2018 has been a rocky year for markets, and within the crypto market it has seen some of the worst days. Some investors have been passing the idea around that cryptos may hit zero, or it may never recover after the major sell off in this year.
In 2017, cryptocurrencies went through a breakout year in 2017 with Bitcoin starting the year around $1000 and reaching highs of $20,000 by December. The entire market had been exposed to a substantial amount of hype that put blockchain into the conversations of many investors. Although unregulated, the CME Group launched Bitcoin futures which further paved the way to legitimizing cryptocurrency, and it allowed for more institutionalized investment.
This rise in animal spirits, however, lead to the largest rise and later selloff in crypto history. Since the market was in such a state where any amount of news could impact the price drastically. The motion from many investors that said BTC was overvalued (and outside forces), lead to a drop to $13000 within a week, and $6000 by February. To add insult to injury, speculation across the crypto ecosystem drove prices lower into a bear market unseen since post-bubble burst of 2014.
2018 Research & Development
Over this year, however, companies have created initiatives in developing their workers with blockchain training programs to put them ahead of the game. Leading companies including IBM, CME Group, Accenture and others have all joined in R&D in blockchain.
Alas, most companies are not focusing on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, but more so the technology that runs it. This could explain the bear market we experienced this year.
Research has found many use cases for new technology [blockchain, artificial intelligence, IoT], which has increased the demand for STEM degree holders. Projections show an increase in jobs for this pool of graduates over the next few years.
In recent news, Litecoin (a cryptocurrency known to be the “faster bitcoin”) has just partnered with UFC in promotion deal. The Litecoin logo will be displayed across the octagonal fighting arena in UFC 232 – a rematch between former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson.
In light of this news, the market for Litecoin felt a big boost from investors. The price rose from its stagnate position +4.03 points (+14.36%)*. The partnership is a part of a quest to raising more interest in cryptocurrency.
*Late morning trading hours 28/12/2018.
What to expect in 2019?
2019 is set to release the first wave usage of commercialized blockchain tests. While this may not be guaranteed, companies working on these projects are testing blockchain within their systems of operations from compliance to supply chain. The conversation of blockchain/AI systems between co-workers could be a thing of the past since many are learning more about how they work.
In the new year, we can expect to see further legitimacy of certain cryptocurrencies and exchanges backed by established institutions. How this will affect price we cannot determine now, but it is safe to say the bear market we experienced in 2018 will dissipate.
By Afolabi Thomas