Bitcoin Trends for 2019
Before looking at possible Bitcoin trends for a new year, let’s quickly recap some of the highlights of 2018. In January 2018 the Bitcoin Lightning Network became live and software for this new payment channel layer was rolled out, with the number of nodes quickly growing to over 100 by the end of the month. In February, Coinbase finally announced their implementation of SegWit, and the Arizona Senate voted to accept tax payments in bitcoin. March started with Coinbase getting sued for alleged insider trading, while Bitcoin Pineapple whale anonymously donated $56M worth of bitcoin to non-profits. April fools jokes about Bitcoin tickled our fancy, while Twitter suspended the @Bitcoin account, owned by Roger Ver and pushing Bitcoin Cash, for tweeting against Bitcoin. In May, SegWit adoption rose to 35% across the ecosystem, and the Lightning Network swells to over 2,000 nodes while Bitcoin’s transaction costs drop to the lowest in 7 years. The SEC chairman starts June by stating Bitcoin is not a security, and the narrative begins to move towards adoption as Square obtains a Bitlicense in New York.
Bitcoin trends the second half of the year included Coinbase launching its custodial service for institutional investors in early July, and talk of a Bitcoin ETF decision in August heats up the price with a $1,000 rise in one day on the 17th. In August, the DEA admits bitcoin speculators dominate cryptocurrency now vs. drug dealers, a step in the right direction for mainstream adoption. That said, the Federal Court in the USA starts collecting cryptocurrency for bail – and the Bitcoin ETFs are disapproved by the SEC citing influence over the market by unidentifiable parties as the reason. These SEC disapprovals don’t stop others from trying, and September sees Coinbase exploring a bitcoin ETF while Visa and Mastercard are forced to pay $6.2B for over-charging on credit cards. In October, Shapeshift incorporates KYC to ward off regulation issues, while Coinbase and Circle announce the USDC stable coin. Meanwhile, the price of Bitcoin in October is less volatile than Nasdaq, Dow, and S&P500. Visit BitcoinSnippets for all the monthly news and top stories so you can follow the bitcoin trends as they develop in 2019.
On The Horizon
Naturally, everyone would love to know what we can expect the Bitcoin price to be in 2019. The Internet is filled with “expert predictions”, but what should investors be considering? It appears the market has turned bearish, bullish, and then bearish this year with much speculation over whether it will turn again before year end or continue to be bearish into 2019. Investors don’t know whether to hodl in anticipation of a price increase or sell when the price has a temporary rise in price.
There are many experts and industry leaders that predict forthcoming SEC decisions on Bitcoin ETFs will have a positive effect on the price. Issuers of Bitcoin ETFs would be responsible for insurance on customer’s assets, unlike exchanges that can be hacked and result in a loss of funds for customer accounts. Bitcoin ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) would use bitcoin as its basic asset which is bought and then shares are sold to investors. This would keep investors from handling digital funds directly, and provide reliable protection from loss or theft by hackers. The result of a Bitcoin ETF launch could launch the involvement of large institutional investors who are required to invest capital only in assets that are regulated. Optimism always boosts the price of Bitcoin, but on September 20th, 2018 a decision regarding the Van Eck SolidX ETF was again postponed by the SEC. This particular ETF was the last credible hope for a near-term approval and now reportedly won’t be reviewed until February 2019.
Since statistics from the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) derivatives marketplace indicate the futures market is evolving quickly, there is speculation a Bitcoin ETF approval has a better chance in 2019. In 9 years, what began with a white paper and the Bitcoin genesis block has now evolved into an asset class drawing traders from all over the world.
Bitcoin trends to keep an eye on in 2019:
- Adoption of Security Tokens: fully compliant representations of ownership in traditional asset classes
- Bitcoin ETF Approval: could boost price by taking underlying bitcoins out of circulation and reducing supply
- Sophisticated Valuation Models: consensus valuation to connect crypto prices with underlying fundamentals
- Decentralized Exchanges Growth: user-friendly DEXs granting traders control over funds and possession of private keys
- Emerging Stablecoins: coins with a fixed price not subject to sudden price swings pegged to actual fiat currency
- Increasing Bitcoin Dominance: should Bitcoin continue to become less volatile, it will increase in value over altcoins
- More Mainstream Adoption: the launch of additional futures trading and entry of institutional investors
- Increased Regulation: while not particularly positive, regulation will impact investor trust of cryptocurrencies
- Emerging Efficiency: such as the development of Lightning Network and more user-friendly applications for the system