The blockchain space as a whole and in the general public’s perception of digital assets has undergone a paradigm shift compared to previous years. While the learning curve has been steep for late entrants, this has not stalled the rate of developer adoption within our nascent industry (nor external investor interest). The argument can be made that exponential growth was triggered in 2017.
This derives largely from a variety of factors which are now made more visible in hindsight. As an example, influential stakeholders support and collaboration with promising blockchains like Ethereum (e.g, The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance) and Ripple (its adoption among international banks and regulatory regimes) served as a powerful signal to the greater financial community that the blockchain is here to stay.
At some point in late 2017, Coinbase was the number one downloaded application on Apple and now in early 2018 many exchanges around the world are overwhelmed with the sheer number of account sign-ups. Fast-forward to 2018, and soon a million people a day or more will join the digital currency community.
Coinbase App Ranking for iOS App Store USA (December 2017)
2017, we can all agree, can be labeled as the year in which earlier detractors began to explore the purpose of the blockchain in more earnest, and we have collectively witnessed asymmetrical growth. From the beginning of January 2017 till date, the collective market capitalization of digital currencies swelled from $17 Billion to nearly $800 Billion.
2017 also served to be the birth year of the tokenized economy (often referred to as “altcoins” in the crypto-trading world). More than a thousand blockchain-based projects are developing on platforms such as Ethereum and Qtum. While there have been some failures such as The DAO, there have been success stories such as the adoption among blockchain-based start-ups like Augur, Omise, Ethereum, and Qtum to name a few (all have achieved an individual market capitalization exceeding $400 Million).
Projects that attract a high number of developers help to enhance the network effects among its community base. And if in the off-chance we witness a popular application such as CrytopKitties, this serves as a positive signal to the market and the potential adoption of the platform.
Ripple Price, RSI, and Social Sentiment (January 2017 – January 2018)
Key Crypto Trends for 2018: What Will Be Different This Year?
- I believe we’ll begin to see more formal partnership announcements from promising blockchain projects with prominent financial incumbents. A notable example of this is the work of Chainlink and its smart contract solution offering to provide real-world data into programmable smart contracts. I would anticipate that their ongoing stealth collaborations may blossom to more concrete formal announcements.
- We’ll see more Increased institutional interest in the form of investments and venture capital firms dedicated to furthering the adoption of cryptocurrency assets and its surrounding ecosystem. Recent announcements such as Novogratz plan to deploy $500 Million in the creation of crypto asset fund signals to the revolutionary potential of digital assets and the systems which support their growth.
- The emergence of artificial intelligence paired with the blockchain. The Artificial intelligence marketplace is projected by many analysts to be a multi-trillion dollar market opportunity by a decade. Projects like Singularity NET may serve as the backbone for the burgeoning artificial intelligence marketplace, an ecosystem fostered in which users and developers upload and download new AI capabilities and the exchange of value can be done in real-time.
- Decentralized Exchanges- Projects such as Omise and the Kyber Network stand to usher in the age of decentralized exchanges and trade settlement as its development continues. With savvy crypto-investors desiring to mitigate their risk exposure to counterparty and intermediary risk, I see a massive potential for the adoption of decentralized exchanges.
Specific Crypto Opportunities: Favourite Picks and Why
This project is working to allow for real-world information to enter into smart contract agreements across a cross-chain framework. Why is this disruptive? Because for the first time developers will be able to harness real-world data to meet conditional programmable agreements. Where can we see the most immediate application of such a technology? The bond and derivatives markets, insurance industry, to name a few. Chainlink is currently working in stealth mode with prominent financial giants such as SWIFT.
iExec aims to provide high-performance computing services for its enterprise and decentralized application-based users. iExec does this by incorporating a base of research technologies which were originally created at INRIA and CNRS (prominent French research institutes) within the academic field of Desktop Grid computing (think: Golem without the hype). i.EXEC is led by an all-star cast of business and technology professionals and spearheaded by Dr. Gilles Fedak and Dr. Haiwu He.
This platform leverages the best of Bitcoin and Ethereum technologies while incorporating a Proof of Stake system. Many developers are building on top of Qtum for their blockchain use-cases. Early enterprise clients such as Starbucks is a notable example of businesses exploring the promise of Qtum blockchain-based technology.
Loopring is designed to be a protocol and decentralized automated execution system which executes trades across many digital currency exchanges, protecting its users against counterparty risk while minimizing the cost of trading. Loopring is currently on the Ethereum platform, but soon other blockchains with smart contract abilities, like Qtum and NEO will also be supported.
Why Do I Invest in Crypto?
I was convinced quite early on the promise of the blockchain and its emergent ecosystem, and have spent years dedicated to researching its corresponding charts, projects developments, and ongoing trajectory. Through my Twitter account and other mediums, I aim to share information and commentary related to cryptocurrencies and the digital currency space (oftentimes my general observations of the market). I enjoy interacting with fellow crypto-enthusiasts and networking on a global scale.
The digital currency field will begin its early maturation stage in terms of increased global coordination among regulatory regimes, but with it will come an even greater flood of capital and continued innovation in the field. Spend time researching some of the projects and themes covered in this article and be sure to follow me on Twitter @CryptoEye111
CryptoVisionary. You can follow me on Twitter @cryptoeye111
Disclaimer: This post is not financial advice and reflects the personal views of author. The author invests in digital assets and has positions in the aforementioned cryptocurrencies. This article should not be used as investment or financial trading advice. Please conduct careful due diligence before investing in any digital asset.