Will bitcoin once again be the dominant cryptocurrency in 2019? According to some analysts, the answer is a solid “yes.”
Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency around, and likely stands as the world’s favorite. The asset peaked at nearly $20,000 in December of last year, sparking many new investors to become involved in the crypto space. Exchanges like Coinbase were adding hundreds of thousands of users each week, and bitcoin’s fate as the ultimate investment appeared set in stone.
Unfortunately, 2018 had a different future in mind for the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto. Starting in January, the currency saw its price enter a series of deflations that saw the number one crypto asset fall to $16,000, then $12,000, then $9,000. Before long, the currency had lost more than two-thirds of its value, and was trading in the $6,000 range, where it spent most of summer and the latter half of the year.
What’s Bitcoin’s Boggle?
As of late, bitcoin has been marred by even further price drops that saw it tank to as low as $3,600 during the Thanksgiving week, though it has since spiked back up to $4,000 at press time.
One of the problems surrounding bitcoin is that it’s no longer the top dog. While it still boasts the largest market cap, it’s trapped in an industry that’s become relatively saturated. New crypto assets are coming to fruition every day, and the space no longer feels unique or exclusive. In fact, with allegations of fraud, hackings and theft emerging every day, it’s getting very difficult to take the cryptocurrency space seriously, anymore.
Next Year Will Be Fantastic
Some believe this is about to change; 2019 is set to be the year when many smaller altcoins die, and bitcoin will once again garner market dominance and bring the crypto space back to the high rock it once called home.
A recently published A.T. Kearney report explains:
“By the end of 2019, bitcoin will reclaim nearly two-thirds of the crypto market capitalization as altcoins lose their luster because of growing-risk aversion among cryptocurrency investors. More broadly, financial regulators will soften their stance towards the sector. Our prediction that bitcoin will regain its dominance is supported by the ever-growing complexity among altcoins, most recently demonstrated by the ‘hash war’ that occurred in the bitcoin cash ecosystem. Additional hard forks and the continued lack of consensus among developers about a path forward will further widen the chasm between bitcoin as the most accessible and widely recognized cryptocurrency and the altcoin community.”
At the same time, however, the report also notes that not all altcoins will disappear – only those that are too small to compete:
“Some [altcoins] will survive and grow up to be explosive enterprises that have real products and generate real and substantial revenues. Some altcoins will follow this pattern. Those that are whimsical and have no real value will vaporize, while the real ones will not only survive, but thrive over time.”
Controlling the Game
The authors comment that one of the big things contributing to bitcoin’s downfall is the “wild west” ecosystem developed by initial coin offerings (ICOs). Many of these offerings are unregulated and have gone on to steal hundreds of millions of dollars of investors’ money.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a stronger stance in regulating such events, and in turn, have enforced stronger registration processes and issued emergency orders to stop ICOs that potentially provide misleading or fraudulent information to investors.
The report suggests that this stance will lighten up once things are a little more under control:
“Ironically, for cryptocurrencies to see a third decade, the only viable path forward involves this acceptance by the international financial system that bitcoin once sought to defeat.”