2018 has been a challenging year for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. In many ways, it was a good year for blockchain technology, in the sense that it was finally understood as a separate concept, apart from cryptocurrencies. But 2019 appears to be more promising, as more brands are embracing the technology and cryptocurrencies, especially with big mainstream trading platforms such as Robinhood and TD Ameritrade enabling BTC and other cryptocurrencies trading. With this in mind, many commentators argue that as more and more companies adopt the blockchain, there will be more investments in this technology.
PumaPay, for example, cuts through all the hype, to deliver a serious, product-driven solution that hopes to be adopted and used by a series of top companies across diverse industries. Part of a more general trend of blockchain projects that seek sustainability and maturation, PumaPay paves the way for the establishment of the blockchain as a widely used technology with advanced capabilities in many sectors. 2019 is expected to bring into maturity many such projects, delivering real applications and exciting new solutions. This is what Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Binance CEO and Founder, has also claimed: “2018 was a tough year, but we have a longer term outlook for our industry. The builders have been building in 2018, so for 2019, I think we will see a lot of real products and real applications coming into the market.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reported that a lot of its customers were spending “big money” on blockchain startups and that blockchain spending will gradually increase during 2019. According to PwC’s global report “Financial services technology 2020 and beyond: Embracing disruption,” the surge in funding and innovation will continue as blockchain becomes more institutionalized.” Additionally, “the use of the blockchain ‘public ledger’ will go on to become an integral part of financial institutions’ technology and operational infrastructure.”
Deloitte’s 2018 survey, “Breaking blockchain open,” reported that blockchain is a “priority investment for many companies,” and that “thirty-nine percent of respondents reported that their organization will invest $5 million or more in blockchain technology in the coming year.”
Cryptos make a comeback
Cryptos will return within a more stable market, while the more regulatory and serious businesses that will seek to create the right environment for their coins’ usability will have an extended lifespan.
Regulators will be looking at blockchain solutions more closely, especially in the near future, as they are adopted by more mainstream organizations and governmental bodies. In 2018, for example, we already started seeing changes in the field, as Malta became the first country to establish cryptocurrency and ICO regulations, with Russia and India preparing their own national legislation for cryptos. In particular, India is expected to legalize cryptocurrencies, as the country wants the crypto market to play by strict rules. In February, a governmental committee will submit a comprehensive report to the Ministry of Finance, where more details will be clearer.
AML (anti-money laundering) and CFT (combating the financing of terrorism) regulation will be imposed across many countries, through the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), an organization founded by the G-7 to create anti-money laundering policies. The FATF’s regulation of virtual assets seeks to help monitor the risks in relation to criminal and terrorist laundering activities and issued a risk-based approach to virtual currencies in 2015.
But for most experts, 2019 will definitely bring many cryptocurrency and blockchain projects to maturation and mark the end of those which are not legitimate. There is finally a separation between hype and reality, as many have called it, so that the blockchain industry gets the right and serious attention it deserves. There is obviously a need to educate and attract more talent to the field, but, many companies are striving to meet the industry’s challenges and their hard work is slowly paying off. With more mainstream companies and charities set to adopt blockchain, the technology will get back in the spotlight. 2019 is here and it already feels promising. Keep in touch through social media to find all about what we are planning in the coming months.