Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed a banner year in 2017, with many seeing significant spikes in their value. I have become a devoted crypto enthusiast in recent years, so these developments did not surprise me as much as others. In fact, I predict that 2018 will be even better for digital currencies and their underlying blockchain technology. Here are the three biggest reasons why I’m so excited for 2018 cryptocurrency.
1. Major Coins Will Continue to Spike in Price
Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum all spiked to new career highs in the past year, with Bitcoin eclipsing the $10,000 mark (per coin) for the first time ever. Many people who oppose Bitcoin do so only because they don’t understand all the benefits it can offer. This boom is forcing skeptics to take a second look at the value digital currencies offer, convincing many to embrace that which they once opposed.
Governments have also begun to institute some regulations on digital currencies, a step that may help boost consumer confidence in the more major coins. For instance, these formal regulations act as an acknowledgment from the world’s principle governing bodies that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Bitcoin didn’t used to have this kind of acknowledgment, lending it more credibility in certain sectors than it ever had before.
2. Increased Commercial Applications for Blockchain Technology
I speak often about how blockchain technology can revolutionize the financial industry, but I predict that other industries will soon begin utilizing it as well. For example, the IDC Health Institute forecasts operational blockchain-based systems in 20 percent of the country’s healthcare institutions to help with oversight by 2020, an end that would require significant breakthroughs in 2018 to achieve.
Some HR firms are also experimenting with blockchain-enabled application processes to streamline the hiring process, allowing companies to more efficiently filter applicants to find those most qualified for the job. Furthermore, Smart Contracts, or contracts utilizing the blockchain to automatically disperse payments, shipments of goods, or anything else once pre-arranged conditions are met, have the potential to positively impact nearly every industry.
Ongoing research will give blockchain technology even more utility in the future, from processing intellectual property law transactions to helping large manufacturers such as Foxconn keep track of their supply chains. There are even security applications based upon combining blockchain technology with the internet of things!
3. A New Coin will Emerge as a Top Player
Crypto is still a dynamic space, allowing new coins to emerge even as older ones thrive. Tezos have an interesting feature allowing the underlying software to update automatically, avoiding the feuds the Bitcoin community faces when updates are necessary. Steem is an intriguing crypto linked to an incentive-based social media platform called Steemit. Other coins offer free cloud storage or premium access to certain industries, making many solid bets to take off in 2018.
Of course, some coins will fail–it’s just the nature of the investment. When choosing a coin to invest in, look into the quality of its developer(s), how active they are in promoting and maintaining it, current value, market cap, and accessibility on exchanges to help determine whether it will succeed or fail.
I can’t wait to see what happens with cryptocurrency in 2018, and sincerely hope that you are just as excited as I am!