By many accounts, it’s been a long, hard year for cryptocurrency.
Markets have shed billions, confirming suspicions that the crypto boom near the end of 2017 was the product of a speculative bubble. Public perception of crypto has suffered for this reason, and for many others.
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On the other hand, the strength that crypto markets have managed to hold on to could be considered as a sign of maturation: a market fueled almost entirely by practical usage and long-term investments, and not by speculators.
One thing’s for sure: this year is shaping up to be quite different from the last. How did we get here?
Bitcoin’s Epic Downhill Slide
“Clearly the most defining moment of the year for Bitcoin was its incredible rise to nearly $20,000 in December 2017 and its subsequent plummet to today’s levels below $4,000,” said longtime consumer tech journalist and co-host of the new Globalive Media series “Beyond Innovation” Michael Bancroft to Finance Magnates.
Indeed, what started off as a bad year for Bitcoin seems to be ending as an even worse year. “Many investors were burned badly by the collapse of Bitcoin’s price over the past six months, and that will have consequences for any hopes of a Bitcoin bull market,” Bancroft said.
Is a Bitcoin bull market even a possibility? Maybe–but it probably won’t be driven by speculation. Bancroft believes that the long-term effects of the sliding valuation will include a market that is “driven by concrete applications for the cryptocurrency as well as improvements to the transaction times and energy required.”
In other words, “2019 will be Bitcoin’s year of the true believers, not the speculators!”
The Reversal of Ad Bans by Google and Facebook
In the face of a serious lack of regulation in the cryptosphere, the year 2018 started off with some unexpected efforts to self-regulate. Within the first several months of the year, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, MailChimp, Twitter, and a number of other social media platforms had banned cryptocurrency-related advertisements from their platforms.
Because of the lack of clear regulations on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, this was a smart move by the platforms, who were concerned about becoming entangled with crypto’s legal grey-area status. Cryptocurrency firms were left reeling, forced to seek alternative methods of reaching new users and customers.
** Breaking **
Google ends cryptocurrency ad ban
“Google is reversing part of its sweeping ban on cryptocurrency-related advertising and plans to allow regulated crypto exchanges to buy ads in the United States and Japan.”https://t.co/RW2QhrVmfx#crypto #cryptomarkets pic.twitter.com/85Q5hw0WXU
— C3|Nik (@C3_Nik) September 25, 2018
In addition to Venezuela’s unprecedented entanglement with the Bitcoin network, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro shocked the world with the launch of the Petro, a national cryptocurrency that was allegedly backed by real-world assets, such as oil. However, there were a number of suspicions that the assets didn’t really exist, and that the cryptocurrency was nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to evade international sanctions.
“If this scheme is even moderately successful, other maligned governments such as Iran and North Korea may also start to experiment with similar efforts and this could tarnish the public perception of cryptocurrencies and discourage their adoption by legitimate enterprises,” Michael Bancroft said. Indeed, similar plans have been explored in Iran and Russia, for similarly dubious reasons.
That’s All, Folks
As eventful as this year has been, it’s unlikely that anything major will happen in the next couple of weeks as it draws to a close. Then again, you never know…
What were your favorite crypto moments of 2018? Leave a comment below and let us know.