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There is no doubt that 2017 was an important year for both Bitcoin, and the evolution of cryptocurrencies as a whole. The year was full of interesting innovations, exciting developments, and many tumultuous increases and decreases in value, so what does 2018 have in store? These are some of the events we are looking forward to seeing in the coming 12 months.

ICO Securities

Following a report on The DAO by the SEC, several companies have started to consider ICO Securities. This could well signal the beginning of a new wave of ICO’s that could be bigger than the whole market as it stands currently. It could also mean that we see these new ICOs replace the traditional VC funding model, which would result in an increase in traditional investments in the industry. If managed and utilised correctly, Security ICOs could help to motivate real-world innovation whilst also providing a more long-term and sustainable rate of growth than the current get rich quick approach that we have been seeing.

Lighting Network

During 2017, we saw SegWit become activated with Bitcoin, as well as some of the other leading currencies. This has helped to alleviate a bit of the traffic congestion on the blockchain network, although it is not effective enough to solve Bitcoins scalability issues. It is hoped that the Lightning Network will be able to offer real solutions to these issues and give Bitcoin the helping hands it needs to be able to act as an everyday purchasing tool. This failings with regards to Bitcoin, has allowed several altcoins to grow in prominence, and I believe that this year, we will see if Bitcoin will lose its lustre or not.

The Ethereum POS change

Throughout 2017, the industry has been anticipating whether Ethereum will make the switch from POW to POS. The technology has been somewhat delayed and is expected to launch later this year. If it is as successful as anticipated, it would make Ethereum the most well-known POS currency out there, and is expected to drive investments for the staking returns alone.

Interledger and Codius

Ripple has long been predicted to come into its own, and I firmly believe that 2018 will be its time. Whilst there are a few concerns around how it functions as a currency, its network is run very well, and Ripple Labs have two tech offerings due this year that are sure to shake up the status quo. The first of these is the Interledger Protocol which aims to assist in facilitating payments across different ledgers and blockchains. The second project is Codius which was originally shelved in 2015 but has now seen the light of day again as a universal hosting standard for smart oracles. Ripple Labs are definitely one to keep a look out for as their dedication to innovation and technology is sure to yeild some interesting results.

Tether and fiat IOUs

Tether has been around for a few years now as a fiat IOU and whilst there have been several of these on Ripple, it remains as the only prominent IOU on the Omni network. As a currency, Tether has been a little on the unremarkable side and it has experienced banking problems recently, despite its market cap increasing to $1.5 billion. All things considered, there are two ways that Tether could go in 2018- on the first hand, we may see fiat IOUs appear more prominently on the Ethereum Blockchain to compliment ICO Securities, or alternatively, it could turn into another MtGox and implode in such a way it would cause a massive crypto price crash.

Government backed cryptocurrencies

For many years, it has been suggested that governments should adopt Bitcoin as an official form of currency. We have already seen Canada consider transforming its fiat currency into a crypt-version known as MintChip, but unfortunately it did not come to fruition. This doesn’t mean that the concept should be abandoned though, and with Venezuela aiming to launch Petro this year, all eyes will be on it to see if it is a viable option. Petro is designed to be backed by actual reserves such as oil, gas, and gold, which does make it more of a commodity than a fiat IOU but it is sure to be an interesting experiment.

There is no doubt that 2018 is going to be a spectacularly exciting year for cryptocurrency and the technology that enables it. Whilst it is difficult to predict what will happen, It will be interesting to see where we are this time next year.

 

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