To say 2017 was a big year for cryptocurrency would be an understatement.
The year began with a combined market cap of just $17.7 billion, and through explosive interest by retail investors, the combined market cap of 1,400 investable cryptocurrencies was near $836 billion by early January 2018.
For context, that’s an increase in market cap of better than 4,500%! Growth unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and some expect, will ever see again.
We are now in the middle of 2018 — and, yes — we are still on a wild ride.
As a direct result of 2017’s cryptocurrency craze, regulations have tightened, scams have persisted, public skepticism has increased and market caps have dropped.
Currently, the cumulative market cap of all the cryptocurrency is around $417 billion. However, even if the cumulative market cap rises just 25% from its peak, it will hit the valuation of $1 trillion by the end of the year.
Gazing into a crystal ball — the future is still difficult to predict. There are many volatile factors currently at play, including the continued innovation of blockchain technology, increased interest from institutional investors, and more extensive cryptocurrency regulations on the horizon.
To continue the conversation, we gathered a few of the leading voices on cryptocurrency’s future; here’s what they are saying:
Futurist and Author
Speaking to the Federal Reserve in September 2017: “Cryptocurrency is very much here to stay.” Along with the prediction: “Cryptocurrencies are going to displace roughly 25% of national currencies by 2030. They’re just much more efficient, the way they run.” [Source: CCN]
Founder of Virgin Galactic, and 400+ business
“Well, I think it [Bitcoin] is working. There may be other currencies like it that may be even better. But in the meantime, there’s a big industry around Bitcoin. — People have made fortunes off Bitcoin, some have lost money. It is volatile, but people make money off of volatility too.” [Source: Bitcoin.com]
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
“Why might citizens hold virtual currencies rather than physical dollars, euros, or sterling? Because it may one day be easier and safer than obtaining paper bills, especially in remote regions.”[…] “Virtual currencies could actually become more stable.” [Source: Fortune]
Deutsche Bank global strategist
Jim penned a report in November, titled, “The Start of the End of Fiat Money?” and wrote: “The fiat currency system may be seriously tested over the coming decade and ultimately we may need to find an alternative.” […] “Cryptocurrencies are all the rage at the moment and are as much about blockchain as anything else, but there could be an increasing desire for “alternative” mediums of exchange in the years to come.”
Senator, Democrat-Virginia and early investor in the cell phone industry
“I think we may be on top of something that’s transformational, and I don’t think you can separate the underlying, distributed-ledger blockchain from some of these crypto assets.” […] “If we had the same rate of increase the next two years that we’ve had the last couple [of] years, we’re talking now a couple hundred billion, we’d be at north of 20 trillion dollars caught up in this area by 2020.” [Source: Bitsonline]
While there are many different beliefs on what the future of cryptocurrency will look like, it is safe to say Bitcoin’s famed economist Friedrich Hayek’s idea of denationalizing money has been fulfilled. Cryptocurrency has forever changed the way the world thinks about money and we, for one, are excited to be a part of the change.