As 2018 is about to take over and while everyone is counting yearly incomes, making ambitious plans for the upcoming year, there comes a perfect time to take a look back at the year that we had and review what happened to the cryptocurrencies market. ICO boom, Bitcoin mania, huge hype for blockchain, futures on Bitcoin launch, Asian regulations – let’s see which crypto events and trends 2017 brought us.
Events and Trends of the year
One of the most important trends of the year is, of course, massive growth of Bitcoin, as well as altcoins. In November the cryptomarket witnessed the unbelievable - the Bitcoin price reached a truly psychological mark of 10K. In less than a month it briefly grazed a 20K threshold, diving into a correction afterwards. A lot of people still perceive the cryptocurrency market as a bubble, but we won’t know it’s a bubble until it pops, would we? At least, it’s quite an expensive bubble. Even though Morgan Stanley analysts suggested that the real value of Bitcoin might be $0.
Bitcoin market cap is $320 billion, while the whole market capitalization hit $650 billion. This perfectly shows that from the very beginning Bitcoin has shown a 2000% growth. Market cap has outrun Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) capitalization and is very close to the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)'s cap.
ICO market is booming and blooming. In December, the amount of money raised on ICO reached and surpassed the record-breaking $4 billion mark. During the three quarters of the year, at least one ICO per day was held.
On April 1st, Japan (and it’s no joke) allowed virtual currencies as a legal form of payment. Even in spite of Japanese Finance Minister saying that Bitcoin was yet to prove itself as a “credible currency”, the number of cryptocurrency exchanges was growing. Up until September, over a half of all Bitcoin tradings in the world were made in Japanese yen. Moreover, lately one of local internet companies claimed that in 2018 they would pay some salaries to their employees in the form of cryptocurrency. Isn’t it “all in”?
As for the Russian blockchain industry, the hero of the year is still the almighty Vitalik Buterin, the famous Ethereum creator. Earlier this year media was all about his meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. The conversation between these too was totally private, surrounded by various rumors. But the thing is that after this tete-a-tete, the Russian government has changed its attitude towards blockchain and switched it from “ban it forever” to “make sure the legal status of cryptocurrencies and blockchain is settled before the summer of 2018”.
As blockchain is slowly making its way in Russia, it’s about to be adopted next door – in Belarus. The Union State president, Alexander Lukashenko, signed a decree that has legalized transactions in crypto-currencies. “All smart and intelligent people know what stability and order are,” Lukashenko said. “They’re all trying to reach that shore. We’re prepared to arrange a dock and even a harbor.”
In December, Bitcoin took Wall Street, when two Chicago exchanges - CME and CBOE – started trading futures on Bitcoin. As of now, for example, February futures are traded for an average price of $18,870.
Some important tech upgrades to blockchain took place in 2017. The best example is a SegWit implementation, which significantly improved Bitcoin protocol, enlarged a transaction volume and therefore has speeded it up.
ICO of the year
If you want a successful ICO, make it last … for a year. This is exactly what developers of EOS, an infrastructure for decentralized applications, have done – on the very first day the tokensale hit the $200 million mark, and ever since 2 million EOS tokens have been selling everyday.
Filecoin made everyone excited, when managed to raise $257 million on a regulated ICO, which means that every tokensale participant – there were banks, large companies and high net individuals – had to go through a precise verification process. Thus Filecoin team not only managed to filter their own clients, but also to fulfill the US Security Exchange Commission on ICO market regulations.
Cindicator, a platform providing financial analysis using Hybrid Intelligence technology, also closed their ICO, raising $15 million and using Whitelist policy during the sale. A whitelist is basically the same thing as a waitlist - only that you have to be put on the list and also verified.
One of the fastest ICOs this year, definitely a “ninja” sale, belongs to Bancor. The team managed to raise $153 million within just 3 hours. As for the speed and the volume of growth, the winners’ stand is taken by the following coins: Qtum jumped from $0,292 to $6 (X228), Populous grew 159 times bigger (from $0,278 to $44,5) and OmiseGo showed more than seventy-fold increase.
Scam ICO of the year
It’s hard to decide, whether Tezos should be put on the previous list, raising a record high amount of $232 million on ICO and gaining so much attention for their great and perspective idea of a safe and transparent managing platform, or should it really be named The Scam Of The Year?
The project has been frozen ever since the founders, a Franco-American couple, found themselves involved in various scandals and court proceedings.
Booming ICO market has given rise not only to projects that are about to change our future, but has also bred millions of scam companies, or just made working on blockchain something to laugh about. The Scam Of The Year list can actually be so long that one would read it until the end of 2018. Here we have Ukrainian cons, who under the name of Swisscoin stole almost $500,000 and were eventually arrested; Dogecoin – which is fairly named a “joke currency”; Useless Ethereum Token, whose creator admits that he was up to spending the raised money for his own pleasure; and many more.
