2018 was a year of a reality check. All the hype, all the new highs, and unrealistic projections came to a standstill as the markets began tumbling. But at the backdrop of this bleeding market, there was some real fundamental growth. Businesses grew, the fittest survived while the weak phased out and now the stage is set for 2019. Let’s cherish the ups and down that made 2018 a year for #BUIDL in the crypto industry.
January began with a bang as BTCC announced the acquisition of Hong Kong-based Blockchain investment fund. Regulators in Sweden started contemplating their own national cryptocurrency e-Krona while their Indian counterparts issued tax notices to crypto traders. For the projects, IOTA faced a USD 4 mn hack bringing security concerns regarding the project
More use cases and more scare from the traditional world of finance and technology for the cryptocurrency. While Iceland started contemplating taxing crypto mining industry, Volkswagen and Porsche entered the blockchain industry. For exchanges, Coinbase and Bitfinex began using Segwit Bitcoin update. The traditional world of tech and finance still didn’t support the nascent” money “with China’s Baidu and Weibo pulling strings on crypto ads while Bank of America announcing cryptocurrency to be a growing threat to banks
Enter March and positive news flow begins with Paypal filing a patent for faster crypto payment. In China, PBOC announced a Chinese digital currency called ‘DCEP’. On the western side of the globe, Ripple collaborated with Hyperledger blockchain consortium, while Tennessee passed a bill to legalize blockchain and smart contract. March also saw Facebook facing Data breaching charges and call for blockchain based technologies became louder.
April bought with itself a tug of war between the regulators. Some countries bought in regulations in favor, others just pulled the strings further. In support, Australia laid down new AML/CTF Rules for crypto exchanges while France reduced the crypto tax down to 19%. In against of cryptos, Central banks in Iran and India but a ban of cryptocurrency usage. While Iran had a complete ban, Indian Central bank prohibited banks from assisting crypto transactions in India. April also saw Yahoo Japan buying 40% stake in Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitArg
Already four months into the year, and Bitcoin use case started increasing. The government authorities Florida began accepting tax via BTC and BCH while Prague, in the Czech Republic, installed Bitcoin ATM’s to bring cryptocurrency to common use. The regulators around the world still remained a skeptic with cryptocurrency as Japan’s FSA asked crypto exchange to delist ZCash, Monero and Dash and Zimbabwe’s Central Bank banning cryptocurrencies. Ethereum continued to #BUIDL as it releases Casper protocol update.
With June, more mainstream companies began to embrace cryptos. NASDAQ Powered DX Exchange announced its launch with Top Coins while Akon launched its AKoin to build a futuristic city. For projects, EOS was rated as best blockchain by the Chinese government, while Tether tried to clear its ground by releasing a report on its USD reserves.
As July came in, Indian Banking regulator intensified its banking blockade to the crypto business resultant of which Zebpay had to disable its fiat deposits and withdrawals. Thailand, on the other end, passed two emergency decrees as its legalized cryptocurrencies. While countries had their own say for cryptos, an international body, G20 accepted Financial Stability Board’s Recommendation on Crypto Assets. For projects, Litecoin integrated itself with HTC Exodus while Vitalik, supporting DEX, called centralized exchanges to “Burn in Hell”
With August coming in, all eyes turned towards the SEC and the Bitcoin ETF. Although SEC did disappoint crypto-enthusiasts by rejecting the ETF again, the efforts towards bringing in institutional money continued. CBOE too was quite optimistic about the ETF crossing the line this time but things didn’t come out fruitful. While things were amidst hustle and bustle in the West, China prohibited cryptos again. Among projects, talks around XRP being security or not continued with Joseph Lubin claiming XRP of not being a blockchain technology at all.
Indian regulators block game had its first calamity with Zebpay shutting down its operations as it couldn’t sustain without the fiat support. A bit of pessimism was bought in by Vitalik when he mentioned that there was no place of 1000x growth in crypto, but Goldman pitched in with positivity by announcing that it is working on Bitcoin derivatives. XRP debate continued with BIS calling XRP to be centralized. In China, Bitmain announced its plans of going public.
October brings in support from Jack Ma and Elon Musk. While Ma believes I bitcoin and blockchain could be key contributors to a cashless society, Musk’s boring company starts accepting BTC, LTC, BCH, and ETH. Tim Draper makes an unusually bullish prediction for Bitcoin targeting it to reach USD 250000 by 2022 while Tron starts scaling up with its MainNet.
It takes almost a year since its all-time high for Bitcoin to be accepted as “Asset Class” by Wall Street but Jay Clayton of SEC continues its stance saying that the commission would support a BTC ETF only when market manipulations are addressed. BCH gets hard forked in the most dramatic manner with Bitcoin Cash ABC defeating Bitcoin Cash SV proving out to be a dominant chain of the two. With adoption increasing in South America, Bitcoin Trading volumes of Local bitcoins reaches an all-time high in Chile, Columbia Argentina, and Venezuela while in Europe Switzerland launches the first crypto ETP.
The year-end approaches with BTC hitting the yearly lows of USD 3000 and Ethereum losing 90% of its value since it hit an all-time high. There are hope and positivity of 2019 being a better years Binance plans to launch its first DEX while Facebook continues its hiring for blockchain positions. The industry too gets cleaner with Mt Gox CEO getting a 10-year term.
Here we come to the end of 2018. Hope 2019 brings in more lunch and excitement and yes dominance to the crypto industry.
Will 2019 be a better year from cryptos? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.