It would be fair to say that 2018 was an up-and-down year for cryptocurrency.
There were significant price crashes for all currencies, with Bitcoin losing value and many of the much-hyped alt coins almost disappearing completely.
But, behind the scenes, there were also plenty of exciting developments. Development of the blockchain, the technology which powers the cryptocurrency framework, continues apace, and there have been the first signs that institutional investment in Bitcoin is on the horizon.
One thing that isn’t in doubt is that 2019 will be a more positive year for cryptocurrencies, with the free-for-all of the early stages of 2018 a thing of the past, in more ways than one.
Here are some developments to look for in the coming months.
After once trading at somewhere around the $20,000 mark during the zenith period of cryptocurrency trading, the value of Bitcoin is now at approximately $3,500.
Does this mean that Bitcoin is no longer a useful token to the wider public? No, of course not, it just means that the Wild West days of cryptocurrency trading are over…. for now.
Indeed, away from the trading circus, the Bitcoin team has been working hard on their product.
The development of the so-called Lightning Network will facilitate much faster transaction speeds – the age-old criticism of Bitcoin – and that should ensure Bitcoin appeals to more payment platforms in 2019 than ever before.
The Lightning Network will also enhance the scalability of Bitcoin payments.
Basically, if you’re not tech-minded, that means that the blockchain – and principally Bitcoin – will be able to process much quicker transactions; appealing to banks and independent payment platforms like PayPal moving forward. Also, mass adoption is certainly a possibility.
That should drive a price increase for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, that have genuine use cases.
Since day one, the cryptocurrency market has largely been powered by individuals who believe that an anonymous and innovative payment system is essential in our digital age.
Now, it seems, many big businesses are tapping into the power of the blockchain.
IBM, one of the first innovators to adopt the technology, continue to surge forward with their own blockchain-led developments. They are trialling several solutions in payment processing and the logging of transactions from supplier to end user.
The belief is that their trials have been wholly successful as they look to innovate yet further.
Walmart is perhaps a more unlikely adopter of the blockchain, but they have been investing heavily in tech designed to improve food hygiene standards. They can now trace a complete supply chain, from producer to store display, using a tamper-proof database powered by the blockchain, and it’s more than likely that similar supermarkets and producers will adopt the game-changing technology.
As more big businesses begin to understand the benefits of the blockchain, it can only be a good thing for the entire cryptocurrency industry.
A significant landmark moment that confirms cryptocurrency is here to stay came when Nasdaq confirmed their plans to add cryptocurrencies to their trading platform.
The roll-out will come in the first half of 2019, according to reports, with Bitcoin futures the first product on the shelf.
According to sources, Nasdaq is attempting to be the prime mover in cryptocurrency exchange governance, order execution and at the forefront of institutional movement into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
At launch, most would expect a bump in price for Bitcoin and other currencies as Wall Street finances flood into the market.
Also, the influence of Nasdaq would help to boost credibility in cryptocurrency, which has often been a moot point for investors. A regulated market, while going against the grain of the original ethos of Bitcoin, would at least attract more prominent investment to the market.
If mass adoption becomes a reality, or at least a wider audience gets involved in Bitcoin, Ethereum and the other key cryptocurrencies, that’s a good thing for both online casinos and their players!
Here’s a quick look at why you should be very optimistic in 2019.
Competition breeds quality. You can expect more Bitcoin casinos to enter the market, and that can only be positive. More competition means more choices for gamers, and that will help the best platforms to thrive. Here at Bitcasino, we’re very excited about the future. We’re continuously updating our games library to keep our players satisfied, and with industry-leading customer support, we’re confident that we will continue to thrive in 2019.
New tech equals better games. New technological developments have been the cornerstone of the online casino industry year on year, and with bigger and better games hitting the market, players are treated to a golden age of Bitcoin gambling! Check out the 2019 release slates of the key slots and table game software developers, including NetEnt, Microgaming and Playtech. This could be the most exciting year yet for casino gaming.
Jackpots poised to increase. If you have more players, that also means that progressive jackpot prizes will increase. As you know, games linked to these networks have jackpots based on the amount invested in them, so more players result in bigger jackpots. Therefore, in 2019, you could be playing for bigger prizes. Who knows – you might just catch that ”big fish” that changes your life!
Improved blockchain. As you get hooked on your favourite online slots, roulette and blackjack games, you’re probably not too worried about the technology behind them. However, from the perspective of the user experience, enhancements to the blockchain will also improve your time playing with us at Bitcasino. We will be able to process deposits and withdrawals even quicker, and so you will be able to enjoy your favourite titles – and get your hands on your winnings – even more quickly than today.
At Bitcasino we’re very excited about what 2019 will bring, and we believe our players will be the key beneficiaries. So, why not register for a new player account today? You can try our games for free and get one step ahead of the crowd.
Words: Sean McNulty