Fork of the year
This title by all odds goes to Bitcoin Cash. It was born in August 2017, was worth around $300 and grew two-fold by November. . As it was the first significant Bitcoin fork, which was, on top of that, actively promoted by Roger Ver himself, it’s price started to grow faster than magic beans. Especially after transaction issues on Bitcoin chain popped up, and due to the SegWIt2x cancellation. In December, the growth was enhanced by the fact that Bitcoin Cash was added to the Coinbase exchange, which is the most downloaded cryptocurrency app in the US. Since August, it has shown a tenfold increase.
As of now, Roger Ver has already switched all his cryptoholdings into Bitcoin Cash, willing to put this cryptocurrency to the second position on the market cap list. Plus, Bitcoin Cash with its fast transactions has become a perfect tool for those trying to knock Bitcoin down.
Tokens of the year
There are three tokens, that evidently made 2017 more interesting for the cryptocurrency market.
Ethereum – a decentralized supercomputer, a system for creating smart-contracts and a platform that really moved the blockchain industry. During 2017 ETH token price grew from $8 to $840 – it’s more than a hundred-fold increase. In December, the number of daily transactions within the Ethereum chain exceeded 1,100,000.
As Ethereum developers claim, the upcoming switch from a "proof-of-work" to a "proof-of-stake" protocol would boost the security and anonymity levels. The transaction and confirmation time will soon approach the level and speed of Visa services.
In spring an Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was created – within this organisation, a new ways of implementing the Ethereum blockchain possibilities to business are to be found. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN), UBS and many others are among the members of the alliance.
Litecoin – the second Bitcoin fork, launched by Charlie Lee back in 2011. It made an unbelievable jump in price in 2017 - from $3.7 to $370, making it a 10,000% increase. One of the industries that welcomed Litecoin with open arms was cybersport. Valve decided to quit payment in Bitcoin and switch to Litecoin completely. Significant number of services noe accept Litecoin – for example, Bitrefill, a very popular platform for refilling mobile accounts, joined a Litecoin family. Litecoin strongly keeps the 5th position in cryptocurrencies market capitalization.
In the middle of December the Dash cryptocurrency price was not more than $10. In just couple days it made a dash – and went up by 125 times. Dash is aimed to maintain the maximum anonymity, due to the Private Send service, while its transactions are faster and fees are smaller than Bitcoin’s. Dash team is up to increasing the number of access points through obtaining and deploying a worldwide chain of ATMs.
Crypto quotes of the year:
Vitalik Buterin: “The problem of an ICO is that a person usually makes something useful for a very few people. Now everybody learned that there was an open source software category, where money could be made really fast. And developers suddenly got to choose, whether they want to keep on working in a basement, or buy themselves a Lamborghini”.
Kim Dotcom: “Bitcoin is a very exciting development, it might lead to a world currency. I think over the next decade it will grow to become one of the most important ways to pay for things and transfer assets.”
Roger Ver: “Bitcoin is the most important invention in the history of the world since the Internet.”
John McAffee: “I will eat my d*ck on national television.” In response to: “In the long term Bitcoin moves above $500,000 within three years. Bets?”
People of the year:
People call the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin – a Rock’n’Roll Star. Which is almost true, as 23 year old Vitalik is a real IT genius. And market capitalization of his coin – ETH exceeded 75 billion dollars, and already breathes down the neck of Yahoo Finance.
Vitalik had a really hot summer. In June, he met with Vladimir Putin, who almost approved his blockchain work in Russia. He became a meme and fake news hero: people buried Vitalik, even crashed him in a car – all this to make the Ethereum rate fall sharply.
Roger Ver has deserved his title of a "Bitcoin Jesus" in every possible way. He started investing in Bitcoin as early as 2011. He is the Bitcoin.com CEO, and he is so good at his job that he was even able to promote BitcoinCash, one of the Bitcoin forks, with the help of his website. In 2017 he was literally on everybody’s A-list, because the BCH blockchain is designed to become a payment method like Bitcoin, only better,
The main goal of Roger Ver is the creation of an absolutely Libertarian country – every year brings him millions of supporters.
Co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation and BitInstant Charlie Shrem became a crypto celebrity after his release from jail. It is noteworthy that during the imprisonment, Charlie became a real Blockchain thinker, philosophically approaching the issue of improving the world through Blockchain technology.
Shrem lately joined the Jaxx business development team, and is now preparing to launch his own platform – Intellisys Capital.
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