Never a Dull Day in Crypto Land!
2017 has been a very interesting time in terms of the cryptographic currency space. We have seen a range of new innovations implemented, as well as political developments such as China and other governments tightening regulations on exchanges and ICOs.
In this post we are going to take a look at the sudden growth of the crypto currency market cap in the last 6 months, new focus areas of development and how these impact adoption.
The Growing Market Caps of Crypto
I remember when the entire Bitcoin market cap was 200 million US dollars. As of writing this article, Bitcoin is sitting on a cool 133 billion USD.
Litecoin that was started as a fun project by Charlie Lee, is at 3 billion dollars market cap.
And the total combined market cap of all crypto currencies is 238 billion dollars.
In April 2017 the total market cap of all crypto currencies was only a mere 23 billion dollars. Roughly the equivalent of the total Etherium market cap today.
What this in essence means, is that since April of this year, 200 billion dollars has entered into the crypto currency market.
This is happening alongside many of the tech stocks in the world, such as Tesla and others.
It is my personal opinion that what we are looking at is: a) the millennials pouring their savings into crypto speculation, b) hedge funds entering the market, and c) tech giants and moguls, such as Microsoft and other corporations, billionaires such as Epstein and Novogratz. Just to name a few of those who are buying and promoting cryptocurrencies.
It is important to mention that all this new money came in during one of the worst years for crypto drama, with subreddits like r/Bitcoin starting to censor any users that were against their agenda. We also found out that a lot of programming code that was submitted to the Bitcoin core team never saw the light of day. This is very concerning seeing that Bitcoin is an open source project, and at the heart of this should lie collaboration between programmers from all over the world.
This all resulted in the side chain now known as Bitcoin Cash. With bitcoin jesus (Roger Ver) amongst others proclaiming it the original blockchain with all the open source upgrades implemented by the community.
Many people thought that Bitcoin Cash was a joke, but as it stands today it is the fastest growing market cap, with more than a 20 billion market cap since its inception.
I think it is quite possible that one chain won’t destroy the other. In my opinion it is likely that both blockchains continue to grow as user adoption goes forward.
What Does this Mean for the Future
To sum up the market cap stats: Bitcoin is a very old fashioned block chain that has not been adequately upgraded. Yet, it has attracted over 130 billion USD.
So the question is — considering this capital heavy interest in Bitcoin — what kind of investment based interest will be seen in the future, into streamlined, functional and more advanced block chain assets?
We are sure to be in for an interesting festive season and start of 2018.
Besides the market caps, the interesting metric is the fact that crypto currency transactions are steadily increasing, which shows that crypto currencies are being used more and more to facilitate the transfer of money / assets. It is speculated that just the Etherium network alone in as short as two years could be able to handle the same amount of transactions as VISA or Mastercard.
Innovations like the lightening network, and those which provide users with zero transaction fees, are paving the way for mass adoption.
Additionally, a lot of development is being geared more and more to usability and user friendliness. It would appear that a trend is developing to get everyone included. There is still a learning gap in the crypto space, and it seems that developers are focussing on reducing this.
At the moment the main three trends we see developing are programmable block chain assets, security and privacy block chain assets, and point of sale solutions.
Programmable Block Chain Assets
One of the big developments we see in the space today is the emergence of what I like to call programmable block chains. Such as, Etherium, Lisk, Waves, Neo and Ark to name a few.
Since the birth of Etherium, the idea of having computers all over the world running applications on block chain tech independent of a company has now become a reality.
Etherium is ground braking in the sense that they have developed their very own programming language that programmers can use within the Etherium ecosystem to develop various kinds of applications. The downside of this is however that there is a bit of a learning curve. Programmers need to study an entire new programming language in order to build applications that run on the Etherium block chain.
Moving on a year we now have quite a few programmable block chains running, and some in development, that allow programmers to build applications with more common programming languages such as java script or C ++. Basically the programming languages used everyday all around the world. Examples of these are:
- Waves, which comes out the box java script ready.
