain-based game goes viral.
New investments might arrive due to things such as crypto collectibles, or perhaps VR projects. One such project, called Decentraland, is expected to see its official launch in 2019. When it does finally see the light of day, it will offer an entire virtual world based on blockchain technology, which might become a meeting ground for crypto gamers, as well as other projects.
6. Solving The Scaling Problem
Scalability issues were always one of Bitcoin’s greatest problems, as the coin can only handle a few of them at once. Over the years, developers came up with a number of different solutions for this issue, most of which eventually turned out to be inefficient. However, one project still shows promise to this day, which is the Lightning Network. Simply put, the project will add an additional layer to Bitcoin blockchain, which will provide an unlimited number of unrecorded transactions between individuals who are in need of a quick way to trade.
Only after the last trade is performed will tunnels that connect the two parties be closed, and the final state of things will be recorded on the blockchain, massively reducing the number of transactions that need validation. This way, Bitcoin will drop one of the largest problems that it had since the day it was launched.
7. The Year When Institutions Will Go Crypto
Attracting institutional investors to the crypto space has proved to be quite a challenge, and the main issue was to resolve problems that are making the crypto world unsafe for business. These problems include high volatility, the lack of regulations, price manipulation, potential asset theft, not to mention the fact that the space is still new, and institutional investors will first have to explore the space and learn how to use it.
However, a number of projects dedicated to providing additional options are currently in the works, including the Bakkt exchange, Bitcoin ETFs, custodial services, and more. The launch of these projects will provide institutions with terms of trading they are already familiar with, and it will create a safer environment which will provide an easy transmission. As mentioned, cryptocurrencies will still need years to completely take over, but the first step may yet be made in 2019, which is less than a week away.