What are some trends in the crypto and blockchain space that may take hold and remain ongoing throughout the rest of 2020?
The cryptocurrency field is a place where everything changes in the blink of an eye. New technologies, key market players and trends shift much faster than in any other industry. From the current point of view, many exciting developments seem viable. Still, this chaotic industry can bring more opportunities within the upcoming months, and everything we’ve seen before will be surpassed by something truly outstanding. However, let’s quickly check in.
The shift toward a cashless society
One of the most society-redefining trends of 2020 came unexpectedly. Right after Christmas, the world seemed safe and sound despite dreadful news from China. Later in the winter though, it had been taken over by a deadly virus in the blink of an eye. The COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed, disrupted and stopped a lot of industries and made people rethink their attitude toward many things in life. Such previously questionable practices like remote jobs or crypto payments have become of significant importance and seem like they will remain present even after the pandemic ends. Why work from the office when everything can be efficiently managed from any spot in the world? Does it make sense to continue to overspend on luxurious offices if there is simply no need for that in the digital age?
Moreover, it’s about time to get rid of cash — we have to take a step toward a new quality of life. Meanwhile, the blockchain field has also blossomed, as a new era requires more professionals in the field of distributed ledger technology. In today’s world, apps for interaction with the crypto world have become advanced and straightforward enough to enable the purchase of digital assets with just a credit card. Stablecoin wallets are in high demand, and this evident trend is no more a millennial-only kind of thing as institutions join the club in substantial numbers.
Crypto is not for geeks anymore
The image of cryptocurrency is changing globally faster than ever. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) are not a bubble anymore, as BTC’s market capitalization is now bigger than Coca-Cola and Intel, and blockchain is integrated into many fields and operations. Moreover, institutional crypto involvement is rising as the demand for Bitcoin soars amid the coronavirus crisis, with Grayscale experiencing a drastic increase in assets this year. More hedge funds are accumulating digital wealth fast — and that is sure to continue this year.
While the Facebook-led Libra project still has many stumbling blocks in the face of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators, its launch is continually delayed. Because mixing different monetary policies is questionable for the project’s success, we’re not sure that Libra will ever see the light of the day in the current condition.
One thing is undoubtedly evident: The world of mainstream users needs more convenient interfaces to interact with crypto — and they are coming. The digital divide steadily reduces, as in 2020, it’s easier to open a checking account in dollars or euros than ever before.
Growing DeFi adoption
Decentralized finance, or DeFi, has become one of the most prominent trends in crypto since late 2019. The sector has been growing at a fast pace over the past six months, and a new milestone was recently reached by the sector as the total value locked in DeFi hit an astonishing new height of $4 billion.
Many companies that operate in the blockchain field have already introduced their DeFi products. Popular protocols such as Compound, Balancer, Curve and other platforms have opened the door to a whole new world of crypto opportunities for investors looking for deep liquidity, varying risk-reward ratios, and exciting, affordable modern financial instruments.
We’re about to see further adoption alongside user-base growth as institutional capital comes to the digital asset field. DeFi is growing insanely fast, and it’s of crucial importance to have a simple, effective, inexpensive on-ramp and off-ramp solution for this segment.
The advent of CBDCs
Nowadays, central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, are either a hot topic to talk about or a solution in development in many countries. China, one of the world’s most extensive tech breeding grounds, has started to engage in creating the local digital asset. It would be exciting to see how a digital yuan launch and implementation could change the crypto world and shift the balance of economic power, taking out the dollar’s status as a global reserve currency. Could this example inspire other leading countries? The competition may be fierce in this field.
Stablecoins initiatives are still massively underappreciated throughout the world — most crypto holders are subject to volatility and counterparty risk. It’s not only global or local bank-lead projects that will be in the space in the future, as private companies are continuing developments as well. Projects such as USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard (PAX) and Stasis’ Eurs combine the benefits of blockchain with the reputation and relative stability of fiat.
Enhanced privacy with blockchain technology
Real progress happens when a crisis looms ahead. Back in the 90s, the internet was something of a miracle, magic or an arcane invention. Today, in the mobile-driven age of social media networks, we can hardly imagine our daily existence without the need to interact or communicate online. But with the growing engagement in digital life, we forget that all the available services, which are being used not only by casual users but also by most well-known CEOs and even presidents, are still too fragile, despite technological advances.
The latest Twitter hack compromised many high-level politicians, celebrities and individuals in technology. The problem leads to the question of what to do next. Discussions on blockchain-based improvements have heated up in a blink of an eye. We may see more problems, as hacking activity and ransom demands in crypto will not vanish anytime soon. Still, DLT will surely be noted when developing a shield for this particular dagger.
Looking into 2020 and beyond
Many analysts make distant forecasts for the crypto field and the price of Bitcoin, envisioning the further possible trends of the next decade. It’s undeniable that this once niche field is set to transform into a global mainstream ecosystem. Be sure to expect more price records, more inventions and more adoption.
What will the world be like in 10 years? Back in the 20th century, this question was much easier to address, but any predictions made today will highly likely become obsolete after a year. However, we can be sure that decentralized technologies and DLT-driven services will shape humanity’s further progress and development.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.