Today marks a decade since the first bitcoin block was mined. This was the currency’s first transaction. The reward for mining was 50 BTC which at the time was virtually worthless. A time like this last year, it would be worth close to a million dollars. Today, its equivalent to over $190,000. I’d still take it.
The yearlong bear market is to blame for the fallen prices of bitcoin; coming from an all-time high of $20,000 to prices below $4,000. Bitcoin now marks 10 years since its inception and it’s a high time we looked at the potentials of its 10th year anniversary.
This article focuses on the flagship’s predictions for 2019. However, note that its speculative since no one really knows what the future holds. So be sure to do a bit of research before putting your money on any speculative asset.
The Bakkt Launch
In August last year, Intercontinental Exchange announced a venture of cryptocurrency focused venture known as Bakkt. The venture is set to help institutional clients, merchants and consumers to use it seamlessly in buying, storing and spending cryptocurrencies.
The initiative incorporates giant corporations like Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group and Starbucks. The goal of the initiative is to assist merchants to accept crypto payments and offer bitcoin future contracts.
The project had been initially set to launch in December 2018 but was postponed to January 24th to make sure everything is tested and retested. Analysts, however, expect further delays but there is no question the project will launch sometimes this year.
Widespread Crypto ATMs
The last time we checked, the worldwide number of crypto ATMs was at 3000. That was in May, by December the number is believed to have reached 4000. Most of these machines are in the United States.
A report by ResearchandMarkets in 2018 revealed that the ATM market is on a 54% compound annual growth. In 2019, the growth is set to continue and by 2023, the ATM market may hit $145 million.
Growth In The Lightning Network
The Lightning Network (LN), a bitcoin layer two scaling solution is also set for growth in 2019. In 2018 alone, LN surpassed 500 BTC capacity and 15,800 payment channel mark. At the moment, its capacity is at 533 BTC which is the equivalent of $2 million.
As you can see, the various factors including Bitcoins ATM adoption mentioned above do influence its adoption and use. If the blocks remain at 1 MB, LN will be a viable option for users who want to avoid its fees.
A Trend Reversal
We are all aware of the current year-long bear market which has seen the currency drop to $3,200 up from $20,000. However, at press time, Bitcoin has managed to recover and is trading close to $3,900.
A prediction by Peter Brandt of the currency’s recovery is already in play and the price has risen by over 1% in a 24 hour period. Point is, all technical indicators are pointing towards a recovery in 2019.
We have seen MasterCard and Visa failing their users whilst the bitcoin network has been up and working throughout its 10 year period. Although bugs have been found on the network, they haven’t stopped it from working. In 2019 bitcoin is expected to continue being censorship resistant and tamperproof.