Blockchain technologies gained significant prominence in 2017, leading to an upsurge in interesting developments within the blockchain industry. Not everything went as people expected, though, with the number of real-world applications that entered the market far less than anticipated.
Nevertheless, some companies like R3CEV and IBM were impressed with the year’s outcome. This year the concept of blockchain will grow even bigger, if for no other reason than because of the fact that it has started to grab everyone’s attention in the world – in the tech realm and beyond.
Below are some of the blockchain market predictions people can expect to see in 2018:
1. Another volatile year for cryptocurrencies
2017 was no doubt the year of cryptocurrency. In 2018, the world of cryptocurrencies, even Bitcoin, as a whole will continue to experience challenges and perhaps even a significant correction in the market if the practical applications of cryptocurrencies fail to reach their theoretical potential.
Regardless of the speculative nature of blockchain technology, it is likely a great number of investors will continue purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the hopes the price will continue to rise, and they can cash out for a big payday. According to some sources, a group of retail investors were responsible for pushing the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies throughout 2017. This year, a group of more institutional investors are slowly jumping in to lower the risks people are exposed to when trading futures market and options.
On the other hand, private investors should know that, for Bitcoin to sustain its uptick, some scaling solutions must work in the real world. And, for these changes to occur, it may take a long time for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be accepted worldwide as a stable medium of exchange. So don’t expect to see any of these currencies being used for payment purposes anytime soon.
2. Regulators will continue stepping in
This year, we can expect to see increased regulation in a growing number of countries. Both regulators and legislators worldwide are working together to govern how ICOs and cryptocurrencies as a whole should be regulated and traded. For example, the South Korean government recently stipulated new rules to regulate the trade of bitcoins. The same government is also pushing for the squash of unsolicited Bitcoin accounts and the closure of trading houses. Other governments expressing similar interests include China, Britain, and America.
Europe is still undecided, but worrying signs are emerging that point to the country following the same trend. Due to the steep regulatory measures and frequent audits that will take place, some crypto exchanges will cease operations altogether, which, in turn, may significantly impact Bitcoin’s reputation and that of other cryptocurrencies.
3. Greater attention paid to security issues
2018 is likely to be the year in which corporate CIOs will take full advantage of the potential the blockchain infrastructure possesses. Many CIOs have an eye on the security blockchain provides, particularly in areas where the technology attempts to tackle fraud management and identity verification. Some of Blockchain’s security features sure to impress CIOs can be found as a result of its merger with IoT. With the ever-increasing number of connected devices, Blockchain’s security architecture will play a huge role in protecting all IoT applications and users from potential data breaches.
Other advancements in cybersecurity technologies likely to be seen as blockchain technology evolves include more sophisticated data encryption analysis, more enhanced access control and cryptography, and more.
4. Central banks embracing blockchain
For a long time, central banks and governments wanted nothing to do with cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Now, because of the huge potential digital assets possess, both governments and central banks are working on ways to embrace these mediums as a means of exchanging value on blockchain in real-time, with increased securely.
Blockchain-based payment devices that use fiat-backed digital currency will enable central banks to interoperate seamlessly and work with other retail banks to render cross-border payments with immediate settlement finality.
5. Increasing blockchain awareness
More people continue to invest in cryptocurrencies in large numbers every day. Because of this bandwagon fever, 2018 will no doubt be the year of mass public awareness for blockchain. People will soon become more familiar with all the mechanics behind decentralized systems and need to learn about the profound potential this technology carries. In addition to the personal identity security and health benefits accumulated, consumers will also be able to trace the lifecycle of any merchandise they purchase with blockchain.
In summary, blockchain technology is here to stay, even though there will be some challenges along the way. Fortunately, due to blockchain infrastructure’s inherent benefits, such as superior security, easy scalability, enhanced data encryption and so on, more and more organizations will adopt blockchain technology despite the market’s mixed reviews.
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