ICOBox provides a breakdown of blockchain news for the week of December 7, 2018

San Francisco, California, UNITED STATES

George Town, Cayman Islands, Dec. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
Looking Into the Future: Three Main Trends for 2019

2018 was a bumpy ride for the crypto industry. The year started at a high point – over $10K, went through a period of stagnation right around the $6K mark, and towards the end of the year crashed to nearly $3K. The total market capitalization fell by 2/3, and many are quite pessimistic about the future of the industry. The experts at ICOBox's International Blockchain Research Center (IBRC) do not share this notion, however. Based on their analysis of the potential market development scenarios, they came up with these predictions of the 3 main trends for 2019.

Trend 1 aims to eliminate the current blockchain deficiencies. Low scalability, low transaction speed, lack of popular trust, large number of failed ICOs, scams, colossal volatility of the main cryptocurrencies – it is unlikely that all of these problems will be instantly cured in 2019. But they certainly need to be addressed, and the time to start working on it is now. It is essential to demonstrate that the problems are recognized, acknowledged, and are being solved. The market is yearning for peace. While calm waters may bring in lower profits, most prefer this scenario to the wild fluctuations and rallies. Perfecting the blockchain technology and ensuring the market stability are two keys to establishing a bull trend in the industry and proving its growing maturity and readiness for long-term investments.

Trend 2 is mass tokenization of various assets, which will become a foundation for creating a new sector of cryptocurrency investment and trade and will bring to the market both the new investors and owners of various goods. Investors fully realize the benefits of traditional investments – real estate, consumer goods, art, etc. bring stable profits. But getting into these markets takes a lot of money, and selling major real estate or a piece of art can take years. And this is where tokenizing these assets starts making sense. It will enable token holders to trade their holdings in the same way securities are traded, i.e. make money immediately rather than wait until their asset is physically sold. We expect that 2019 will see intense competition between crypto projects for investors and asset holders, and practically everything will be subject to tokenization. This has the potential to bring vast amounts of funding into the crypto sphere.

Trend 3 is mass adoption of blockchain technology. The more people find out about it, the more it will be implemented in their daily life. Let’s look for example at protection of personal data. At a time when major corporations are trying to gain as much information about their potential clients as possible, more and more people are concerned about their privacy and data protection. This issue is equally relevant for users all over the globe. Blockchain as an immutable distributed ledger is perfectly suited to ensure the safekeeping of people's records, and we see that the technology is actively being introduced in several countries and municipalities.

"Cutting edge innovations are finding their way ever deeper into our everyday lives – what several years ago would've been unimaginable, today is a matter of comfortable habit," says Daria Generalova, Managing Partner of ICOBox. "And we expect blockchain to become a household name next year as people learn about the technology and the numerous unparalleled advantages it offers. Yes, we are optimistic. The king is far from dead!"

Nasdaq Confirms the 2019 Launch of Bitcoin Futures

It appears that Nasdaq, the second largest stock exchange in the world, is confirming its intention to launch bitcoin futures in the first half of 2019, as has recently been reported by several media outlets.

The news have originally been leaked to Bloomberg by insider sources in late November. The plan was confirmed yesterday by Joseph Christinat, Vice President of Nasdaq’s media team, although he noted that the proposal needs to first be approved by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He sounded reasonably confident that the approval will be forthcoming, and that the plans will come to fruition.

Christinat also stated that the stock market whale has been interested in the crypto space for quite some time and has been working on its BTC futures project for “most” of 2018. Nasdaq is well aware that even despite the recent market slump, this is a highly desirable product, and they firmly intend to deliver this ability "no matter what."

The final details are not yet being disclosed, but the market is eagerly awaiting the impending launch, which was originally scheduled for mid-2018 but was delayed in order to develop a "unique enough" offering.

"Finally, we have something quite concrete, and this is extremely encouraging! Nasdaq's definitive confirmation is a sign of global investors' interest and belief in the long-term health of the cryptocurrency market. It also validates what we've been saying all along – that 2019 will see mass entry of traditional investors in the crypto space – and this spells great promises to many hungry but brilliant startups," said Dima Zaitsev, Head of International PR at ICOBox.

Switzerland Looking to Apply Current Laws to Blockchain

Ueli Maurer, the Swiss Minister of Finance, dismissed the idea of Switzerland adopting blockchain-specific laws, speaking at Infrachain on December 4th. Maurer indicated that instead of drafting new legislation, the Swiss government plans on tweaking existing laws to establish blockchain in financial and tech sectors.

Lack of legal clarity on blockchain has caused a wave of uncertainty in the past year and 2019 looks like the year governments and regulators will likely lay down clear standards for blockchain. Blockchain startups and users alike will benefit from concrete rules on privacy, finance, civil code and security classification.

So far, countries stances towards the technology have been wide ranging. Nations like China have been extremely hostile in regards to many cryptocurrencies, while the U.S. government has approached the tech with caution. Countries like Switzerland and Liechtenstein have acted more friendly towards blockchain, trying to establish themselves as leaders in the sector.

Blockchain related bills are currently proposed in several legislatures, including the U.S. House of Representatives.

ICOBox’s Managing Partner Daria Generalova is a fan of the Swiss approach to Blockchain regulation. “Integrating blockchain with current legislation means we will be able to work confidently within established legal precedents, giving the community better ideas of what the legal environment will look like.”

Even the most carefully written new legislation can spur years of legal challenge and interpretation before general standards are accepted. Adapting current laws will face some of the same hurdles, but should make for a smoother transition as blockchain tech becomes more and more prevalent.

US Congressman From Ohio: Federal Cryptocurrency and ICO Regulations are In the Works

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (R) has broadcast his intention to introduce clear legislative framework to regulate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies, as was recently reported by the Ohio news portal Cleveland.com.

According to Cleveland.com, the proposed bill would create an "asset class" for cryptocurrencies and digital assets, which "would prevent them from being classified as securities, but would also allow the federal government to regulate initial coin offerings more effectively."

The plan, if it ever comes to fruition, will bring very important and positive changes to the U.S. cryptocurrency market. From the very start, the industry operated in uncharted waters, with different countries and agencies treating tokens differently, which created confusion that eventually ground the ICO market to a halt. Introduction of a sensible and consistent legal framework will be instrumental for the industry's continued development, and the market has been eagerly waiting for just such a move for quite a while.

Both the politicians and crypto and financial market leaders have been urging the US Securities and Exchange Commission to come up with comprehensive regulations that would spell out the rules of the game and help stabilize the volatile and skittish market. Nearly 50 representatives of major crypto companies and Wall Street firms participated in a Congressional roundtable on ICO and cryptocurrency regulation. Davidson hosted the meeting, at which his guests expressed grave concerns about a lack of legal clarity in the marketplace and discussed "token taxonomy."

Davidson has been known as a supporter of the crypto and ICO industry, which, he said, requires "light touch." His spokesman recently said that Davidson is drafting a bill that, once it becomes law, would classify ICOs as products rather than securities at the federal and state level, essentially "sidestepping" security laws.

"I'm cautiously optimistic," says Dima Zaitsev, Head of International PR at ICOBox. "We've been waiting for someone to take things in their own hands, to champion the market, and it appears that the Ohio Congressman is just the guy for the job. This is exactly the kind of approach that the market wants, and this long-overdue law is certain to reverberate all over the globe. Of course, much depends on if and when it passes," Zaitsev added.


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