Bitcoin may have developed its reputation for getting the ball rolling when it comes to crypto, but that doesn’t mean its day is done. In fact, Bitcoin is fully expected to play an important role in the coming year’s crypto trends. In fact, one A. T. Kearney report indicates that Bitcoin is expected to corner two-thirds of the market by the end of 2019.
It’s undeniable that the 2018 crash turned some avid investors away from cryptocurrencies, in general. That shouldn’t lead potential new investors to believe that Bitcoin is down for the count, though.
A little bit of research into current and anticipated market trends shows that the crypto landscape is constantly changing. Today, Bitcoin is still considered a largely speculative affair. It’s poised to make the switch from a niche financial product to a fully legitimate mainstream currency with just a little bit of help, though. Read on to find out what to expect.
Bitcoin isn’t experiencing the same kind of incredible growth spurts it has in the past, but that certainly shouldn’t be interpreted as meaning that investors have lost interest entirely. In fact, while those investors who got burned in last year’s collapse remain wary, new investors are still taking the plunge from across the globe. This increased global interest in crypto is one of the trends to watch for the coming year, as it indicates a different kind of investor interest.
In 2017-18, many Bitcoin investors were relying on Bitcoin’s potential to change how the world does business. Put simply, they bought into the hype and it didn’t pay off. That doesn’t mean that Bitcoin no longer has the same potential, though. It just means that today’s investors are warier and less likely to invest their entire savings into crypto with the expectation of an immediate payout in fiat currency.
Even in the past, admittedly volatile, year, Bitcoin actually saw a good deal of growth in some European countries. This growth was due largely to government acceptance of the decentralized currency.
One example of what this means for the future of Bitcoin investing can be seen in the example of Malta. Last year, the country founded what’s known as the Malta Digital Innovation Authority. This body was created specifically to draw in new cryptocurrency firms to the small island nation. As a result of the government’s crypto-friendliness, more Malta citizens began to invest in and use Bitcoin.
A similar effect can be seen in Switzerland, which has been pro-crypto from the beginning and houses several crypto firms’ headquarters. In Estonia, the government has already made plans to incorporate crypto into certain sectors of their conventional economy such as health and banking. Since Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, these acts of official governmental support will likely have global-scale consequences.
The largest challenge facing Bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies, for that matter, is still public acceptance. While the “People’s currency” has been receiving endorsements in those European countries described above, it has yet to be entirely legitimized in many other countries. Those who are on the front lines of technological change still fully expect crypto to be the currency of the future, especially given today’s globalized economy, but they haven’t been proven right yet.
Some experts are predicting the much-needed shift from speculation to real-value within the crypto industry will come from unexpected places. Online gamers, for example, seem to be primed for accepting this speculative currency. After all, they’re already used to trading in digital assets. Universal adoption of Bitcoin in the online gaming community could be the push that this cryptocurrency needs to make the transition into ordinary use, bridging the gap between speculative investors and general consumers.
In the long run, many expect Bitcoin to be the currency of choice for Virtual Reality (VR) enthusiasts, as well. However, the advances in technology that would be required to make VR accessible on a large scale are still in the works. While it’s fun to speculate about what kind of role Bitcoin might play in this nascent industry, there’s just no way to predict when that speculation might actually pay off.
Others point to the emergence of stable coins as the deciding factor between whether or not Bitcoin will gain popular acceptance in the coming year. As more consumers get used to using Venmo-style payment apps, they claim, this increased acceptance of new financial products could be used to counteract Bitcoin’s volatility problem.
Increased Regulation Increases Legitimacy
Many institutional investors remained wary of Bitcoin in its early years due to its reputation as representing the Wild Wild West of currencies. Lately, increased regulation has made Bitcoin less appealing for those with disreputable intents and this, in turn, has been increasing its legitimacy in the eyes of more serious investors.
Even traditional financial service providers like Fidelity have recently been upping their involvement in the crypto community. Fidelity, in particular, has been developing a reputation for late as a supporter of Bitcoin and crypto, more generally. The company’s digital asset trading and custody branch only very recently went live but its representatives have indicated that support for altcoins will be added to its framework over the course of the coming year.
The support of major financial institutions like Fidelity, which would not have been possible without the increased regulation of Bitcoin in recent years, also constitutes a significant push toward legitimizing cryptocurrencies. Given that the company’s digital asset trading program has been operational for less than a month, though, it’s impossible to say how much of an impact it will have in the coming year.
While some uncertainties remain about cryptocurrency as an asset class, increased regulation may begin to attract more large investors in the future, just as it is assuaging many governments’ fears regarding the legitimizing and implementation of this decentralized currency. One Australian study released in February predicted that the price of Bitcoin would rise by between 84 and 157 percent by the end of 2019 in response to this increased regulation and subsequent legitimacy.
Is it Time to Invest?
Any investment strategy comes with a certain amount of risk, and crypto trading is no different. However, for those just looking to get started with Bitcoin Investing, 2019 promises to be a less volatile year. If 2017 was investors’ honeymoon phase and 2018 was a reality check, 2019 is shaping up to offer more steady growth.
The best thing for new investors to do is to sign up for a digital wallet on a trusted peer-to-peer platform like xCoins so that they can start getting their feet wet before they decide whether or not to take the plunge. This P2P platform is not only more user-friendly than most traditional exchanges, but also allows beginners to start lending and borrowing with very little initial trading capital.
As new users start to get the hang of it and learn how using xCoins can help make money when investing in BTC in 2019, they can begin to determine what level of risk they are actually comfortable taking when it comes to predicting market trends. Given experts’ assertions that Bitcoin is on its way to more universal acceptance as a currency in its own right rather than a speculative investment, now is the perfect time to get the hang of using these platforms.
The Bottom Line
No investment strategy is without its fair share of risk, and the 2018 crash showed that Bitcoin is certainly no exception. That doesn’t mean it’s lost its place of primacy among cryptocurrencies, though. In fact, it is poised to make the move from speculative currency to real use in the near future.
There’s no guarantee that 2019 will be the year that crypto goes fully mainstream, but most experts agree that the switch will be coming sometime soon. Current investors and those who are still on the fence about whether or not Bitcoin is worth the risk after last year’s crash alike would all do well to pay attention in the coming months.