2018 was not the most interesting year in terms of “announced” developments in the blockchain ecosystem. There was a limited number of technological breakthroughs and it feels that all the focus went to the market side. The good news is that while many projects were struggling with the bear-market, blockchain “players” focused on delivering functional products/services to solve real problems for both people and businesses.
So what are the 2019 blockchain predictions?
After the 10th anniversary of the first blockchain project, it is fair to say the we are entering a new stage of this technology life. Blockchain is slowly maturing, not only because of its age, but also because of the growing number of projects that keep emerging year after year. Many of these new blockchain projects are spearheaded by industry leaders and other corporations. We should see this trend accelerate in 2019 with more established companies investing in blockchain technology.
The Blockchain “Bermuda” Triangle
Just like the famous geographical legend, it is here where most projects disappear: trying to solve the scalability, security and decentralization trade-off. As blockchain companies build solutions and focus on one of these three characteristics, it usually comes at the expense of at least one other dimension as it stops being optimal. The ability to build blockchain solutions without comprising any of these three dimensions will be a key emphasis of developers for the year to come. For instance sidechains are expected to make a strong impact this year to mitigate scalability problems without compromising security and decentralization.
This is a top priority for the crypto space and it will be the focus in many countries this year.
In the United States, conversations to create a Bitcoin ETF will continue throughout 2019 as they constitute a major step in the institutional adoption of this asset type.
In addition to this, Security Token Offerings (STOs) might, once and for all, replace ICOs.
Finally, it is very likely that not only cryptocurrencies, but also the entire blockchain ecosystem will be facing new regulations. Even projects with different methods of fundraising need certainty and clarity in terms of laws.
Progress has been made with interoperability between blockchain platforms where data can be easily shared and accessed across blockchain networks. The adoption of cross-chain technology should be contributing to the interoperability trend.
It is very important that “old” and “new” projects can work with each other and share information between themselves and 2019 will, very likely, become the year when the major crypto and blockchain projects can actually work together without compromising any of their networks.
As the maturity level of the market evolves, and with the potential entrance of institutional investors, there is a need for assets of a less volatile nature. This is where stablecoins (coins backed by commodities, fiat-currency or other cryptocurrencies) play an important role.
It is important to understand the progress that is being achieved every day with every single step we take towards real use cases for blockchain projects. 2019 might be the first year where the blockchain starts to become a central part in people’s lives and in some industries. Keep an eye on it!