2018 was a bit of a crypto horror show, but with a new year comes new optimism and the potential for better times. With 2018 now resigned to the crypto history books then, we decided to get the views of our resident crypto bloggers Alex and Mark on the past, present, and future of digital assets. And, before you go dashing off and buying up any particular coins we mention, none of what you’re about to read is financial advice and you should always do your own due diligence before investing in a project.
Without any more delay, let’s hear what the guys have to say about crypto’s prospects in 2019 off the back of a particularly brutal year in the digital currency space.
2018 was a bit of a shocker all around. Were there any investments you particularly regretted making in 2018?
Alex: I think anyone who invested into any project throughout the year, looking for short-term gains will have been burnt rather significantly. In the short term I regretted “buying the dip” back in February thinking that it was just a temporary little blip – more fool me, right? I don’t really regret any investments though, as I believe the projects I got into in 2018 have a decent long-term outlook.
Mark: It’s easy to look back and say “it’s clear we were going lower”, but it wasn’t at the time. I didn’t buy during any dips, I just didn’t sell when I should have done and rode projects all the way up and down again. One ICO that was full of promise had to head for cover when the SEC started clamping down on US-based projects, and that dropped by over 99%! It’s a great project, and I’m still holding, but they launched at the wrong time. Oh, and I bought Populus (PPT) at $60 in January – it’s worth $1 today.
How did 2018 tally with your expectations at the start of the year?
Alex: 2018 has been a pretty dismal year price wise. I never thought prices across the board would fall so far, but they are providing great opportunities to fill up those stockpiles and get enough tokens to run a few masternodes. It’s been a mixed bag, it has been rather disappointing but great at the same time.
Mark: Like many people, I thought $20k Bitcoin was just the start. This year has been a very rude awakening for me in terms of market cycles, and I realize now that fundamentals don’t mean jack in a bear market. I too didn’t expect 80-90% drops across the board. We weren’t alone, which is kind of comforting.
What project disappointed you most in 2018?
Alex: I was a little shocked by a few projects that turned out to be scams, despite doing a ton of research. One of the most disappointing projects though – for me at least – was definitely PinkDate. It promised to be a really interesting platform operating in a very niche industry. I don’t really buy the founder’s excuses, and I’m rather saddened to see it go poof.
Mark: Wanchain. It was hyped to hell and it has delivered nothing. Same goes for Icon. Augur is one of the few blockchain projects actually running, but it has really suffered through the bear market which has not been its fault. Litecoin seems to be a fading star – they really need to pull something out if the bag. Seeing as next to nothing else has actually launched yet, it’s hard to say how they’ve disappointed – no valuations were going to stay afloat in this bear market.
What was your biggest surprise of 2018 for crypto?
Alex: It gets a lot of hate, but XRP has had a pretty great year. While prices have been falling all over, XRP has remained one of the steadiest. It secured a ton of new partnerships with major banks all around the world, and it’s actually trying to make advances in the space. If it manages to shake the law suits against it and it gets labeled a utility or liquidity token by the SEC then 2019 could be an even better year.
Mark: Yeah, XRP has done surprisingly well. I’m also going to say Tether. That coin was pummeled consistently throughout 2018, yet it’s still the stablecoin with the most volume and it’s still worth a dollar. What more can you ask of it? Except for an audit, obviously. I also came across CountingHouse, which is damned hard to find unless you’re looking for it. It’s done something like 3-4x in the bear market. Astonishing.
What was the most positive thing to come out of 2018 for crypto in your opinion?
Alex: As horrible as this might sound, I’m rather happy that the bearish markets have lasted for so long in 2018. It’s driven out the investors who are in crypto for the wrong reasons and we are left with this group of holders who want to see mass adoption, not make a quick buck. On top of this, the progress the Lightning Network and SegWit has made is great to see. It’s pushing the boundaries of adoption and if it continues to grow at this pace, we could see a great year ahead
Mark: I think 2018 educated a lot of people, myself included, and those who stick around will be better for it. It will be good to see more of the scams and nonsense projects dying. Crypto needs to shed a lot of the dead wood to be left with a slimmer, healthier tree. Underneath the hyperbole of the mainstream media, some great work has been done developing the infrastructure, particularly with Bitcoin and Ethereum, which will bear fruit in the next 12-18 months.
What do you think will be the key themes for crypto in 2019?
Alex: I think adoption will be very key to crypto’s success in 2019 – we need to see more businesses accepting crypto. There appears to be a lot of desire for institutional investors to get into the scene, if Bakkt can finally get off the ground then we could see a lot of positive market sentiment.
Mark: Some projects might decouple from Bitcoin price-wise if they are fundamentally strong enough. This will be an important step, regardless of when it happens. Bakkt has a lot of pressure to be the premium investment tool for institutions – it could be a short-term bellwether for the appetite of big players to buy in. For retail, the theme will be ‘recovery’.
What projects are you looking out for in 2019?
Alex: I’m really looking forward to see more from Cryptosolartech. I think that there needs to be more emphasis put on green and eco-friendly crypto projects. If it can get the funding it needs and some more positive results – and some good PR thrown in too for good measure – it could show the crypto world in a new light that’s eco-friendly.
Mark: I’m excited by what VeChain has up its sleeve with its stellar partnerships and upcoming ICOs. XRP I think will also have a good year, despite probably being found to be a security by the SEC and getting fined. It will be interesting to see what Hashgraph comes out with, if it launches, and we might see Rootstock allowing Bitcoin to be more than just a currency. Don’t underestimate Binance Coin either, as they have big plans.
And finally, the big one, what do you think Bitcoin’s price will be on 31st December 2019?
Alex: I don’t think Bitcoin can fall too much further. It’s at an area where it’s so cheap, people are just buying piles. This should stop it falling too far. Add in some great news that the people want to hear and we could see $15,000/$20,000 by December 2019. However, I think we could see a slow start to the year – especially with no great news landing so far this year – then a traditional quiet period over summer – especially if institutional investors are driving the price – and I think it’s more likely we will see around $7,500/$10,000 by the end of 2019 – don’t tell the wife I said that.
Mark: I tend to agree – $8,000-$10,000 is my target. I think we might have another 10-15% drop left, followed by a long period of steady recovery, as in 2016, leading us into a healthy 2020. Bakkt and an ETF in February might give us a temporary boost, but it would be too early on to remain there.
How Will they Fare?
As everyone knows, crypto prediction is a fool’s game, so we’ll check back a the end of 2019 to see how our fools got on.