So 2017 comes to a close. To say it has been a crazy year for cryptocurrency is an understatement!
I remember the end of 2016 and bitcoin touching $1000. My thinking then was it was over-valued and due a correction. How wrong was I!
I've spent much of 2017 thinking every cryptocurrency is over-valued relative to it's utility. However I've been in this space long enough to know that the maxim; 'the market can stay irrational, longer than you can stay solvent applies more to cryptocurrency than anything else.
Anyone that held the majority of their position in pretty much any cryptocurrency throughout 2017 is likely to have done very well indeed.
The biggest thing to come out of this year has been the growing awareness in cryptocurrency. Pretty much anyone I speak to wants to know more about bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The majority of the interest has been spurred by price speculation. It's a double-edged sword.
People understanding bitcoin as a place where people can make ludicrous returns on their investments has a greater measure of social acceptability than bitcoin being known as a mechanism for buying illegal drugs on the dark web. However one of the challenges for 2018 is going to be demonstrating the technology's use case.
1 million tx Steem
I'd love to see Steem getting more shine in 2018. Alongside Ethereum it is the most activity used blockchain. The Steem blockchain is consistently processing over 1 million transactions a day. The main difference being that Steem is barely scratching the surface of it's capacity. It is also processing blocks faster than Ethereum. Not to mention powering a real world use case in terms of rewarding content creators that contribute to the Steem blockchain via posts.
In 2018, I'd love to see more Dapps like Steem and it's front-ends. I'd love to see more blockchains proving they have the ability to scale and handle the kind of through-put Steem handles.
I think the cryptocurrency speculation can go on for years. However the longer it is pure speculation the more the industry becomes more about gambling and risk taking than utility and innovation. I think in 2018 we will begin to see how much value is placed on utility.
What does it stand for?
When I tell people I've been into cryptocurrency for a few years, they look at me like I must have the 'secret sauce' to earning them fortunes! I can see their frustrations at my non-committal answers. I can talk about what I value in the technology and how I see it impacting the world, however I honestly have no idea what coin is going to pump next nor how high it will pump nor for how long.
Honestly, pretty much any coin with a decent 'story' can pump, pretty much at any time.
I know people that have got involved with things like Ripple and Bitconnect that have had a great year in terms of returns on their investment. Do those coins stand for anything I would endorse? No. Does it matter a jot to those looking for ROIs? No.
On the flip side, I've heard pretty much every coin worth it's salt called a 'scam'. Hell there are those that think this whole thing is a scam.
Digging heels in
I think 2018 will see a lot more people become more entrenched in the protocols they believe in. I've seen it this year. It never seizes to amaze me the weird and wonderful coins people get engrossed with. People dig their heels in and back 'their coin'. The pumps then validate their stance. Everyone has selective amnesia to that fact that every other coin is pumping at around the same time!
As I've said in a previous post. I think it will become harder to get people to "switch allegiances" in 2018. People have an allegiance to their investment than to the overall mission of the technology. I think utility will drive conversion. For example, I've seen many crypto YouTubers 'come around' to Steem, based on the compelling use case and opportunity Steem offers to them.
I think this could be the blueprint for 2018; people fall in love with the pretty crypto in the shop window promising the world but go home with the crypto next door promising her heart!
And with that...