What Will Ethereum Do in 2018

Blog And Thoughts By Bob Pattni, Crypto-Guide

When thinking about Bitcoin and what it could achieve in terms of value this year, it’s impossible to write this article without also considering Bitcoin and the effect that’s had on Crypto in general.

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Bitcoin, and specifically the publicity and media attention surrounding Bitcoin over the last 2 years, has been a massive influence on the Crypto market place. Now most people are aware of its existence as a ‘real’ entity and that it has a genuinely high value – some of that value has of course been obtained by its high standing in public consciousness, making it the very definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ethereum is every Crypto-Guides pick for the only other currency out there that could eventually reach Bitcoin’s value. Having said this, you need to appreciate that it will take time for Ethereum to, well, appreciate in value itself – some predictions have Bitcoin as high as US$25,000.00 per coin by December 2018, and Ethereum is not predicted to be anywhere near that yet.

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Most predictions agree that one of the big factors influencing Ethereum is its use of Blockchain technology. Ethereum uses an open-source distributed blockchain. It was the first Crypto to incorporate smart contract functionality (via a token now known as Ether, and now a separate entity to the main currency of Ethereum). Ethereum was developed and created by Vitalik Buterin and launched using a crowdsale in 2014. This is generally regarded as having been the first Cryptocurrency ICO (Initial Coin Offering) even though this term wasn’t in use at the time and has been ‘coined’ (forgive the obvious pun!). Since its launch, Ethereum has grown to become the second largest blockchain after Bitcoin in terms of market share.

C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\ethereum-crypto-heist-thieves-jail-time-696x449.jpg Initial coin offering (ICO) is an unregulated method of raising funds, usually for a new Cryptocurrency venture. The vast majority of new ICOs are built on the Ethereum platform, further solidifying Ethereum’s place in the Crypto world. A high number of creative projects leads directly to a higher demand for Ethereum, which investors usually need in order to participate in ICOs. In January 2018 alone, more than $1.3 billion was collected in ICOs.

Currently, most Cryptocurrencies utilize a Proof-of-Work concept. In the process of transaction validation, huge amounts of electricity are spent, since miners have to solve complex cryptographic riddles in order to mine a new block. Proof-of-stake is a promising alternative and aims to make the whole Cryptocurrency industry “greener”. The idea is to make the entire process of mining virtual, thereby drastically cutting the electricity costs. Switching to a pure Proof-of-Stake method is likely to grant Ethereum advantage over other Cryptocurrencies and further solidify its place at the heart of Crypto world.

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There has been a slump in prices of Crypto lately, and it’s been caused by news that Twitter is joining Facebook and Google by banning Cryptocurrency advertising.

The ban will cover advertising of initial coin offerings (ICOs) – Crowdfunding used to raise cash by creating new coins, token sales and crypto-wallet services. The policy will also stop crypto-exchanges from advertising, with limited exceptions.

However, Ethereum continues to rise and continues to be a sound investment. Partly because of its innovative blockchain technology, and partly because of the rise in public consciousness caused by the massive and continued media obsession with the Crypto world. So long as these trends continue, we’ll continue to see steady price rises in Ethereum reflective of the steady rises in public consciousness and confidence in what is, after all, still an emerging new technology.

 

What Does the Future Hold for Bitcoin

Future of Bitcoin

The year 2017 was a monumental year for the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In January 2017, Bitcoin prices rose almost 2000% from $1,000 to more than $19,000 in December. The same year saw Ripple, Litecoin, Ether and other leading cryptocurrencies experience similar spikes as well as the emergence of new cryptocurrencies.

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The year 2018 could be another breakthrough year for cryptos. Here are some of the top predictions:

1. Bitcoin’s value will continue to rise

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The increase in the value of Bitcoin last year makes its growth and dominance unstoppable. Despite being volatile – which increases the chances of melt-downs – the belief is that Bitcoin will still be a market leader through 2018.

2. Financial institutions will get involved

Image result for Chicago Board Options Exchange In December 2017, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) announced that they would start trading in Bitcoin futures. This move will not only bring cryptocurrencies closer to traditional financial markets in 2018 but will also add legitimacy to the crypto.

Goldman Sachs was one of the first companies to consider clearing futures for its clients. The company is also set to establish a cryptocurrencies trading desk by mid-2018. Other institutions are expected to follow suit since most clients are demanding access to cryptocurrencies.

3. The rise of new platforms

Image result for Ethereum Today’s leading platforms, Bitcoin and Ethereum, face numerous challenges which make us question their long-term capabilities. Bitcoin transaction times range from 10 minutes to several days and transaction fees have risen to more than $4.75 per transaction. The worst part is that the fees are expected to increase as more people join the network. Mining Bitcoins on a world-wide scale consumes a lot of power – about the same as Denmark. Some even claim that in two years time mining Bitcoins will consume more electricity than the whole world uses today.

As people become increasingly aware of the downsides to Bitcoin and Ethereum, they will search for alternatives leading to the rise of other platforms. 2018 will see the launch of new platforms such as Cosmos, ICON, Polkadot, Aion, and Chia. These platforms could help address critical issues of interoperability, scalability, and governance.

4. ICOs will professionalise and attract professional investors into the market

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Last year, large amounts of capital were raised via ICOs with projects such as Tezos and Filecoin raising more than $200 million in just one round of funding. This year, investors are expected to get involved with this new type of funding. This will call for further transparency and business validation, bringing the ICO process closer to conventional venture fundraising. Platforms such as Balanc3 – provides crypto firms with accounting and reporting software – and CoinList – screens and selects blockchain companies – will emerge to support this trend.

5. Increased regulations globally

Professionalising ICOs will go hand in hand with increased regulation across the world. In 2017, the United States ruled that ICOs should be regulated accordingly and certain cryptos classified as securities. The same year also saw South Korea and China ban ICOs.

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Over the course of 2018, other countries are likely to follow suit. The UK, for instance, is currently planning to regulate cryptocurrency together with counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering rules forcing customers to reveal their identities when performing certain transactions.

With Bitcoin and other cryptos increasing in value and showing a lot of resilience in the market, it is evident that they’re here to stay. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts will, therefore, have a lot to expect this year.

Written by Bob Pattni