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Blockchain and the Crypto-Market

Just last week, JP Morgan became the first U.S. bank to successfully create a digital coin representing a fiat currency; this coupled with London’s Blockchain Week events last month has highlighted major recent developments within the Crypto sector. As a result of this, we wanted to take the opportunity to share our views on emerging new technologies and highlight potential trends for their future.

The Crypto Market

Since its mainstream emergence in 2014, the cryptocurrency market has been continuously transforming in correlation with its volatility; paving the way for debate, discourse and innovation.

Initially being widely associated with illegal activity and the dark web, many organisations, such as IBM and Barclays were once hesitant to take a position on the tech during its early days. This has taken a turning point in recent years following the increasing introduction of regulatory frameworks and the transformation of mainstream opinions.

Additional regulations from governments may be helping the technology to achieve universal adoption and decrease the threat of bad investments (particularly amongst Initial Coin Offerings). The threat from fraudsters taking advantage of ICO investors was so severe in 2018 that Facebook and Google resorted to issuing a ban on any Cryptocurrency advertisements in order to reduce the risks to their users. This ban was later reversed following the introduction of government regulations such as those from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Many critics argue that additional regulatory frameworks have the potential to impede innovation. Despite this, the introduction of ICO regulations in 2017 didn’t prevent the subsequent explosion of over 1,000 ICO start-ups in 2018; this is likely due to regulators not being too heavy handed in their approach, out of fear of stifling innovation. Additional regulations however, have influenced many start-ups to locate their ICOs within less regulated territories such as Switzerland.

Bitcoin and the Crypto market introduced us to many new, up and coming technologies, the most known of which being blockchain, which is fundamental for the development of ICOs. Many of blockchain’s backers are referring to it as the ‘new internet’ and believe that it is the key to driving technology forward in the digital age.

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Blockchain

Despite becoming a major buzz-word over the last year, blockchain didn’t take the steps towards mass adoption that many of its bullish supporters anticipated. The financial sector in particular has the potential to significantly benefit from blockchain technology, but has been slow in the implementation of it; this is likely due to vigilance and apprehension of change amongst big banks as they tread carefully around the policy and regulatory implications of blockchain.

Panellists during London Blockchain Week recently predicted that distributed ledgers in trading markets will follow a similar path to that of cloud computing, taking a slow development as understanding of the technology improves.

Contrary to the popularity of blockchain, the very currency which popularised it – Bitcoin, has had a rough year. The majority of 2018 saw a continuous bear-market, with the currency plummeting from around $20,000 to $3,500 at the year’s end. Many argue that mass-scale implementation of blockchain is the key to reviving the crypto market from its crash.

Regardless of its failure to meet expectations, it is noteworthy that bullish supporters and volatile peaks of value have set an ambitious precedent for crypto projections; the actual growth of blockchain has been significant, inferentially painting a bright future for the technology.

Already, blockchain implementation has started to take place within government-led projects in Delaware, Idaho and Australia. It is also being adopted for smart contracts; specifically within the finance, gaming, real-estate, education, agriculture and healthcare industries, to name a handful.

Whether you’re a bullish supporter, or a cryptophobe, the development of blockchain technology is impossible to ignore. The future of the crypto market and blockchain is interesting to say the least, and we predict that it will see massive developments in the foreseeable future. We are not alone in taking this stance, Gartner predicts that blockchain will have a global business value of over $3 trillion and will power 10-20% of the world’s economic infrastructure by 2030.

To learn more about blockchain and other technological trends, make sure you keep up to date with the Procorre blog.

Written by Procorre