2017 was bitcoin’s year, that is for sure. 2018 might, however, be a different playground all together as an anticipated theme that will dominate it will be the likelihood of another currency fitting into bitcoin’s rather large shoes. This does not necessarily mean that bitcoin is going to be outed from the crypto world – hell, that might even be impossible. The implication would be that other cryptocurrencies would match up or even exceed bitcoin’s success in 2017 thanks to the possibility of mainstream acceptance and use of bitcoin. Practically everyone has an idea about what bitcoin is and with educational endeavors being pursued by various governments to enlighten people about the concept of crypto there should be a great shift in mindsets and general use of cryptocurrencies.
An interesting candidate, in this case, is the lesser-known Ripple which is apparently making the best claim for bitcoin’s mantle. But why do we say interesting? Well, from certain point of views, Ripple is an unlikely contender being that it is not strictly a cryptocurrency like other popular ones such as Ethereum, Litecoin or even Dash. Ripple is not mined unlike the others and at the moment, it is trading at $2.10. While this price might seem meager, in 2017 Ripple (XRP) reached up to a mind-blowing 33,243% which clearly illustrates its potential. One significant similarity it bears with bitcoin is the cap – there is a total of 100 billion Ripple tokens, about 60 percent of which are owned by Ripple Labs and the remaining roughly 40 percent in circulation. What makes it a great candidate is the tokens role of acting as some sort of bridging currency for fiat coupled with its unique design that facilitates speedy, low-cost and international bank-to-bank payments.
It is even rumored that Ripple will soon feature on Coinbase. This is a golden opportunity as the market is very eager to see products from blockchain projects and Ripple is likely to be one of the nearest to achieving that.
Bank of England May Issues Its Own Cryptocurrency
Instead of banking on options like Ripple or Bitcoin Cash, the Bank of England might approve its own bitcoin-like currency next year. To this effect, the bank has set up a research unit to look into the prospects of introducing a digital currency that is linked to the sterling. This particular currency will be pegged to the sterling and underpinned by the Bank of England thus making it, to a very large extent, less volatile than bitcoin.
While an underpinned digital currency is not really an appealing concept for avid crypto followers, a Bank of England issued digital currency will allow people to keep their money in digital form within the bank itself rather than relying on retail banks. Furthermore, large financial transactions such as real-estate purchases will be possible in nanoseconds.
All this is very promising and even exciting. However, the extent to which any of the currencies – crypto or not – will be a success is dependent on their transparency and independence from the control of the government and financial institutions. These factors are, after all, the foundation of bitcoin and its success.