Every year within the crypto industry has been a complete rollercoaster and 2020 will be no different. The promise of wide scale adoption and the future of finance that made so many giddy headed in 2017 and early 2018 was followed by a slate cleaning bear market and cold winter later in that same year and throughout much of 2019.
Now, much of the overzealous hype has died down and those seeking to only speculate have for the most part moved on and we are left with an industry that is poised to fulfill much of the potential that it promised two years ago, over the course of the next decade. To illustrate, we’ll take a look at how things are different compared to 2017, some of the projects making strides forward, and analyze how solutions to the major issues plaguing cryptocurrency and blockchain can be overcome.
2017 to Present
If you asked the average person around the world what blockchain or bitcoin was at the beginning of 2017, chances are they might not know what you were talking about. By the end of the year, however, that changed drastically as it seemed like blockchain and cryptocurrency were the talk of the town. Massive price rises that saw bitcoin reach a valuation of greater than $20,000 USD in December 2017 saw the party continue into early 2018. Hundreds, if not thousands of ICO projects began to pop up around the same time period as everyone rushed to become part of this new phenomenon. No, bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency were not new, but they were now clearly garnering mainstream attention.
As projects eclipsed their hard caps and raised millions of dollars, the effects of this could be felt as crypto events popped up all over the world and attracted hundreds of attendees and projects eager to secure funding. Blockchain-related job descriptions were prominent and even in the face of regulatory uncertainty, the future seemed bright.
Fast forward a few months to Q4 2018 and the extended bear market had begun to take its toll on many within the industry. Many projects began to downsize and pivot their business models or shutter their doors completely. With the price of bitcoin at around $3,000, much of the hype that was seen at the beginning of the year had vanished. Many began to question if cryptocurrency or blockchain had a future.
The crypto winter of 2018 has since proven to be a blessing in disguise for the wider community and the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency as a whole. The bad actors and major speculators moved on to other things and there were even a few bull runs during the year 2019 that made things seem more promising than they did before.
The year 2019 also included some key milestones such as greater adoption and use cases for blockchain such as its role in the IBM supply chain network, the regulatory pony show that is Facebook Libra and the Calibra wallet and the introduction of crypto derivations and DeFi projects. Mix in the upcoming bitcoin halving and the launch of central bank digital currencies and 2020 is set to be the start of an interesting decade for blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Projects on the Rise
Despite the crypto winter and still relatively topsy-turvey nature of what was the year 2019 in cryptocurrency, there are a few projects that have been quite promising and look to be key components of the future of the industry.
It’s impossible to create a list of positive cryptocurrency projects without mentioning Binance. The Binance platform which includes the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume in the world, is a project with a lot to look forward to in the coming year. The platform which also facilitated the launch of several IEOs in 2019 includes a number of other services related to trading and a new crypto futures market to go along with their spot trading exchange. At the center of all of this, the BNB token continues to rank highly among altcoins and the Binance team will continue to be involved in anything positive happening in the crypto industry.
It may seem easy to label Ethereum as a project on the rise given that it has been the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap for quite some time, only ranking below bitcoin. However, while the popularity of Ethereum rose in 2017 thanks to the influx of ICO projects launching their own ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, it has had a bumpy ride along with the rest of the industry since then. With the expected launch of Ethereum 2.0 and more and more discussions surrounding DeFi, Ethereum could return to new highs in 2020, once the development team is able to deal with many of the issues of speed and scalability that have plagued the project for some time.
The BOSAGORA project is a public decentralized blockchain protocol with the goal of providing a more transparent consensus algorithm for on-chain transactions as well as clearer smart contracts. BOSAGORA utilizes a full-node Proof of Stake environment that improves scalability and provides faster transactions when compared to other blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum. In addition, BOSAGORA hopes to develop an autonomous ecosystem within the blockchain through its Congress Network. This will allow members of the ecosystem to vote and decide for themselves on what initiatives the project undertakes.
The core attributes of the project include a more forward-thinking and innovative technology to improve the overall speed and trust of transactions on the blockchain. The improved transparency of the Trust contracts also makes it easier for interested parties to see what is going on with the project and use established procedures to make decisions on what should happen next.
Finally, the introduction of true democracy on the blockchain will provide a fair decision-making process that is currently not available in the industry due to the political and economic incentives that govern other projects.
Democracy on the Blockchain
One of the issues plaguing many blockchain projects that was especially felt during the crypto winter was the lack of a true democracy. Many project stakeholders, those that purchased tokens during sales and on exchanges, were left unable to have a say in some of the things that transpired with various projects. Those that were able to have a say were likely holders of large sums of cryptocurrency and would overshadow anything that others with less power could say.
This is another problem the BOSAGORA project hopes to solve with its Congress Network. The node operators will be the ones to make decisions about what goes on within BOSAGORA and this will provide inclusive collaboration throughout the ecosystem. In other projects like Ethereum for example, anyone could choose to build a project on the blockchain without having to ask permission from the wider community. During the ICO period of 2017/18, this is what lead to much of the speed and scalability issues that Ethereum continues to deal with. With the Congress Network, however, projects would need to achieve approval from the network members first before developers could start building. This also extends to the allocation of funding from the BOSAGORA Commons Budget. Proposals that garner approval from the Congress Network will be able to access funding that can benefit the entire ecosystem.
With Trust contracts, a full-node Proof of Stake consensus algorithm and the democracy provided by the Congress Network, BOSAGORA has the capability to overcome many of the technical and operational issues that many other cryptocurrencies face today.
Future of Cryptocurrency and Solutions to Issues
The largest issue facing cryptocurrency today is the lack of wide scale adoption. Within the crypto industry and in the various project communities there is plenty of enthusiasm. However, the blockchain still faces a trilemma of issues including scalability, security, and decentralization. There are various projects working in one way or another to solve these issues and it is likely that the scalability problem could be the one that is solved this year. The Bitcoin lightning network, Ethereum 2.0 and the BOSAGORA Layer 2 protocol are some of the steps being taken to deal with these issues.
Security and decentralization will take a little more time as even though blockchain technology and cryptocurrency focus on decentralization, there is still the reliance on centralized authorities and systems for everything to function properly.
In 2017 the thought of increased regulatory oversight and institutional rules would have been met with disdain. Now, however, these things could be what help to solve the wider issues facing the technology and eventually propel blockchain and cryptocurrency towards real mainstream adoption.