In 2018, virtual currencies experienced a bear market that affected the entire sector. However, people talk about what will happen in 2019 and how it will affect the most valuable virtual currencies on the market.
Bitcoin is currently the most valuable virtual currency with a market capitalization of $ 67.18 billion. This virtual currency will experience greater interest from the institutions. These companies are trying to enter the market, something that sometimes is not easy to do. There are some companies that are starting to build the infrastructure necessary for Bitcoin to receive institutional investments.
A Bitcoin ETF could be approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2019. This is something very positive should it happen. However, it may not even be approved, which means the market will have to wait a little longer. The regulatory agency is concerned about the manipulation in the market of virtual currencies and how it can affect Bitcoin and space investors.
In addition, Bitcoin's Lightning Network (LN) will continue to grow and expand, a trend that began in 2018. Since Bitcoin became a congested network in 2017, one of the main proposals was to improve Bitcoin's scalability problems with an off-chain scalability solution. This would allow the network to process thousands of transactions per second without congesting the main network.
XRP is the second digital asset after Bitcoin with a market capitalization of $ 14.96 billion. Ripple, one of the companies working with XRP, will attempt to expand its products and services to other countries and financial companies worldwide.
The company is working with financial institutions and banks that want to handle cross-border transactions and have to reduce costs. The xRapid product developed by Ripple includes XRP as a virtual currency for sending payments quickly and easily.
Although there is no roadmap for XRP, it is possible to guess that Ripple will try to work with new banks and financial partners. The XRP would help them find cash and reduce transaction costs and time.
Ripple aims to replace SWIFT, or at least, be a strong competitor for this network in the future. Ripple is already working with over 150 finance companies worldwide.
Ethereum is the third largest digital asset in the market. It currently has a market capitalization of $ 14.37 billion. This virtual currency has a very important year. The first update that will affect the Ethereum network is known as Constantinople. In January 2019 there will be a difficult fork in which the creation of ETH will be reduced from 3 to 2 ETH for miners. Individuals who extract ETH will receive less rewards for their work. This should play an important role in the price of Ethereum as there will be less sales pressure in the market, allowing the price to grow faster. Although a price increase may not happen, analysts are clearly bullish on this update.
The Casper and Sharding protocol are two more updates that will occur later in 2019. Another update that the Ethereum network will have to address is Serenity. Ethereum should move to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm as mining is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult for smaller investors.
Ethereum has many competitors who are trying to take a position in space. EOS and Tron (TRX) are just some of the examples.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the fourth largest digital asset and has a market capitalization of $ 2.84 billion. During 2018 this virtual currency suffered a hash war and a hard fork that damaged its price and hit the entire BCH community.
However, for 2019, Bitcoin Cash is preparing for downsizing, usability and extensibility. The team behind this virtual currency knows that there are some things that need to be addressed and improved.
The Bitcoin Cash developers want to take their capacity to 5,000,000 transactions per second. Now they can only support 100 transactions per second. They also want to reduce the average transaction time to three seconds and create an extensible protocol that would make it easier to implement future updates.
In May 2019, the network has scheduled maintenance that will improve the Bitcoin Cash network. In addition, they will implement an upgrade called Coin Shuffle which will provide extra privacy features to this virtual currency.
EOS is the fifth largest virtual currency with a market capitalization of $ 2.38 billion. Although the roadmap does not provide much detail about what to expect in 2019, analysts expect EOS to focus on the dApps and ecosystem development.
Blockchain networks such as Ethereum, Tron or EOS have faced an important problem. Their decentralized applications are not widely used and could not become mainstream. In some of these networks, some dApp have less than 1000 active users per day.
This is why the intention is to improve the entire network and make it attractive for developers who want to implement their decentralized applications on this blockchain. One of the main challenges is that developers create user-friendly applications, something that has been difficult for most blockchains in the network.
The sixth largest virtual currency is Stellar Lumens (XLM) with a market capitalization of $ 2.26 billion. Stellar has signed new partnerships this year with several companies in space. Now, the intention is to continue growing by working with companies like IBM.
Stellar is a virtual currency very similar to Ripple and is a strong competitor for the second largest virtual currency on the market.
IBM is a company that has worked with Stellar and should continue to do so in the future. According to data provided by IBM, 90% of credit card transactions are processed using IBM mainframes and 97% of banks worldwide are IBM customers. This is very positive for Stellar since IBM could act as an intermediary between financial companies and the stellar blockchain network.
