Cryptocurrencies made it mainstream in 2017 after Bitcoin and other altcoins went into a bull run. Bitcoin from around $1,000 went all the way to near $20K level. Many recognized this as an opportunity to experience profits as well. Unfortunately, the next year was quite difficult for a number of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. Bitcoin lost almost 90% of its peak value.
There were many issues surrounding the crypto industry from the lack of regulatory clarity to scams. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has been doing its best to go after those bad apples over the last year. It even went after celebrities such as Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled who promoted an ICO without disclosing that they were actually paid by the company.
Another issue in the industry was the lack of adoption. Adoption goes hand in hand with rules and regulations in the industry. But over the course of more than 12 months, since Bitcoin reached its all-time high, things are looking different.
Visa and Blockchain
Big companies adopting blockchain is a huge deal for the industry. In 2016, Visa announced that it had plans of having a blockchain-powered business-to-business payment service. Called Visa B2B Connect network, this was developed by Visa alongside the startup Chain.
The blockchain-based product is looking to cater to up to 30 markets according to reports. Also, there are 90 corridors that are expected to be covered by the end of 2019. The reason for setting up this blockchain product is to skip the slow banking process when it comes to international payments.
According to Kevin Phalen who is the SVP Global Head of Visa Business Solutions “By creating a solution that facilitates direct, bank to bank transactions, we are eliminating friction associated with key industry pain points”.
In 2015, Visa played a major role in funding Chain $30 million. Subsequently, Chain helped Visa during the initial part of the project. However, Visa also took Hyperledger Fabric’s help because of its notable role in helping IBM.
Ripple has also tried to solve the same problems with banks especially when it involves cross-border transactions. Ripple has partnered with different banks including Santander and companies such as Western Union hoping to minimize the cost of cross-border transactions.
JP Morgan Coin And Facebook
Facebook and JP Morgan have also been involved in recent developments in the industry. Facebook has been developing its very own cryptocurrency while the same goes for JP Morgan. JP Morgan Coin is a stablecoin which is a cryptocurrency that is backed by fiat. And though these coins are nothing like Bitcoin, it has helped boost the popularity of the technology.
Currently, Bitcoin has reached above $8,000. In the last six months, Bitcoin has already surpassed expectations. However, recently, Bitcoin has been struggling and has been trapped mostly around $7,500 to $8,100 level.
What could be next for the cryptocurrency? Could adoption bring Bitcoin towards its all-time high or even higher?
Tom Lee believes that it is possible to see Bitcoin higher than ever. Given the trajectory of the cryptocurrency in recent months, not to mention developments in its adoption, could this become reality?