Yeah I know 2018 is already 1 month in, and January is almost over. Yet, the past month has been so turbulent that we decided to issue the forecast on Bitcoin for 2018 only now. The end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 gave a lot of perspective on things, people, institutions and their reactions.
First, here’s what is irrelevant for the future:
- Bitcoin/USD exchange rate.
Yes, Bitcoin is volatile, deal with it. It’s not a conventional financial instrument, when measured against its’ enemy. If you are used to “investing” — act at your own risk. But none of this affects the technology or philosophy behind Bitcoin. Stop watching Bitcoin price.
They wouldn’t exist without Bitcoin and they are just a testing ground for everything that gets implemented in Bitcoin — or they harbor scams. Altcoins are also a way to make profit for a whole ecosystem of actors. Profit they will later withdraw into Bitcoin or fiat.
…imminent crackdown on ICOs, prosecution, regulation, scammers and so on. Things like ICO founders disappearing with funds and leaving “penis” on their website are not even newsworthy anymore. The life-cycle of these news is 1–2 days, then they look as awkward as your grandma using memes. Scammers are in every field humans have worked, this is irrelevant.
Now, here is what’s coming in 2018 for sure:
- More bans and cancellations.
Bitcoin is a rival for fiat banking and payment systems, so they won’t surrender easy. Recently VISA banned an issuer of plastic cards that supplied most of the Bitcoin debit card providers. Mastercard followed suit. This is only the beginning.
- More hacks and “hacks”.
Before people learn to secure their coins, coins will be lost. As long as there is an opportunity, there will be inside jobs and theft. This is just like “good old” embezzlement at banks. Mtgox, DAO, and Coincheck will seem small. Get used to it and learn to secure your Bitcoin.
- More innovation.
There are people who work on the common vision of the peer to peer electronic cash system, and they can not be stopped, unless physically exterminated all at the same time, with everything they ever posted wiped out. The system is resilient, if not antifragile. Several Bitcoin ATM card providers have already found an alternative card issuer to the VISA ban we mentioned above.
Specifically, these things will shape 2018:
- Lightning network.
It’s growing fast, the payments are extremely cheap, and it works well, rendering all the “low fee transaction” altcoins absolutely useless.
These are picking up pace and will slowly become the only way people exchange cryptocurrencies …until altcoins die out, sorry.
- New blood in the user base.
People that were born after Bitcoin was invented are already online. Bitcoin has existed all their life. It’s part of the landscape and we will never know how it feels when Bitcoin has been around all your life. Bitcoin is not a new thing.
This is what will not happen in 2018:
- Death of Bitcoin.
It’s out there already and is past beyond the point of no return. It can not be banned by laws, because people still do things banned by laws — always, everywhere.
- Rise of another cryptocurrency.
Whatever games people play in the altcoin field, — they always come back to Bitcoin. Niche coins and technical tokens have their time, but none of them will ever jump above their head. They can’t push the cart on their own, because they are inside of it.
- Rise of “blockchain, not Bitcoin”.
Without Bitcoin, blockchain is just a slow database. Anything blockchain could be done in a spreadsheet. It is Bitcoin that makes blockchain alive, the store of value, the payment method, the cryptographically proved right of ownership. Banks and governments play with the idea of blockchain to distract people from Bitcoin, but that will come to an end too.