While 2018 has been The Year of Patience for cryptocurrency investors, the developers behind the world’s leading cryptocurrencies haven’t been sitting idle. The developers behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum aren’t waiting for prices to recapture their late-2017 glory. They’re working on new technology that will make cryptocurrency better, faster, more accessible, and more valuable to all.
There are plenty of good reasons to stay excited about cryptocurrency and new developments in blockchain technology. From what the leading cryptocurrencies have told us already, there appear to be 3 main themes emerging for 2019: scalability, usability, and speed, all while institutional investors hover just around the corner.
The biggest hurdle facing the mainstream use of cryptocurrency right now is scalability. Scalability is hampered by transaction speeds, transaction fees, database architecture, and tech literacy.
Ethereum is taking a proactive approach to scalability with its Constantinople hard fork, a move that’s driven ETH’s price recovery. Constantinople was designed to introduce off chain transactions such as BTC’s Lightning Network, reducing block reward and delays. The hard fork is being supported by major cryptocurrency exchanges.
Bitcoin Cash has laid out a pretty clear road map that outlines what usability means in 2019:
- Instant security for merchants through pre-consensus
- Low fees for fractional satoshis
- Using CashAddr to differentiate Bitcoin Cash addresses from those used for Bitcoin
These are just some of the steps Bitcoin Cash is taking to become more user-friendly, and they’re not the only cryptocurrency taking usability seriously in 2019.
#3 Transaction Speed
Improving transaction speeds without resulting in higher transaction fees is crucial to making the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies more widespread. That’s why Bitcoin developers are rolling out an update called The Lightning Network, a solution to Bitcoin’s ongoing struggle with scaling and transaction speed. The Lightning Network will prove to be a big step forward for mass adoption – just in time to meet institutional investment dollars.
2019 will be another important year for cryptocurrency. Be sure to read about the latest cryptocurrency news to see where cryptocurrencies are headed. As they improve on these three cornerstones: scalability, usability, and transaction speed, you can expect usage to increase. With Bitcoin ETFs still on the horizon, there’s also the promise of a new wave of speculation and investment money.
Today, it’s easier than ever to buy cryptocurrencies for everyday use or investment on cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitbuy, one of the few exchanges that let you buy Bitcoin with Canadian funds directly from your bank account. Cryptocurrency exchanges are also evolving in an effort to make cryptocurrency more widely available.
In the long-run, skyrocketing prices may not be the best thing for cryptocurrencies. Finding more widespread use as everyday payment methods and in smart contracts, cryptocurrencies promise to become a permanent fixture in the everyday economy. Cryptocurrencies are maturing and developing the blockchain technologies needed to meet a broader audience.