Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies have had a tumultuous year, with steady price drops affecting investor confidence and the interest of miners.
A prolonged loss of value has caused many cryptocurrency owners to question how the future of digital currency will be affected.
Some fans maintain hope that the cryptocurrency market will see a resurgence, glossing over Bitcoin’s 80% drop as a bump in the road.
Cryptocurrency expert Simon Dingle also believes that Bitcoin will recover in both price and activity, although he favours a more temperate outlook regarding the price of major cryptocurrencies.
MyBroadband spoke to Dingle about his expectations for the blockchain industry and cryptocurrency market in 2019.
No more massive price surges
While he does not like making price predictions, Dingle said that unexpected surges to all-time highs are unlikely.
“I really hate talking price, but I wouldn’t expect any major moves past historical highs in 2019,” he said.
“More likely we will see a slow price recovery throughout 2019 until the next Bitcoin halving event when mining incentives are reduced in 2020.”
Dingle predicts that the halving of mining incentives could spark the next phase in meteoric growth.
While there will be no big price movements, he added that major positive changes and technological developments would continue to be prevalent next year.
“If you’re looking for good news, positive change and amazing things happening with the network, then Bitcoin is going to be highly entertaining in 2019,” Dingle said.
“But if you’re looking to get rich quick on massive price movements I would suggest that you cool your beans for at least the next year and a half.”
Ethereum remains the most active blockchain in terms of raw transaction volume, but Bitcoin rules in terms of overall transaction value processed.
Dingle noted that Ethereum is probably the most undervalued cryptocurrency at the moment, and will likely have the most powerful recovery when the market picks up again.
“Bitcoin is still easily the most prominent chain, however, and should continue its dominance in 2019,” he said.
There are a number of major blockchain events scheduled for 2019, with new platforms and services set to launch which will further enable digital currencies.
“There are some big events coming in 2019, starting with the launch of Bakkt, which is a Bitcoin securities platform being developed by ICE – the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange – in partnership with Microsoft and Starbucks,” Dingle said.
“Big business has embraced Bitcoin and this will be a theme in 2019.”
He said regulation is also becoming more amenable to cryptocurrencies, with China lifting bans on Bitcoin and US states allowing the official payment of taxes using Bitcoin.
“The Lightning Network is growing and maturing faster than anticipated and this is making Bitcoin increasingly appealing for retailers who can now start trimming away the extortive merchant fees that they have to pay to credit card networks,” Dingle added.
“These are just some of many big and positive developments for Bitcoin that are underway.”
While there will be a number of other cryptocurrency developments in 2019, Dingle believes it will be the year of Bitcoin, along with some action in the Ethereum space.
“The days of the bullshit ICO are over, and we’ve learned that many of the projects claiming to be ‘better than Bitcoin’ aren’t stacking up.”
He added that we are already seeing a greater number of consumer applications built on blockchain technology, with the bear market forcing out charlatans and pressuring the industry into creating value.