How the Bitcoin Industry is Changing in 2019

The cryptocurrency world is fast-paced and quickly evolving, with new developments taking place almost every day. With the mass acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrencies being at an all-time high, the future looks bright for digital currencies.

The year 2018 has been the best so far for cryptocurrencies, with the price of Bitcoin having risen from less than $1,000 in January to $19,000 in December. Other digital currencies also saw their prices shoot through the roof as the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies has increased with every passing day.

The trends and value of cryptocurrencies have been almost impossible to predict, with some sudden events affecting the prices overnight. After months of a consistent rise in price, Bitcoin fell drastically earlier this year to almost half its value.

So—what does the future hold for the cryptocurrency world in 2019? Below are some forecasts to give you an idea of what’s to come.

  1. Tougher regulations

The cryptocurrency space has been majorly unregulated for a long time. This is because it’s relatively new and most governments and state institutions yet to get a hold of the wave of digital currencies. This is all bound to change in 2019, with some governments already having introduced tough laws.

France is the latest country to advocate for tough laws regarding cryptocurrencies, in a bid to protect their citizens from losing money should they decrease in value. Other countries thathave cracked the whip on cryptocurrenciesinclude South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and Iceland. Russia is also in the process of formulating tougher laws on Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

  1. Shift from store of value

For a long time, people have turned to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as stores of value rather than for their day-to-day uses. While more merchants are adopting them for transactions including Microsoft, Expedia, Shopify stores and Intuit, digital currencies are still a long way off from being considered as a standard payment method.

The government of Japan became the first to recognize Bitcoin as a legal payment method, an important first step in the journey towards the mass use of Bitcoins in everyday monetary transactions. With developments ongoing, some of the challenges faced, such as the speed of transactions,will be solved this year as cryptocurrencies continue their stride to be a popular payment method.

  1. Diversify the use of the blockchain

Blockchain technology has mostly been regarded as the platform behind cryptocurrencies, but this is bound to change in 2019. This technology will become very crucial as it becomes implemented in many capacities. These include in supply chain management, insurance, transport, voting and civic engagement, and the healthcare industry.

While the use of the blockchain in most of these sectors has already begun, 2019 will be the year when it takes center stage. The integration of blockchain into most of these areas has lowered the costs of operation, increased efficiency, improved on the speed and led to the automation of many processes which would require large amounts of people to execute.

  1. Mainstream purchase options

Recently, the cryptocurrency industry received a major show of confidence by the popular stock trading platform Robinhood after it announced that it would be venturing into the crypto world. Robinhood Crypto, as the new platform is being referred to, already has over one million signupsjust days after it was announced.

This is just one of the many institutions that will take cryptocurrencies mainstream, making it easy and convenient for people to participate in the buying and selling of digital currencies. With reports that NASDAQ is set to open Bitcoin futures later in the year, the sky is the limit for cryptocurrencies in 2019.

  1. Major companies will turn to ICOs

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have mostly been a preserve of cryptocurrencies but this is set to change in 2019. The traditional initial public offer (IPO) model will be replaced by ICOs, which are much easier to administer and much less costly. In ICOs, a company that seeks to raise funds generates tokens and assigns them certain value, after which they invite the public to purchase them.

While the cryptocurrency world is quite unpredictable, these are bound to be the most significant changes in the crypto space.

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