Dear reader, if you are interested in this article, it probably means that you have somehow survived the prolonged bear market that has always been present in 2018.
Congratulations, because Bitcoin (BTC) showed no mercy for investors while the price dropped from the all-time high of $ 20,000 to a one-year lows of around $ 3200.
However, even if the prices of cryptocurrencies have been nothing short of disappointing, there have been other events that have, some more than others, helped to paint 2018 in a slightly brighter color.
USA: security – not security
Last year, the US official position on cryptocurrencies was mainly revealed as skeptical.
More than a couple of ICOs have been completely closed for the sale of unrecorded securities and their operators have been forced to return the funds raised.
However, there were some positive aspects, because who knows what would have happened if Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) had been declared US SEC Securities in June.
Meanwhile, the SEC itself postponed the decision to grant Bitcoin ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and BTC futures a few times, so we are still waiting to hear their final decision in 2019.
The year of the stablecoins
During times of struggle in the cryptocurrency market, one of the safe havens for traders is the transfer of funds to stablecoin since they provide the security that other digital currencies can not.
The largest exchange of cryptocurrencies in the United States, Coinbase, has established a partnership with Circle to list the first stablecoin on their platform, the USDC.
When we talk about stablecoins, because of the lack of profits from BTC and Alts, the stablecoin have slowly made their way into the spotlight of the cryptocurrency audience, and we have obtained a number of new, interesting, like Dai, which is supported by Ether users despite being leaning against the US dollar price.
The main exchanges also took more attention on the stablecoin in 2018
Binance has created an independent market in USD, where users can decide which one to use, while Bitfinex has listed a total of six stalls to allow maximum flexibility to its customers and allow them to choose which one they prefer.
We hope not to need it in 2019, though.
The main changes in Ethereum, Ripple changes banks
As we mentioned Ethereum, the project announced some significant changes in 2018, as the time for the transition to the consent mechanism of the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and the updating of Constantinople are approaching.
Meanwhile, towards the end of 2018, the new recipient of the honorary doctorate, Vitalik Buterin, found himself at the center of controversy when his announcement that he no longer believes in the Labor Test (PoW) has triggered an avalanche of reactions.
A well-known Bitcoin developer, Jimmy Song, took it quite hard when he decided to take it on Twitter to discuss the problem with the young leader of the Ethereum Foundation.
Another, never controversial, top 5 cryptocurrency project, Ripple, does not share the problems of Ethereum as their plans to detect fintech's business are going quite well despite the negative market sentiment.
In September, the company announced that its main product, RippleNet, is used by more than a hundred financial institutions on six continents, with one of the 10 largest US banks, including PNC.
A good year for blockchain technology
Despite the dark side, 2018 was a good year for the technology behind cryptocurrencies in general.
As we have already mentioned the largest intelligent contracting platform, it would be unfair not to mention it supposed "killer", EOS was launched in June. The launch, however, was not overcome without a fair amount of controversy as the voting process for 21 block producer positions was brought extremely slow, and Bitfinex was accused of using the funds of its customers to buy a position of block producer.
Some of the most formidable results are those of VeChain, which has signed a partnership with the Norwegian maritime giant, DNV GL. Just to mention, the Norwegian royal couple participated in the ceremony as witnesses to the signature.
The 2018 was also kind to IOTA, which is now working effectively with two of the world's most important automotive companies, German Volkswagen and Audi together with the collaboration with Bosch.
Petro is unleashed
In South America, the Venezuelan government and the president of the country, Nicolás Maduro launched the first monographic coin offered by the public cryptocurrency in November.
The move by Maduro was and is still criticized by the community as Petro does not enjoy much confidence from cryptocurrency enthusiasts around the world.
The EU approaches the cryptic cordiality
Blockchain technology and digital resources, although not supported by a universal set of regulations in the European Union, have continued to be recognized as important by the governments of the dominant European countries during the last year.
One of these is France, whose finance minister has proposed to special laws pro-crypto / ICO to settle cryptocurrencies in the called country Action plan for revolution and business transformation (PACTE), which marked a new and more positive attitude towards cryptocurrencies.
The crypto French revolution was on its way the first Blockchain Day it was organized in Paris in October.
While France is taking the train, some smaller European countries were already on board.
The example of Malta, which is continuing to attract some formidable names in the cryptosphere with their crypto-paradise politics, is one of the most positive moves of the year.
The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Binance, did not fail to recognize the opportunity to use the new crypt el Dorado and transferred their operations to this small island state of the Mediterranean at the end of last summer year.
The soap opera
The end of the year was definitely marked by the negative emotions surrounding the Bitcoin Cash Rigid Fork (BCH), which included the high level of disputes.
The two camps have not hesitated to bring it on social networks to resolve their differences, with the "accustomed" Bitcoin Jesus "for Bitcoin ABC, Roger Ver and" fake Satoshi ", Craig Wright for Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision) playing roles major in the soap opera "The clash of geeks".
2018 introduced the blockchain and the crypt in sports
It is important to remember that last year, despite having been announced as the year of the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies, it did not provide the expected results.
However, the world of professional sports has started to embrace cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as some of the best known stars, such as Kobe Bryant, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Lionel Messi, and others have been involved in various projects, and even some the clubs were bought with cryptocurrencies.
Some English Premier Division football teams have been sponsored by blockchain related projects, e Juventus and PSG has published its own cryptocurrency token.
More than $ 1 billion of stolen criptovalute
2018 did not address the burning problem of industry: hacker attacks.
During the last 365 days, hackers stole more than $ 1 billion of cryptocurrencies, which were mainly targeted at different exchange platforms.
The most notable attack was the one on Coincheck, during which $ 530 million was stolen. No less troubling were the attacks on BitGrail ($ 195 million) in Japan Zaif (about $ 60 million), and the South Korean Korean currency (over $ 40 million) and Bithumb (over $ 30 million).
What to expect?
Although it has not brought us the definitive adoption of cryptocurrencies, 2018 can be seen as a turning point for blockchain because it has clearly demonstrated the shocking potential of the new technology in various industries.
However, the future is in balance, especially with some of the world's largest insecure markets on how to deal with cryptocurrencies and encryption. Therefore, at least until the US SEC decides on BTC's ETFs and BTCs, this insecurity will continue during the first fiscal quarter of 2019.
Because of this insecurity, Bitcoin's price projections are all but unanimous.
While well-known investor Mike Novogratz and BitPay CEO Sonny Singh predict that Bitcoin will once again reach its all-time high of $ 20,000 in 2019, the founder of Bitcoin Cash and now the representative of Bitcoin SV, Calvin Ayre has revealed his belief that Bitcoin technology is obsolete and, therefore, will fall to $ 0 in 2019.
Be that as it may, one thing is certain – the price of the roller coaster will go on.
The author of these lines is not very good at forecasts, but his opinion is that 2018 made it clear that the cryptocurrency industry has failed massively in self-regulation. Now, due to the inability to show maturity, blockchain and cryptocurrencies have to wait for governments to apply bites caused by many unfortunate and incomplete projects, which are continuously reducing the level of trust in digital resources.
Bitcoin and Altcoin, previously considered as a means of payment, until 2019, failed to provide a better micro-payment platform than traditional technology and are now considered a good "value deposit".
Looking at 2018, this deposit of value has failed enormously in producing profits, so it is highly debatable whether we can absolutely call cryptocurrencies.
One thing is certain, though. Blockchain, like technology, is here to stay.
Cryptocurrencies, as only a feature of new technology, still have a long way to go.
To all our readers, we wish you a happy and successful new year!