Top Crypto Trends for 2019

Cryptocurrencies are a new form of asset that are designed to work as a medium of exchange like any other currency. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, paved the way in 2009, and now there are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies available according to CryptoCompare. Although it’s been a decade since Bitcoin’s launch, cryptocurrency has yet to achieve mass adoption as it faces many challenges from within and without. Still, many financial analysts are confident that prices will soar as institutional investment flows in 2019 and beyond.

Cryptoassets hit an incredible peak in December 2017 when the Bitcoin price reached $20,000. 2018 however, saw prices collapse across the board as the enthusiasm of 2017 waned with failed ICOs and inactive projects.

One possible factor that contributed to the slump is that US regulators are yet to approve an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) application. Another project that is highly anticipated to move markets is the new Bakkt Exchange, from NYSE parent company ICE (Intercontinental Exchange) which will likely herald a new era of institutional investment.

There is however a lot of positive development within the cryptoverse itself. In 2019, some new trends are emerging which observers should monitor closely, as they have the potential to foster enormous growth. Let’s take a look at some of these new positive trends.

Leaner Companies

We have seen many failed cryptocurrency projects in the last 2 years, and one reason for their failure was lack of funding. Crypto giants like Bitmain Technologies, ShapeShift, and many blockchain-based social media platforms like Steemitwere forced to reduce their staff because of the lack of investment in this sector.

These companies are the victims of the prolonged bear market, and they were forced to shelve their expansion plans because of poor financial planning and many other mismanagement issues. The new trend therefore, is for crypto startups is to cut their operational costs to survive in the crypto ecosystem. These new, leaner companies may indicate a more resilient industry in the long-term.


Another primary issue is scalability, and it seems to still be a problem in 2019. Ethereum for example, had to postpone its Constantinople upgrade due to a serious, smart contract vulnerability threat. The update was scheduled to launch at the start of this year but was delayed  after an independent research firm detected the flaw.

There are many new projects surfacing that claim to work on improved algorithms or protocols. These algorithms and protocols are not fully developed, but promise a hybrid of proof of stake and work. Developers on projects around the world are working hard on the problems of scalability, and if progress is made, 2019 may set the stage for broader crypto adoption.

More User-Friendly Apps

The Lightning Network is seeing a great deal of activity in 2019 in its role as a second layer payment feature. Still, developers are trying to further improve the LN protocol to make it more secure, faster and cheaper to conduct crypto transactions. As work continues, the Lightning Network is turning Bitcoin into a faster and cost-effective medium of exchange. You can expect more development in LN protocol in 2019 as developers are creating more apps that are both intuitive and user-friendly. You can find the best trading software reviews here to learn more about these apps.

Security Tokens Vs ICOs

After regulatory authorities began targeting Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), Security Tokens - which explicitly acknowledge their regulatory obligations - are being launched throughout the globe.

The new name also seeks to avoid much of the negative stigma of the ICO, which has become associated with failed projects and even outright scams. Jurisdictions such as Malta, Switzerland and Singapore are more accommodating towards Security Token sales, adding to investor confidence in this newer token model.


Another obstacle for the crypto ecosystem is lack of educational resources. More efforts have been made recently to make crypto education more accessible. New York University for example has taken the initiative by introducing a graduate level certification in digital currencies. Now that prestigious institutions such as NYU and the London School of Economics begin to spread the word about cryptoassets, the industry is further cementing itself in the public consciousness.

The Availability of Bitcoin ATMs

2019 may see the introduction of Bitcoin ATMs in several major cities in the United States.

With 30 new machines installed in Chicago, and over 100 in Philadelphia, prospects are looking good. These new ATMs are solely for Bitcoin transactions, but some regular ATMs in New York are now also offering crypto services. These new services require an account with  Bitcoin payment provider LibertyX, and users can purchase up to $3,000 worth of Bitcoin daily using a debit card.


Cryptocurrency looks set once again in 2019 to gain traction. While the industry is young, and in many ways still recovering from the spectacular boom and bust of 2017 and 2018, it still inspires a great deal of enthusiasm and interest globally. These trends in 2019 will be closely watched.

Millennials Prefer to Invest in Bitcoin Over Netflix, Microsoft, or Alibaba: Report

Francisco Memoria

A report published by brokerage giant Charles Schwab has shown that millennials, currently aged 25-39, prefer to invest in products tied to bitcoin over equity in some of the world’s largest companies.

The report, published this week, showed that millennials have a higher holding in Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) fund than in Netflix, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft, and Alibaba. The report includes data collected from roughly 142,000 retirement plan participants with balances between $5,000 and $10 million. Data is extracted quarterly on all accounts.

Among the top 10 equity holdings of millennials, GBTC came in fourth place with 1.84%, falling behind only Amazon’s 7.87%, Apple’s 6.18%, Tesla’s 3.22%, and Facebook’s 3.03%.

Invesment preferences per gennerationSource: Charles Schwab

The GBTC is a product launched in 2013 by Grayscale, a Digital Currency Group subsidiary. It was initially only available as a private placement for accredited investors, but in 2015 it received approval to be offered as publicly traded shares. It lets investors gain exposure to BTC without having to manage private keys.

While GBTC is a popular holding among millennials, the report also showed it didn’t make it in the top 10 equity holdings of Gen X (aged 40-54) and baby boomers (aged 55-75), highlighting generational differences in investment preferences. These two generations’ top three holdings were Apple, Amazon, and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.

The average account balance for all participants in Q3 of this year was over $276,000. While baby boomers’ average balance was $394,000, the average balance of Gen X retirement plan holders was $213,000. Millennials’ average balance was $68,750.

Millennials also allocated a larger percentage of their portfolios to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) at 24%, than did Gen X at 20% and baby boomers at 17%.They also hold more cash than other generations’ investors.

Iso far, every attempt to list and trade shares of a Bitcoin ETF has been rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with one of the latest rejections hitting the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust.

The SEC’s disapproval order pointed out the disapproval shouldn’t be taken to mean that Bitcoin or blockchain technology have no merit as “an innovation or an investment.” It noted the SEC disapproved the Bitcoin ETF over concerns regarding fraudulent or manipulative acts in the cryptocurrency market.

It’s worth pointing out previous studies have shown millennials have been investing in cryptocurrencies. An eToro survey from earlier this year showed over 70% of millennials were looking to invest in crypto offered by institutions, while research from British legal firm Michelmores LLP showed 20% of wealthy millennials invested in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Featured image via Unsplash.