There are 12 predictions for 2018 that could shape up the blockchain world:
Ripple is a cool business but that it doesn’t actually require a protocol token to work, but there are other protocols that also don’t require a token to work. Probably, the market will not use all of them. Ripple will be a valuable company because of the service it provides, but Ripple protocol won’t be a valuable protocol. Actually, the protocol multiples are better.
There are two scenarios:
First, Lightning will work and Bitcoin will still be the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. Second, Lightning will fail miserably and Bitcoin will continue to fall. Probably, if that happens, then Bitcoin Cash becomes the “real” Bitcoin.
When people realize the difference between pseudonymity and anonymity, then people would like to use a “privacy” coin such as Zcash, Monero, Dash, and PIVX.
Actually, Dash has amazing marketing, but it has some weaknesses such as the masternode setup and possibly even legal implications.
Probably, one or two of these coins (Zcash, Monero, Dash, and PIVX) would be the most popular cryptocurrency in the world.
The DAO market, (which is led by companies such as Aragon, Colony, District0x, and DAOStack) will soon have a few proof-of-concept DAOs running. These protocols have a huge opportunity.
Actually, SingularityNet’s ICO (blockchain-based AI-as-a-Service startup) sold out in 60 seconds, pulling in $36 million. Probably, there will be more initial coin offerings and AI startups.
For example, CryptoKitties is a very popular use case of Ethereum network.
There are some interoperability protocols such as Polkadot, Cosmos, Lamden, and Metronome. These interoperability protocols would enable transactions and information exchanges between different blockchains. Additionally, these interoperability protocols will enable a multi-blockchain world. Probably, these interoperability protocols would increase the load on key blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin
Zug, Switzerland would be a Crypto Valley.
For example, Oman and Panama want to set up Crypto Valleys in their geographies in order to introduce themselves to the world. Zug is a Crypto Valley where there are many blockchain startups.
So, these new Crypto Valleys will try to become blockchain-first locations
Actually, three of the top 10 retail brokers in the U.S. will allow you to buy 1-5 cryptocurrencies directly from their websites. Furthermore, Coinbase is the most popular exchange for crypto newcomers, which supports four currencies.
Probably, we will see the first legitimate initial coin offerings take place on Indiegogo in February, or March at the latest
Kik is the first reverse Initial Coin Offering. Additionally, YouNow is going to do the same. Probably, there will be more reverse ICOs in 2018. A “reverse ICO” is when an existing company decentralizes itself and issues tokens to its members to stimulate a circular economy.
In an optimistic scenario, the U.S. authorities would be relatively lenient on blockchain startups. Initial coin offerings would have to adhere to KYC/AML policies, and their solutions will have to scale.