After the parabolic bull run of 2017, the last two years were pretty much a bearish phase. New lows were created, bounces and new projects were spread thinly apart.
As we look forward to 2020, expectations of another massive crypto rally, interesting projects and the impending Bitcoin halving usher a new wave of enthusiasm among investors and developers alike.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi), cross-border crypto payments regulated by governments, crypto based gaming, and virtual reality, are some other interesting things to look forward to.
Although there are many exciting developments on the horizon, here are 5 blockchain trends to watch out for:
1. State and Corporate Cryptocurrencies
Many countries, including UAE (Dubai), Japan, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, and France, have announced their plans for a regulated state-issued cryptocurrency. The list of countries pondering over this move is even longer. Countries wishing to move to digital payments and curb cash find cryptocurrencies to be the best way forward.
Similarly, with Facebook’s Libra project, many corporates have started wondering whether issuing their own cryptocurrencies would be the right move for them.
Multinational corporations as J. P. Morgan Chase, Walmart, AirAsia, Mitsubishi, Amazon, Nornickel and Tencent are looking to issues their own digital assets.
This will mean less volatility and cryptocurrencies will no longer be questioned for their intrinsic values. All of them will compete in an international open market.
Many crypto exchanges and projects will face the wrath of regulators. This will mean exchanges shutting shops in certain jurisdictions, de-listing of tokens and projects that do not follow the legal requirements and operate in a grey area.
Companies and governments alike are working on projects to deanonymize crypto payments. The US government is already working on a project to develop forensic analysis tools for privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, like Monero and ZCash.
4. Crypto Purchases with Fiat
With crypto spreading to the masses, it would become easier to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with fiat money. This could be done through folks who already own crypto or through a growing network of crypto ATMs. Just like we use our bank accounts, our crypto wallets would provide us access to cash through various crypto ATMs. As virtual currency ATMs become ubiquitous, it would be interesting to see people purchase digital assets with cash. Also, the resistance to imposed government restrictions and other obstacles will create new DeFi-based P2P currency exchange platforms. These platforms will offer their services through mobile finance mediums and will enable any user to become an agent and exchange crypto for cash directly with their peers safely from/in any place in the world.
5. FinTech Moving to Switzerland
Switzerland has been Europe’s finance hub for the last century and the country does not plan to give up that status anytime soon. Swiss regulation is friendlier for FinTech startups, and crypto projects. We can see early signs of the already flourishing Swiss FinTech industry. Switzerland is poised to become the FinTech hub in 2020.
2020 will see exciting new developments on the crypto and blockchain front. The market has recovered from the shock of a crash after the inexplicable bull run. Now it is time for bigger and and mature players to enter the industry. The new year will belong to more crypto adoption and better regulation.