Cryptoeconomy 2019: Storylines to Watch Out For
December 22, 2018 by William Peaster
For many in the space, the 2017 cryptoeconomy runup was as boisterous as its 2018 downturn was unexpected. So what comes next? With days left until the new year, there are dozens of major crypto storylines that will see more resolution in 2019. Here are some of the biggest ones to watch for.
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1) Possible Continued De-Risking Environment
The stock market selloffs come on the heels of a recent Federal Reserve warning that historically “elevated” assets were possibly in store for “market shocks” amid growing trade wars, rising geopolitical tensions, and corporate debt saturation.
“An escalation in trade tensions, geopolitical uncertainty, or other adverse shocks could lead to a decline in investor appetite for risks in general,” the Fed said at the time.
Through a macro lens, the cryptoeconomy surely wouldn’t be immune to such a de-risking atmosphere if shocks do occur.
The verdict is still out, but if the winds keep blowing how they are now, 2019 may see a continuance of 2018’s markedly bearish crypto market accordingly.
2) Bakkt Backing Up?
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE), the owner-operators of the New York Stock Exchange among other powerhouse stock markets, are getting into crypto trading and bitcoin futures with their coming Bakkt platform.
Yet their highly-anticipated bitcoin futures product has already been delayed twice before, having been pushed back from its planned November launch this year to December 12th and then to January 24th, 2019.
And it looks like the futures product might be getting pushed back again.
That’s per new reporting that suggests the U.S. Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) may not have issued the requisite regulatory approvals by Bakkt’s last projected launch date.
Whether that greenlighting comes on time, just late, or months afterward will be a thread worth watching in the new year.
3) Whether U.S. Crypto Draft Bills Become Law
In the current lame-duck session of Congress, two U.S. congressman just introduced The Token Taxonomy Act to the floor of the House of Representatives.
If passed, the bill would be a gamechanger for American crypto users, insofar as the legislation would define tokens as a unique asset class, exempt cryptocurrencies from securities laws, and make crypto trades like-kind exchanges.
Whether that bill moves toward fruition or falls by the wayside in 2019 will be a major point of interest. But it’s not the only possible legislation to watch out for next year in America, either.
Indeed, the Congressional Blockchain Caucus currently has two draft bills and one non-binding resolution in the works, all of which are centered around making U.S. crypto users’ lives easier.
4) The Big-Cap Coins’ Technical Progress
The cryptoeconomy was down this year, but the building on its big-cap coins continued generally undeterred. Expect more of the same next year, wherever markets go in the interim.
As for Bitcoin, perhaps its most interesting technical thread in 2018 was the continued advancement of its proposed second-layer scaling solution, the Lightning Network. Lightning is still is still far from maturity, but it did grow by leaps and bounds over the last 12 months.
Look for that trend to continue in 2019.
Also, another crucial cryptoeconomy storyline to eye in the months ahead will be how the Ethereum community continues to navigate its Ethereum 2.0 scaling roadmap, dubbed Serenity.
And love it or hate it, the top privacy coins are going to … you guessed it … get more private if recent history is any indication.
5) Where Major Crypto Embraces Go From Here
Payments company Square widened its bitcoin buying functionalities in its Cash app this year, a move that’s since proven popular in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
It will be interesting to see if Square, who shares a CEO with Twitter in Jack Dorsey, expands its cryptocurrency purview in 2019 or maintains its successful BTC-driven status quo for the foreseeable future.
This past March, Dorsey projected bitcoin would become the world’s “single currency” in a decade’s time.
Speaking of Silicon Valley powerhouses, Facebook reportedly has a stablecoin in the works. The project is said to be in its early stages, though it’s another huge thread — for better or for worse — to watch out for next year.
And lastly, multinational asset management titan Fidelity announced its Fidelity Digital Assets this fall. Can the custody platform make institutional inroads in 2019?
It all remains to be seen for the cryptoeconomy.
What’s your take? What crypteconomy threads are you personally eyeing going into next year? Let us know in the comments section below
Images via Pixabay