With 2018 coming to its end, it was inevitable that experts, media observers, and others would offer their best predictions for cryptocurrency’s future in the new year. Newsweek has done just that in a December 31st article that presents a fairly optimistic outlook for the industry’s prospects in 2019.
Naturally, the article recounts Bitcoin’s tumultuous 2018 -a year that saw the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency fall from an all-time-high of nearly $20,000 in late 2017 to its current value below $3,800. It also notes that many smaller cryptocurrencies suffered similar declines in fortune, crypto-related companies have cut their workforces, and investor interest has declined.
Still, the piece acknowledges bright spots as well. Bitcoin has now been around for a decade, and early investors have seen their investments grow at a remarkable rate. And it’s not just those early investors. Even after the 2018 price crash, Bitcoin Is still priced at more than three times its January 1, 2017 value.
As for the Newsweek expert predictions, they are anything but gloomy. Noting that some large banks spent 2018 working on ways to help their customers securely invest in digital currencies, the article predicts that institutional investment will continue, and will help to strengthen cryptocurrency markets.
The article also predicts that the launch of Bakkt could inspire more retailers to accept cryptocurrency payments, quoting Starbucks vice president of partnerships and payments Maria Smith who said, “Other businesses will soon see the benefits that Starbucks receives when customers pay for products with cryptocurrency using newer, faster infrastructure, which wasn’t there last year.”
Finally, the piece anticipates yet “another go at an ETF” – which should come as a surprise to no one, given that a VanEck fund proposal is scheduled for an SEC decision in February. Approval could mean renewed optimism in the crypto markets and the possibility of another lengthy bull run – as well as regulatory oversight and a new sense of legitimacy for the industry.