As the year draws to a close, many will look back at 2019 as being rather uneventful in the crypto space. Save a couple of bullish breakouts, some sordid exit scams, and large players entering the space, not a lot has happened. After all, this was meant to be the year of the institutions (and the trillions of institutional dollars flooding into the industry). Yet, the institutions are still very much at the gates. There are other developments afoot, however, and some distinct crypto trends that will likely dominate the outlook for 2020 are starting to reveal themselves. Coin Rivet asked some crypto experts to find out what they believe lies ahead for the coming year.
The most concrete event that will take place in 2020 is the bitcoin halving in May, which will reduce the number of bitcoins rewarded for successfully mining a block in the digital ledger by half, from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC. Even though it sounds dramatic, it’s happened twice before and each event saw some interesting price action. In the months surrounding the 2012 halving, bitcoin price went from less than $10 to more than $100 while in 2016 the currency surged from $400 before the halving to more than twice that by the end of the year.
Of course, expectations might be all that’s required to see an effect. “There are arguments for and against a price increase, the main argument against it being that the majority of people are expecting it,”. “What I know for certain is that there will be a lot of volatility due to speculation.”
More Altcoins, More Functions
We also note a number of altcoins that are rising, as well as functions that are going into mainstream. For example, Binance Coin is expected to continue its demand as the initial exchange offering (IEO) remains the most popular crypto-based crowdfunding platform.
More altcoins will join the fray and take their place in the crypto market. Lots of altcoins enable various blockchain uses. But for each use case, there are a couple of altcoins that are considered top: for payments, Bitcoin, Litecoin, USDT, and Bitcoin Cash are arguably the best options. For DApp, Ethereum, Tron, EOS, and Neo are probably the most popular.
For new contenders to shine, they need to provide another utility that other top altcoins are not hinged on. One example is PAC Token, an altcoin created by and for the boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
Crypto and Fintech Hookups
Theme of all of these trends is that cryptocurrency is growing up, becoming mainstream and finally finding actual use cases, rather than just hypothetical ones. With the introduction of libra, the problem isn’t explaining why cryptocurrency will be valuable and necessary soon but making it valuable and necessary now — do or die.
Integration with Real World Applications
If you think about it so far the crypto and blockchain world has been pretty isolated. A world that stands on itself.
We believe that 2020 will be a pivotal year in which blockchain / crypto moves closer to the real world. Especially in the enterprise world we will see ways to open up real life data integrations with blockchain / crypto applications.
Adoption Will Beat Non Adoption
Adoption is what will make the difference ultimately, also in cryptocurrency prices. However, we did not see an adoption driven price discovery mechanism in 2019. And given the evolution of the crypto market it will not be the key driver for all cryptocurrencies neither in 2020.
The one exception that might start making a difference is XRP. The adoption of XRP in transactions starts becoming really significant. The demand for XRP is growing significantly. With the partnership between Ripple and Moneygram (one of the largest money transfer services worldwide) it is clear how fast the volumes are growing that XRP is transferring from one currency into another currency (one source and another source).
There are only a handful of other cryptocurrencies that come close to similar signs of growing adoption. But 99% of cryptocurrencies show no sign of adoption whatsoever. Sooner rather than later they will disappear.
XRP Consolidates in a Wide Rounding Bottom Formation
From a price perspective the breakdown of XRP was an important event of 2019, which came half a year after the amazing crypto rally of April/June.
We believe that XRP is setting a giant rounding pattern. A major rounding bottom or ‘saucer base’ in more technical terms. Eventually this will resolve to the upside, and we believe that XRP will set a major bottom in the first half of 2020 before starting its steady rise.
Our longstanding price target of 20 USD is still valid. XRP will not trade at 20 USD in 2020 obviously, that’s a bit too ambitious, but it will set the stage in 2020 for an accelerated rise later down the road.
A change to commission-free trading
Digitex Futures believes that the launch of his zero-fee trading exchange in early 2020 will spark a new wave of commission-free exchanges. He commented:
“Once other exchanges begin to see a new class of trader being created that are highly active and add to liquidity, we will see many fee-charging exchanges migrate from their current revenue models and stop punishing their most active traders. Rather like how RobinHood forced incumbent brokers to strip away their trading fees.”
Continued focus on scaling for real-world use
A lot of focus will be on Ethereum as it approaches Serenity (ETH 2.0) and its aims of scalability and sustainability.
“The truth is that there are few true ‘users’ of blockchains and cryptocurrencies today beyond speculators. Getting beyond that is the main challenge as we move into 2020.
“For all the cool tech that’s being developed, it will amount to nothing if no one can use it. Even if your platform can process a billion transactions per second, it’s irrelevant if users struggle to perform simple tasks like send or receive funds.”
He added: “Scaling problems have limited the growth of BTC, Ethereum, and other projects. Scaling is needed for any cryptocurrency to become a global digital currency and any blockchain to become a global enterprise ledger.”