2017 was a wonderful year for cryptocurrency and ICOs earnings-wise. The enormous increase in bitcoin prices and the hundreds of millions of dollars raised by numerous ICO projects attracted worldwide attention. This year, crypto prices may have taken a beating, but blockchain, the technology that created them, appears to be growing.
MAJOR COMPANIES EMBRACE BLOCKCHAIN
While a few notable figures in the finance industry reject both bitcoin and the blockchain technology, many have come to embrace them. In fact, several major critics have identified with blockchain technology despite their skepticism towards bitcoin and cryptocurrency. In 2018, banks have opened the door to the institutional application of blockchain for financial purposes.
Credit Suisse Group AG and ING Groep NV were able to complete a blockchain-powered securities lending transaction worth $30.48 million in March. One of the largest banks in the world, HSBC, was also able to complete a major financial transaction using R3’s Corda just recently.
Other major corporations have also announced plans to launch legacy blockchain solutions in 2018. Among the leading multinational companies looking to develop diverse blockchain solutions include Oracle, LG and Naver.
Many consider blockchain as capable of disrupting the global business movement. Several experts even went as far as saying that blockchain will drive the fourth industrial age.
DECENTRALIZED APPS BEING ADOPTED IN ASIA
A technology, no matter how popular, cannot be considered a success unless it becomes widely accepted. Despite the enormity of its potential, if the average person does not interact or use blockchain apps, its creation will be all for naught. In South Korea, decentralized apps or DApps are becoming more and more mainstream. From gaming to fitness, South Korea’s mobile app ecosystem indicates a growing blockchain presence. Major companies like Naver and Kakao, as well as startups like CLC and Kodebox, are developing popular mobile DApps.
INSTITUTIONAL CRYPTO TRADE
December 2017 saw the rise of bitcoin futures with both CBOE and CME offering bitcoin futures trading. In 2018, stock exchange companies like ICE and Nasdaq expressed their desire to create crypto trading platforms. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs announced its plan to trade bitcoin for institutional investors just a few weeks ago.
The rise of institutional cryptocurrency trading provides additional legitimacy to the cryptocurrency market. This legitimacy adds credence to the sustainability of blockchain technology not only to investors but also to the general public.