At the same time, IBM is working to launch the so-called Blockchain World Wire (BWW). The main purpose is to allow settlement and settlement of cross-border payments almost in real time. Stellar is the platform that is working with IBM to make it possible. If the BWW is launched, it will help Stellar grow in the near future.
The next virtual currency is Litecoin (LTC) which has the seventh position in the market. Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has been severely criticized by the community during 2018 and 2019 could be a good year for him to regain the support of individuals who were mostly skeptical about his decision to sell his coins when the market he was reaching new highs.
In general, Litecoin has been used as a test network for Bitcoin. During this year Litecoin will test the Lightning Network and how it will be implemented in the future. Litecoin will also release a new update to its network called Litecoin Core 0.17. This update was announced on October 19th and aims to reduce commissions by a factor of 10. This would result in the average transaction cost at $ 0.005.
Another thing that we could see during Litigoin during 2019 is linked to private transactions. Although there is nothing confirmed about it, Charlie Lee has been very positive about this problem and could implement it in the near future. At least, it may be possible to test their performance and effects on the network.
Private transactions are a very important subject in cryptocurrency Community. In general, they are considered very useful but regulatory agencies have not been very open to accepting private currencies. There is only one exception. The highly regulated virtual currency exchange Gemini has added support to ZCash (ZEC), one of the best known private currencies on the market after Monero (XMR).
The ninth largest virtual currency in the market is Bitcoin Satoshi Vision or Bitcoin SV (BSV). It has a market capitalization of $ 1.56 billion. Although this virtual currency was recently released after a hard by the Bitcoin Cash network, there are some interesting things that the team behind it is preparing for 2019.
According to Calvin Ayre, one of the main supporters of Bitcoin SV, the currency will be downsized in 2019. In the future, there will be some conferences related to Bitcoin SV and the downsizing organized by CoinGeek. There will be three major events, one in Toronto in the spring, another in Seoul in the autumn of 2019 and the last in London, but already in early 2020.
On the question, Calvin Ayre wrote:
"I know I'm super pumped up on what lies ahead in 2019 and that's all because of the massive downsizing of the chain, 2019 is focused on downsizing."
Bitcoin SV proposes the conversion of Bitcoin using chain solutions. In the future, the intention is to have unlimited blocks that allow your network to process a large number of transactions without having to worry about the problems of downsizing or network congestion.
We have two other virtual currencies that will have an important 2019. We are talking about Tron (TRX) and Cardano (ADA). Tron is the tenth largest virtual currency and Cardano is the 11th largest. Each of them has $ 1.34 billion and $ 1.09 billion of market capitalization respectively.
Tron grew in 2018. He recorded new records in the number of transactions and addresses on his network. Similar to what EOS is trying to do, Tron will focus on new and improved decentralized applications on its network.
The Tron Foundation recently released Tron Arcade and a $ 100 million fund. The intention is to promote the mass adoption of blockchain technology through the gaming industry. At the same time, Tron is also looking to expand into other areas such as charity organization, business solutions, consumer internet, social media and entertainment. All to build a global and decentralized internet ecosystem.
Similar to what Litecoin is trying to do, Tron could also implement the so-called zk-Snarks technology. This would allow the network to obfuscate transaction information and protect users' privacy. This update should take place as soon as the first quarter of 2019.
The Tron network also has a 6-stage plan that will soon see the second phase of this program in 2019. This phase 2 aims to focus on solidifying the overall use case of the Tron ecosystem. This phase 2 is known as Odyssey and focuses on the creation and distribution of dApp. Using BitTorrent, Tron will be able to reach new users and demonstrate the capabilities of its network.
Cardano has one of the best Road map among the top 10 virtual currencies. They also provide technical reports every week and have a countdown available for their next roadmap update. In addition, Charles Hoskinson, the founder of the network, usually gives explanations about Cardano and the developments that are being undertaken.
The next update of Cardano is called Shelley and will produce a completely decentralized ecosystem. The update will be published at the beginning of 2019 and will implement the voting and stake pool testnets.
According to some analyzes performed by Cardano, theirs ecosystem it is able to manage around 1,000 pile poles. In addition, Cardano will also receive support on the popular hardware support portfolio. There will also be a light option when using the Daedalus portfolio.
There are many other virtual currencies on the market that will live a very promising year. It is worth mentioning some of them as Monero (XMR), Binance Coin (BNB), Dash, Iota (MIOTA) or ZCash (ZEC), among others.
The cryptocurrency the market continues to expand and shows that although the bear market has affected several projects, virtual currencies are here to remain ready to continue improving their products and services.