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What You Can Expect From Cryptocurrency in 2018

Amy Tori

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2017 was a volatile but exciting time for anyone paying attention to cryptocurrency (and by the end of the year, most people were). Bitcoin made a splash in the mainstream news late in the year, when the price soared and plunged and longstanding investment publication Barrons announced “Bitcoin storms Wall Street.” In such a new and exciting environment, what can we expect from the cryptocurrency market in 2018? A few industry leaders can help us guess.

Expansion is Inevitable

Cryptocurrency will continue to be an economic powerhouse, at least for now. CNBC reports that Kay Van Petersen, the same Saxo Bank analyst who accurately predicted Bitcoin’s price would more than double in in 2017, now predicts Bitcoin’s valuation could reach $100,000 in 2018, driven largely by institutional investors and futures contracts. Cryptocurrency is no longer a fringe financial product, and many predict more and more participation by trusted financial institutions. The entrance of such major players into the arena means that the “Wild West” days of crypto might be coming to an end: Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs will debut a cryptocurrency trading desk in 2018.

But Collapse May Be, Too

The soaring value of many cryptocurrencies seems to imply a bubble may be on the verge of popping. Capital Economics recently opined that a Bitcoin bubble is popping and values have much further to fall. While there’s no need to proclaim cryptocurrency dead yet, savvy investors and creators should still think about which cryptocurrencies will survive and which will not. Many are likely to collapse eventually, but some of the most exciting and world-changing advances in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could come about in the aftermath, as technologies with solid, real-world applications and secure practices survive the bubble and continue to grow.

Scalability Will Be A Deciding Factor

According to Howmuch.net, all cryptocurrencies were valued at $100 billion in mid-2017, only a small percentage of the $83.6 trillion comprising the world’s money supply. For cryptocurrency to become a truly influential technology in the world economy, transactions have to be easy on a huge scale. Slow transaction processing times and increasing fees have made it apparent that unless Bitcoin changes its ways, its lack of scalability will likely keep it a niche product, regardless of any momentary sky-high valuation. Cryptocurrencies that can be used by many people for a variety of things without creating a processing bottleneck will thrive.

ICOs could Sink or Swim

The future of ICOs might be the most nebulous question of 2018. The Scientific American predicts most ICOs will collapse, offering little long-term value, while Information Age argues ICOs have proven themselves a viable method for raising funds for young technology startups. Lawrence Wintermeyer tells Forbes that he predicts ICOs can only survive by significantly increasing their professional due diligence; as the market becomes more crowded, companies will have to do more to prove their ICOs provide real value to level-headed and experienced investors.

Blockchains Will Matter

As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, the blockchain technology that drives it will continue to grow, too; the implications of this growth expand far beyond stock portfolios. In Quartz, Don Tapscott (founder of the Blockchain Research Institute) predicts blockchain technology can be used to advance causes such as sustainable energy and carbon credit exchanges. A World Economic Forum Council, The Future of Blockchain, is charged with exploring potential impacts of blockchain technology on human society in the future. Any innovation that increases the security, reliability, and scalability of blockchain technology will matter immensely as our world continues to evolve.

Constellation’s Platform

Constellation first began by designing its operating system in response to several challenges apparent to anyone paying attention to cryptocurrency’s past, present, or future. A multi-node, horizontally scalable system, Constellation allows network transactions to increase in volume without a decrease in speed, avoiding the dreaded processing bottleneck. In fact, its transactions are currently 1,000 times faster than either Bitcoin or Ethereum. The consensus is built in a decentralized manner, rendering Constellation more egalitarian and secure than those cryptocurrencies tending towards centralization.

Because Constellation’s smart contract microservice structure can connect with many different kinds of applications, the Constellation operating system can easily be incorporated into multiple different applications, including mobile ones. Best of all, it requires no transaction fees, thanks to trust-building, reputation-based incentives.

The cryptocurrency world will inevitably evolve in 2018; to survive the market, creators and investors need to use operating systems that will endure bubbles, crashes, regulations, hard times, and good times. Constellation provides this tech by introducing a scalable, fast, and decentralized option for processing blockchain transactions. You owe it to yourself to check them out.

How could horizontal scalability change the cryptocurrency market?

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