2019 was definitely a bit of a lackluster year for most cryptocurrencies, but 2020 may not pass as quietly.
Giving the history of cryptocurrency advance and evolution since 2009, last year was surprisingly dull for most digital currencies. Most thriving markets found their feet and began the process of stabilizing. Despite the immense swings in popular currencies like bitcoin, these fluctuations were barely a shadow of those that we had seen in previous years.
Crypto Trends 2020: A Brief History of Crypto Trends
In 2011, we just began to see cryptocurrencies hit headlines. Although most investors still hit the snooze button on these early alarms, crypto had gone mainstream. By 2012, bitcoin was still making large strides to ingratiate itself into popular culture, by snagging title lines in popular television shows and creating exchanges that could be easily accessed by just about anyone.
2013 sees the first bitcoin ATMs in existence and the coin reaches parity with the US Dollar. In 2014 bitcoin infiltrates tech giant Microsoft, as games allow bitcoin transactions. 2015-2016 were important years for adoption. Businesses, regulators, governments, and everyday people began to take a much closer look at bitcoin. Buying in on the ground floor. Not only that, but altcoins started to enter into the network as Ethereum is launched this year.
By 2017, bitcoin had exploded. With just 1 BTC being worth more than $20,000, bitcoin made millionaires overnight and everyone wanted a piece of it. By 2018, the bottom had fallen out of the coin and markets began to stabilize. While traders still saw incredible sways in bitcoin and some other less than stable altcoins, the bear and bull tug-of-war had begun to die down, showing a continued adoption and use.
When we came sliding into 2019, most crypto traders had resigned themselves to the realities of crypto trading norms. Markets were sure to swing. Each massive downturn was seemingly always answered with a swift, yet predictably bearish recovery. Each turn around becoming less severe than the last. While there were many new propositions made to the market, few of them were actually unveiled or implemented, leaving the market to tick by fairly unnoticed.
What to Expect From Crypto Trends 2020
What has 2020 poised as such an exciting year is that so many of the proposed new technologies and regulations are finally coming to pass. Good or bad, it’s undeniable that bitcoin and crypto valuation is incredibly sensitive to political policy, regulation, public opinion. Seeing the aftermath of Mt.Gox, the FBI shut down the Silk Road, and the tariff war between the US and China has taught us to always be prepared for the next crypto 180.
And in 2020, there may well be quite a few.
Smarter and more diversified altcoins
In 2019, over 2300 altcoins and ICOs were registered. That means that new coins and forks hitting the market were worth quite less than a dime a dozen. In all reality, few of these coins have held on with much promise as the top five cryptocurrencies haven’t really changed in the last few years. But crypto trends 2020 hopes to change all of that. Coins like Libra, Monero, and Ethereum 2.0 could seriously shake up the hopes and dreams of the bitcoin and the existing crypto crowd.
Libra, to be released later this year promises to “Reinvent money. Transform the global economy. So people everywhere can live better lives.”, which is a bold statement to make- but in hoping to develop a stablecoin that will be used as a global currency as opposed to an investment.
Monero is yet another open-source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, but what sets them apart is their serious commitment to anonymity and security. Designed with the tech paranoid in mind, Monero is quickly becoming the digital currency of choice for anyone who knows anything about tech. Similar to bitcoin in many ways, where Monero forks is their use of an obfuscated public ledger, promising full fungibility of their currency, something that bitcoin has been unable to do.
Ethereum 2.0 pushes the boundaries of their original coin, Ether network, and smart-contract platform. The tech and business worlds have adopted Ethereum and its associated network Ether with gusto. So much gusto in fact, that it’s bogged down the system by regularly overloading servers and causing transaction speeds to slow to a mind-numbing crawl. Ethereum 2.0 promises to address this and bring the world’s first smart-contract crypto back to its number one position. With faster transaction times and more responsive platforms.
More serious regulations across the board
While a few governments around the globe really took notice and took charge of the way their respective countries were to handle cryptocurrencies, 2020 promises to have governments across the board make some manner of regulations regarding cryptocurrencies and how they’re used.
As cryptocurrencies begin to make their descent into normalcy, governments are beginning to understand that digital currencies are much more than just a passing fad. Asian countries seem to have a mixed view on how best to handle these currencies, with some seemingly ready to embrace, while others will outright ban. The US is now requiring registration for wallets and mandatory reporting of taxable holdings. The EU and Australia, seem to want to embrace the currencies and their associated technologies heartily.
Regardless of where it goes, governments are sure to step in big come 2020, and that could mean massive valuation changes in the market.
Central Bank-Backed Digital Currency (CBDC)
Some contend that we should expect a rise in central bank-backed digital currencies. CBDCs and corporate coins should be the next thing on the crypto horizon, as more countries begin to see the potential that digital currency offers them. Rumors say that the US is considering a digital buck and China seems to be well on the way to development through regulation.
But Sweden and Uruguay seem to be leading the pack in the race for CBDCs. The e-Krona and e-Peso respectively have already discussed pilot programs and release dates.
Pseudoanonymity becomes even more relevant
As more and more countries begin to drop the hammer on the regulation of the decentralized currencies- more and more users are working to keep the anonymity that brought them there in the first place.
Through blockchain analytics, governments are becoming more and more able to trace the users of the existing coin. Pinning them with taxes or even money laundering charges. Most users of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin began their digital journey because bitcoin offered a way for people to move money, buy goods, and trade, without needing to provide any identifying information.
Thanks to new legislation, bitcoin tumblers, and anonymous wallets may well surge in popularity. Keeping coin users safe and governments frustrated.
As more and more people, businesses, and powers-that-be adopt bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the more the market begins to settle down. No longer being a bougie trend creating millionaires, but a widely accessible alternative to fiat. This will also serve to solidify which coins are here to stay, and which are sure to fall off into futility.
Also slated for 2020 is the much anticipated joining of Crypto and Fintech. Making a point of cryptocurrency being a necessary part of modern life, more than just an interesting way to “make money quick”. Shifting its value from hypothetical to practical.