- Neo, which supports C, VB.net, F#, java kotlin. They are also planning to add C, C++, Golan, Python, and java script. With these languages more than 90% of the world’s developers can directly program onto the block chain.
- Ark — a new small project with big plans, which include multiple programming languages as well as cross block chain bridging. Definitely worth a look.
- Neblio, the latest addition to my bags. Be sure to check their project out.
There are many other programmable block chains immerging which it would pay to investigate. The reason being that the functionality of having anyone from anywhere in the world being able to program on a decentralized block chain is hugely significant. So much so that these programmable block chains are almost guaranteed to become ecosystems within their own right.
New innovations such as Neo Gas which rewards holders of Neo with dividends, makes it a really worthwhile investment for the future while these block chains grow into their full potential. Ark is another one of the programmable block chain which rewards users for keeping their block chain assets cold (offline). The limited token supply of these projects make them very lucrative in my eyes, compared to the traditional mined crypto’s.
Feel free to drop by on our Slack and ask us about these projects if you need more information.
Security & Privacy Block Chain Assets
One of the main attractions to crypto currency could be the fact that people around the world need to send transactions anonymously (coinciding with increasing levels of anti-privacy legislation). This is a whole debate on its own, we won’t dig into that can right now.
It is worthwhile to know that Monero (started by a guy calls himself FluffyPony online — even though there is nothing fluffy about the Monero block chain itself) is one of the only crypto currencies out there that is not a clone of Satoshi’s original Bitcoin client.
As it stands today Monero’s market cap is on 2 billion USD. While there is a lot of speculation that much of this is used to illegal means, Monero also has a very strong community with many people accumulating Monero and holding it long term due to its various security and privacy benefits, as well as what it stands for.
Z Cash is a very noteworthy project whose block chain went live November 2016. With their unique protocol they have shouldered up to Monero and have gained a 600 million USD market cap within the short space of one year.
Even though I only mention these two, there are many new security coins which will become as just as popular as Monero and Z Cash. One such little project that deserves attention is XVG (Verge). Be sure to check it out.
It is highly worthwhile to keep an eye on these privacy/security coins, as they hold value for the user, especially in these times when governments and exchanges are tightening regulations.
Point of Sale Solutions
Over the last few years most of the old school Bitcoiners know that the Bitcoin block chain as is, can never be a point of sale solution. The Bitcoin block chain works best as a store and vehicle of value, as it rarely handles more than 250 thousand transactions per day.
Litecoin with the now activated Litening network, Ripple and Dash are probably the top contenders for point of sales solutions. Earlier this year Dash was trading at 6 USD and shocked everyone when it jumped up to over 200 USD. It is currently trading at 400 USD for one Dash. A while back Litecoin made history with zero fee transactions, and Ripple while not being a decentralized currency, has built offices right across the world and have positioned themselves very well to be a big player in the game.
The one thing that these three have in common — and that you must look out for — is that the transactions are FAST. Fast enough to be used in shop settings, just like swiping.
One thing I have noticed hopping around the communities the last few months is the big divide between communities, but 2018 might be the year when everyone realizes that crypto currencies are all working together as one ecosystem. While life and trolls go on as per usual, it is important to note that the advancements that have been made and are being made are revolutionary to say the least.
Looking into the future, the crypto sphere is evolving at an incredible rate — and we stand in curious anticipation of what is to come in this exciting area of block chain tech, maths, ideas and solutions.
I leave you with two interesting developments to look into.
- This year we saw the birth of the Internet Of Things (IOTA). Zero fee transactions comes standard here, so it might be wise to keep track of what they are up to.
- Hashgraph might even pave the way to a non monetary hashing revolution.
Check it out.
Hope you guys and girls enjoyed our first set of insights into the crypto market. Unfortunately my transcriptionist only has so much patience. Feel free to pop onto our Slack to discuss anything of interest.
There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of by mere mortal men.