Top 7 Influential Cryptocurrency Trends for 2019 All Bitcoin Investors Should Track and Follow
2018 was a year to forget for investors in the virtual currency market. Bitcoin (BTC) and other virtual currencies lost more than 80% of their price while others completely disappeared. However, there are some things to note. Regulatory agencies are trying to regulate the space and infrastructure continues to expand amid this bear market.
One of the most important things to take into account for 2019 is related to a better regulatory environment. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) expanded in 2018, most of them during the first part of the year. At the same time, regulatory agencies are trying to create a clear regulatory framework for companies and individuals investing in the space.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will play an important role in the market. The regulatory watchdog of the United States has been investigating illegal securities offerings and scammers in the ICO market. Some experts suggest that most of the ICOs can be considered securities offerings. In order to avoid this calcification, some ICOs adopted the term ‘security-token.’
2019 will present itself as a year of improved regulatory clarity regarding these topics. The SEC could also clarify some other issues related to how to raise funds and how to operate in the virtual currency space.
Another important trend that could influence the market during 2019 is related to financial institutions entering the market. The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) decided to launch the Bakkt platform. This would allow new mainstream investors to place their funds in the cryptocurrency market without having to manage their funds by themselves.
Bakkt will be launching Bitcoin futures contracts during the next months. It was scheduled for January 24 but it might be launched during February. The Bitcoin futures contracts offered by Bakkt will be Bitcoin settled rather than cash settled as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) are currently offering.
At the same time, NASDAQ is also planning to offer Bitcoin futures trading to investors in the market. Fidelity Investments is also working on a new cryptocurrency platform that would allow firms to enter the crypto space.
Other crypto exchanges and companies are also investing in creating platforms for institutions. Some of these companies are Coinbase or eToro.
Blockchain technology will also have a year with new developments and improvements. Several businesses will start to work with this technology and companies will offer blockchain solutions for firms. There are some banks such as ING or Commerzbank that have been working with the Corda blockchain platform, launched by the R3 consortium. R3 has also launched the Corda Settler platform that has been specifically designed for enterprise customers.
IBM continues to work with its World Wire network based on the Stellar blockchain. The intention is to offer a new service similar to SWIFT but faster and cheaper for customers. Ripple is also another company that is going to be expanding among banking and financial institutions that want to process cross-border payments.
There are some exchanges that could be severely affected if the SEC deems tokens as securities. There are exchanges such as Binance that have hundreds of tokens listed and several were born from ICOs. Some exchanges would have to be compliant with new regulations and delist some coins if they are considered securities or just avoid the US market.
It might be possible to see anew group of exchanges growing if this hapens. For example, eToro, a platform that is already working with regulators in the United States and other countries, could list ICO tokens. Coinbase has also tried to be compliant with all the regulations imposed by the United States.
There are different companies around the world that are also starting to invest in blockchain technology. Facebook has established a group to investigate blockchain potentialities for the future. There are some rumours that say that the company could soon launch a stablecoin for WhatsApp users in India.
Amazon is already working with blockchain products and offering services related to it. Apple has also filed a patent related to blockchain technology.
This shows that 2019 is a year in which virtual currencies will continue to expand. Blockchain technology is also going to play an important role around the world. How all these things will affect the price of the most popular virtual currencies is still unknown.