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2018 is gone, and crypto enthusiasts are ready to ring in 2019 and move on from the past 12 months of what many likely consider “lowly behavior” amongst bitcoin and many of its altcoin cousins.
Bitcoin fell by over 75 percent from its December 2017 high of nearly $20,000. At the time of writing, it’s trading for just over $3,700. Other cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum, were trading for nearly $1,400, but are now struggling to maintain a $100 price. In addition, many cryptocurrency companies have either disappeared or filed for bankruptcy, while others – such as the blockchain-powered social media alternative Steemit – has laid off about 70 percent of its staff.
Bitcoin Saw Massive Drops in 2018
2018 has been a poor year for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and many are looking to simply move on and hope for bigger and better things as we say hello to 2019, but what will this year bring? Can we look forward to bullish momentum in the coming months, or will things shrivel up and die even further?
Many analysts are piping in with their 2019 predictions, and you can guess that the consensus is split right down the middle, with some thinking 2019 will do nothing but bring about repeat behavior, and others saying that this year will be when crypto bursts through the gates and cements its position on mainstream territory.
Brad Garlinghouse – CEO of Ripple, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap – has stated that the future is likely to be positive, with more banks implementing blockchain technology into their operations and trying to cash in on crypto’s benefits. The idea is that crypto, despite its falling prices, remains a solid investment goal for many investors, who are still looking to get a piece of the action. Thus, banks will work hard to ensure they can assist customers to invest in crypto safely, though whether this means more stable coin options is not yet clear.
Another prediction is that more retail investors will get involved in the crypto scene. We have witnessed companies like coffee king Starbucks pair up with the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) to potentially allow customers to purchase products with crypto, and we may see more ventures follow suit.
Maria Smith – VP of partnerships and payments for Starbucks – comments:
A Mixed Future for Crypto?
“As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks. Other businesses will soon see the benefits that Starbucks receives when customers pay for products with cryptocurrency using newer, faster infrastructure, which wasn’t there last year.”
However, there remains negative sentiment regarding the potential of a bitcoin ETF, which has yet to be approved. The VanEck SolidX venture has once again been pushed back to February in terms of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) making an official decision, and the number of postponements is causing many to lose faith.
Do you think 2019 will be a great year for crypto? Post your comments below.
Images courtesy of Pixabay