Many people remain surprisingly optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies despite the harrowing year that ushered in crypto winter. After all, the only way to accept it is to convince ourselves that it had to happen. Bitcoin was a bubble and had to burst — it would break up the deleterious hype pervading the minds of every trader, office watercooler conversation and family dinners around the world, and the builders can get back to building again.
The massacre that laid waste to a bubbling market revealed a few truths.
Blockchain technology is real and its adoption is imminent.
Bitcoin rang in the new year with over 10 million new blockchain wallet users, and last year alone it brought in 54 million new crypto users despite the bear market. It would have been more interesting if the wipeout had ceased all activity in the industry, but it didn’t. Bakkt kicked off 2019 with a $182 million fundraise, Binance expanded into the European markets with a fiat-to-crypto trading platform designed especially for the euro (EUR) and British Pound (GBP), and Coinstar machines will begin dispensing digital currencies from ATMs in the United States.
Blockchain technology is already being developed or is in use in government procurement systems, and in help with advocacy, and in the retail industry globally. Platforms like ICON, NEO, and Eleven01 are providing interoperability protocols that create and weave blockchain systems together into a cohesive global decentralized network.
It will not be long before more direct facing consumer blockchain products will make crypto much more accessible to a broader audience.