2018 is coming to an end, and it has been truly a hard year for all crypto enthusiasts. The prices for the cryptocurrencies plunged and then slowly declined throughout the twelve months. In mid-December, the hope loomed that the market has hit its bottom, and a so long-awaited uptrend would soon follow. However, there was no time for celebration: after a week of growth, the calm came back again. Still, all digital assets’ investors are looking for an answer to the mistery: will cryptocurrency prices increase in 2019, and if there will be growth, in what way? Bitnewstoday asked the questions to the market participants and created an overall review.
Waiting for stability...
Cryptocurrencies are a volatile asset, and in 2017-2018, it became clear that the situation went to an overhype. The hysteria at the rapidly growing market has attracted the attention of different kinds of people, even those who have never been interested in either investments, or blockchain, or cryptocurrency and mining. “FOMO” or “fear of missing out,” mislead the private investors severely. Some have invested not just their savings, but the borrowed funds — or even sold their houses and other assets. Shortly after that, these guys were horrified to see a sharp plunge and a long-lasting decline of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ rates. Lots of them could not stand the pressure and dismissed the crypto with solid losses.
Still, the most enthusiastic persons continue to “HODL” and expect stability and growth. The market is cyclical, and anchor crypto assets, like Bitcoin, are of no exception, says Kirill NIKOLAEV, a representative of NICA Multi Family Office: “The asset is 10 years old, and through all this time it regularly showed a trend change. After a significant increase in 2017 and a fall in 2018, it is logical to assume that an increase will take place in 2019-2020. This class of assets is developing, however, not without difficulties. For example, investment and withdrawal of large sums (from $10M). There are pluses: the improvement of technological stability and regulative initiatives.”
And this is true: the regulatory developments are reasonably called one of the pillars of the so long-awaited stability. 2018 made it clear for the investors that the market is full of “grey zones”, dubious projects and scams. According to Stefano COVOLAN, the founder of the Korporatio project, the regulation will attract capital, and subsequently, the value of crypto will grow: “We are going to see an increase in the value of the cryptos mostly because of governments approving laws, and therefore guiding more capitals into the market. This, however, doesn't mean we are talking about a rally as in 2017 where we saw, for example, ETH making a 100x return, but more about a slow appreciation.” Naeem ASLAM, market analyst, and Forbes columnist, agrees: “Going into 2019, we’re expecting a more favourable regulatory outcome, a lot more development on the regulatory front, which would help the entire crypto market. I don’t see the Bitcoin price dropping below $2,000. I think the upside could be $10,000.”
... and institutional investors
There is a certain reason in a statement that institutional investors’ money wouldn’t enter the “Wild West”, which a cryptocurrency market was and still is. There were some investments, more of a test kind. If the regulators do their best in 2019, some serious players will eventually appear. “New York Stock Exchange operator Bakkt has confirmed an end of January launch for its digital assets platform. Along with the launch of the NASDAQ futures, it will finally open the door for institutional investors to enter the market,” says Steven PARKER, CEO of Crypterium, former general manager of Visa. Institutional investors need such an instrument as cryptocurrency for broader asset allocation, says Jennifer Hongbo JIANG, a FinTech expert and co-founder of Blocktest. In her opinion, family offices and private money will be leading the way.
However, there will be no bull run this year, no matter how disappointing it sounds, claims Oleg CHEBOTAREV, a journalist and crypto investor — there is no presence of such volumes, trust and scale as it has been in 2017. “There will be a significant correction and market growth due to the influx of new investors after the launch of Bakkt and the hypothetical approval of ETF / BTC by the SEC, but the market will not return to the levels of 2017,” he also added.
The market awaits for practical applications — otherwise why all this?
“In 2019, we need to see the improved usability. Mass adoption will only come from increased convenience. Right now using crypto is too clunky: if I want to transfer tokens, it requires multiple steps and pain. We need to simplify this,” says Mark WEINSTEIN, principal at Genesis. 2018 presented a lot of news about the development and implementation of payment systems, including the retail sector. In 2019, the market waits for the results of these experiments — and they’d better be good.
Danil YAKOVLEV, Trade Infrastructure Development Manager at Zichain, adheres to the same point of view: “The growth of the market proceeds when the cryptocurrencies will no longer be isolated from the rest of the economy and when the blockchain will enter our lives as a useful solution, not as a speculative instrument. The industry has already received some recognition from the traditional financial world. Thus, a new round in the development of the crypto market can possibly start in the middle or the end of 2019.”
CEO and founder of Asure Network Paul MIZEL believes that the implementation of new technologies is one of the most essential factors for what happens to cryptocurrency in 2019. He also named the rest of the factors: “The further development of the technology and the new use cases; a breakthrough in the scaling problem; the awareness of the blockchain technology and better user experience. In general, the dApps and browser add-ons that work with a blockchain directly will become much user-friendlier.”
None of the experts provided a negative outlook for the upcoming year. According to the majority of the speakers, the prices of cryptocurrencies in 2019 will inevitably increase, and there are various reasons for this to happen. Everyone is enthusiastic about the future — the industry matures, becomes more understandable and transparent. Casual players are disappointed and leaving this market. Only the real enthusiasts remain, those who believe in the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
Image courtesy of Bitcoinist.com