Circle, the global crypto finance company behind the Poloniex crypto exchange and USDC stablecoin, has released their annual 2018 crypto retrospective report.
The report highlights major cryptocurrency achievements, events, performance, activity, and more. It also shines a light on the hottest 2019 crypto trends and provides insights for the future.
Key takeaways of the report include:
- Bitcoin dominance rises over 50% in flight to safety, peaks at 57% in December.
- Bitcoin and Ethereum transaction fees drop over 90% in 2018.
- 88% of ICO funds were raised in the first half of 2018 as regulatory uncertainty continued to depress ICO market.
- Despite market conditions, blockchain M&A transaction activity projected to rise over 300% y/y.
- While Ethereum has 18x more dapps than EOS, EOS dapps have 3x more daily users.
- Key trends in 2019 include stablecoins, security tokens, and institutional crypto.
2018 Bear Market Musings
The report starts out by pointing out the undeniably drastic bear market crypto investors experienced in 2018. In many ways, last year was a wake-up call for many investors who realized the projects they invested in were not solving real problems but instead only trying to achieve short-term price gains.
This led to the market crash in 2018, which not only brought down the terrible projects but also the good projects with strong business models, an experienced team, and viable working products. However, the good projects that have the stamina and sound foundations will ultimately come out stronger than ever in 2019 as they work towards their long-term goals.
While the 2018 bear market negatively impacted many stakeholders, it also allowed investors to get in on some quality oversold and undervalued projects that were once trading at a premium. The bear market has been a wonderful time for serious investors who know what they’re doing, and has set the stage for what’s to come.
It’s also reinforced Bitcoin’s (BTC) relevance as a safe haven in comparison to other cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin’s price dropped the least of most and its dominance rose to over 50% for most of the second half of 2018.
Cryptocurrencies Progress, Dapp Development Is Strong
Alhough 2018 saw substantial declines in crypto’s market performance regarding the price and volume of transactions, significant growth in other areas is evident.
For instance, Circle Research highlights the significant growth of Bitcoin’s lightning network, the 2nd-layer solution aiming to make Bitcoin transactions cheaper and faster. Per the report, the value held in BTC lightning network channels was 580 BTC, worth $1,800,000 at the time of writing.
Based on these values, that amount of Bitcoin is a 145x increase in value relative to February 2018. Additionally, there are now nearly 24,000 channels on the lightning network, which is a 24x increase from last February as well.
Another major increase in development that Circle Research highlighted are decentralized applications (dapps), specifically those of EOS and Ethereum. In a combined total, EOS and Ethereum have 2.4K dapps, 55.6K daily active users, 1.7M 24 hr transactions, and 5.6Ksmart contracts.
Circle’s research points out that Ethereum saw an average increase of 118 dapps per month, while EOS saw an average increase of 30 dapps per month.
Ethereum surpasses EOS in terms of the total number of documented dapps and number of smart contracts. However, EOS surpasses Ethereum in terms of 24-hr transaction volume and number of daily active users.
All in all, both dapp development platforms are doing extremely well, and Circle Research’s data didn’t even include dapp development from Tron (TRX), which saw a substantial increase in the latter half of 2018.
2019 Crypto Trend Predictions
Now that 2018, along with the initial shock of the crypto bear market has come and gone, the crypto industry can focus on moving forward and anticipate a trend reversal.
Circle Research believes we will leave the hype of the ICO market behind us and focus on new and better things. Some of the biggest crypto trends of 2019 are predicted to be retail adoption of stablecoins, security tokens, open finance, and institutional adoption.
Regarding these crypto trends, Circle Research believes they will shape the narrative in 2019, lead to the solution of real-world problems, and mature the crypto space as a whole.
Besides the drastic decline in price, how do you think 2018 panned out for cryptocurrencies? Also, do you agree with Circle Research’s trend predictions for 2019? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.