We all expect 2018 to be the year that blockchain grows up. 2017 was a year when cryptocurrency markets dominated the public imagination, was a monumental year for cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. While some of us grew excited by the explosion of new applications, platforms and technologies being launched, many others were simply happy to ride the wave of higher prices. Indeed, the value of these assets grew from $15 billion to $500 billion, one of the great bull markets of our time.
This year experienced investors will get involved with this new means of funding. They will demand further business validation and transparency, bringing the ICO process closer in line with traditional venture fundraising and making it increasingly difficult to raise off the back of a white paper. This trend will be supported by the development of ICO platforms such as Bitcoin X .
ICOs have changed the world of venture capital. On the other hand, few if any recently financed distributed applications are running commercially and at scale. On the one hand, bitcoin has seen massive adoption and a huge run-up in prices, leading to institutional buy-in, mass-market appeal and a futures market. 2018 will be the year where the tremendous innovation and promise of blockchain must become real.
In 2018, there will be plenty of opportunities for new ICOs—high-function currencies that build on pioneering work in anonymity, scale and fungibility, product tokens, loyalty tokens, or social tokens like carbon credits—where the tokens represent something of value other than a stake of ownership in a company.
The Blockchain Research Institute, are investigating the ways blockchain promises to transform 10 major industries: financial services, retail and consumer goods, government and democracy, energy, higher education, transportation, manufacturing, media and telecommunications, technology, healthcare, and resources. In all these industries we already see striking innovations piloted by massive organizations.
While cryptocurrency is not necessarily the future, it looks as though blockchain will be. 2018 will be a consolidation year.