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After a very exciting 2017 when the crypto world was thrown into a massive frenzy mostly due to good news, there came 2018 with its bearish market and lots and lots of ups and downs. Without a doubt, we are currently living in the most technologically advanced age in our history as humans. Technologies such as AI, IoT, and, of course, the blockchain, have all contributed to disrupting various industries and will continue to do so over the course of at least a few years. 

Even though 2018 has been a very awkward year, at least from a crypto investor’s point of view (since the market’s in a bit of slump right now), the world has witnessed the birth of various  innovative projects, the rise of many crypto exchanges, and a plethora of events that have changed the world of crypto as we know it.

Cryptocurrencies are getting more and more attention over the globe which will inevitably lead to new cybersecurity regulations and laws, but we’re also currently seeing an advanced adoption rate for all things related to both crypto and blockchain.

Currently, we are seeing a massive rise in blockchain-related jobs (so much so, that it is slowly becoming the fastest growing market in the world). Bitcoin has made massive advancements in its fight to improve its scalability problems as the Lightning Network gains traction. Venezuela is currently experiencing total financial mayhem and is relying on cryptocurrency technology. Russia is expected to launch its official cryptocurrency, the Cryptoruble, somewhere in 2019. Despite various confusing decisions, China, India, and South Korea have refrained from actually banning cryptocurrencies.

So, after all this talk, one might ask: why is it important to know the cryptocurrency trends of 2018 when the year is almost at an end? The question is very legit, and the answer is simple: understanding what happened in the past, and what happens now, will most likely help us figure out what to expect in the future.

Here is a list with some of the most important 2018 cryptocurrency trends you should know about:

The ICO madness will continue

Despite the impressive number of new ICOs, new regulations have been set in place in multiple countries. More and more governments were forced to take a stance, be it positive or negative, on ICOs in 2018. ICOs proved to be an essential tool for raising funds and involving the public in a great number of crypto projects. Ethereum is still king regarding ICOs launched and will probably continue to do so for quite some while. 

Exchange coins are now a thing

2018 is the year exchange-based tokens proved they are worthwhile. The trend arguably started by Binance with its BNB token has paved the way for other exchanges to create their own in-house tokens which offer their holders a lot of benefits such as reduced fees and more voting rights. One simply needs to check out CoinMarketCap to get a clear view of how successful these exchange based tokens can really be. For example, Binance Coin is currently ranked 14th by market cap.

Non-fungible tokens are thriving

2018 has seen more and more ICOs startups using fungible tokens. They can be used to sell and buy almost anything, from real estate, to financial shares and bonds, art, insurance, and even play games. We mostly have to thank Ethereum since the platform has established a worth following standard for non-fungible tokens.

Scalability – a thing now more than it ever was

Even though there are various projects that have been created from the ground up to ensure that the necessary scalability is reached, this is not the case for older and more popular projects such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Fees are still high, and transaction confirmations are still too long.

Bitcoin is currently using the Lightning Network for off-chain solutions. Bitcoin Cash is focusing on on-chain scaling solutions and increased block sizes, while Ethereum is considering technologies such as sharing and two-layer protocols for the same reasons. There have been many innovations in this regard, and the struggle won’t end in 2019. 

Digital assets will become easier to purchase

Since this year was a good year for most cryptocurrency exchanges (both centralized and decentralized), there are a lot of very good options for anyone looking to either buy or trade digital assets. There are currently 228 cryptocurrency exchanges listed on CoinMarketCap which is quite a statement to the industry’s growth.

Conclusion

Predicting what will the future hold for the world of cryptocurrencies is almost impossible, but based on the 2018 trends, things are looking good. The barriers to entry for crypto will definitely be much lower in the following period. Security is also something that will surely evolve, and 2018 was the year that saw many ICO scams but less big attacks on exchanges and platforms. Scalability will also improve for most platforms, but as more and more altcoins enter the market, Bitcoin may have its crown threaten soon.

Regarding ICOs, the landscape will definitely evolve as more and more regulations to follow. Last but not least, security tokens have already started to disrupt the traditional financial industry, so investing in them might actually speed up the global tokenization process.

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