Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple saw record highs near the end of December, only to crash massively in 2018. The currencies are starting to bounce back, but what does the future hold for these kinds of cryptocurrencies?
If there’s one thing that separates the veteran cryptocurrency aficionado from the newbie investor, it’s the level of panic after a major crash. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple made the news time and time again over the course of 2017, causing many people to jump on board with hopes that the value of the currencies will continue to rise. However, when the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple price took a massive dive in the beginning of 2017, a lot of people cut their losses – and the losses were huge. Those that weathered the storm are starting to see the currency bounce back, but will we ever see a Bitcoin valuation as high as we saw in the end of 2017? Experts are divided on this issue in a major way.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple are relatively unique in that their value is driven off of speculation rather than any real-world entity. While your average publicly traded corporation had performance by which the price is determined, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple have a value that spikes and crashes based on everything from the current political environment to fleeting rumors. If there’s one thing we’ve gleaned from the relatively short time that currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple have been around, it’s that the value is near impossible to predict.
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With that said, the values of these currencies are still orders of magnitude higher than they were at the same time last year – even after the massive crash at the beginning of the year, and many experts believe that for those who weather the storm there will be a massive pay off further on down the line. However, there are an equal – or perhaps even greater – amount of critics who are convinced that this most recent crash could spell the beginning of the end for currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, and there’s some evidence to back up those concerns as well.
While Cryptocurrency is a newcomer to the investment scene, the market cap in the hundreds of billions makes it officially part of the big leagues when it comes to investing. Currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple thrived with a lack of regulation allowing them to grow unfettered. However, that period of minimal regulation may be coming to an end, with multiple countries either enacting policies or expressing interest in more heavily regulating the industry.
While currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple certainly have the potential to become a staying power for years to come, they’re also extraordinarily risky investments. Many people lost a lot of money in the beginning of 2018, which has prompted some governments to take action to protect their citizens from investments that can almost be viewed as similar to gambling. Other countries have expressed distaste for the anonymous nature of Cryptocurrency transactions, with South Korea even taking steps to require people to use their real name while trading. Two ways in which Cryptocurrency has been able to succeed where other investments have faltered is in anonymity and ease of access – two aspects of trading that stand to be threatened by increasing regulation.
At the end of the day, it’s just not really possible to predict whether the next year will be a time of unprecedented growth for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, or whether we’ll see the currencies start to crash and burn. When compared to the value just a couple of months ago, the currencies have rebounded in a major way. Whether that rebound continues or whether we see a crash into obsolescence will likely largely depend on the way the market is regulated as well as whether cryptocurrencies are able to integrate themselves into a traditional investment scene.
While many cryptocurrencies fly in the face of tradition, Ripple is hoping to bridge the gap between pre-existing financial institutions and the volatile world of virtual coins. As a Cryptocurrency backed by a company that is in talks with several major financial institutions in order to incorporate their coin into day-to-day transactions, it’s possible that this unique approach will allow Ripple to thrive while others die off.
However, even Ripple’s efforts may not be enough to save the industry from itself and from outside influence. Anyone making predictions with any sort of certainty is likely to be off-base in one way or another, given how volatile the market continues to be to this day. The trend seems to be moving up, but the future will certainly be a different landscape than the Wild West Of Cryptocurrency we saw in the beginnings of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. Only time will tell whether these coins will stand the test of time or wither into obscurity.