As we have previously stated here on Atypical Life, cryptocurrencies will rule the world and Bitcoin is proof. In December 2017, Bitcoin reached an all-time high of $17,000 per coin — something that no other asset can boast in recent times. Today, there are thousands of merchants accepting cryptocurrencies, and below are five trends that mean they’re here to stay for a very long time.
The rising numbers of cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin, Ethereum Litecoin, Dash, and Ripple are just some of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world. However, due to Bitcoin’s success, thousands of entrepreneurs are hoping to take a slice of the cryptocurrency market. Coin Market Cap lists over 1,330 registered cryptocurrencies and the numbers are expected to keep rising over the next few years. Currently, Bitcoin has a market cap value of $280 billion and a circulating supply of 16.7 billion.
ICOs are surging
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have grown quicker than any other industry in the past couple of years. FXCM notes that about US$1.5 billion was raised through ICO offerings in 2017. ICOs are basically cryptocurrency firms that are hoping to raise money by pre-selling cryptocurrency to backers. Instead of going straight to Silicon Valley or other major corporations to seek funding, ICOs get their capital from the profits of their own cryptocurrency.
Forbes details that in 2017, there was a meteoric rise in the amount of funding raised by ICOs. In April, it was $103 million. In May, it was $232 million. Finally, in June, the number of funds raised amounted to $574 million.
Mobile payment systems may adapt cryptocurrencies
Tech giant Apple has recently launched Apple Cash Pay, which is the simplest way Apple users can conduct peer-to-peer payments via iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. While Apple’s proprietary Apple Cash Pay only supports fiat money, analysts perceive this step as a response to Venmo’s Cash App, which is a digital wallet that allows cryptocurrency transactions among friends. If cryptocurrency digital wallets like Venmo’s Cash App prove to be a major success, analysts foresee that major mobile players in the industry will follow suit.
Art galleries are now accepting Bitcoin
An art gallery in London is now accepting Bitcoin as payment. According to an article by the BBC, art gallery owner Eleesa Dadiani believes in the power of cryptocurrencies so much that her establishment will soon accept Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, and Montero.
“This is not a demand-driven decision at all; it’s intuitive based on the way things are going,” said Dadiani. “Blockchain is a borderless, open source, decentralized peer-to-peer network that governments cannot shut down. For me, the blockchain is going to be the biggest thing since the internet.” This shows how cryptocurrencies are now becoming increasingly accepted outside of financial markets.
Governments are starting to acknowledge the power of cryptocurrencies
The British government is thinking about regulating cryptocurrencies in an effort to fight money laundering and terrorism. It is a necessary step according to analysts, as there has been an alarming rise of cryptocurrency-related crimes in 2017. The number of cases involving cryptocurrencies climbed from zero in 2016 to several dozen in 2017.
While cryptocurrency regulation may sound like bad news for investors, experts believe that it actually benefits the market as a whole. Regulations will accelerate cryptocurrencies’ growth rate because rules yield credibility as well as create trust.
Many thanks to Jessica Wiggins for this guest blog post.
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