A year ago, cryptos were in a frenzy.
People were rushing in as cryptos went on a massive rally. Bitcoin went on to hit almost US$20,000 before dropping down to about US$8.000.
This year, people have lost interest. The truth is that cryptos haven’t moved much, that is, price wise.
The excitement has died down…or at least that’s what it looks like on the surface.
As we have written before, while crypto prices are barely moving, there is a lot going on in the background.
The truth is that cryptos still have some issues.
Yet there are a lot of people getting in on this space and building infrastructure to address them.
And, this could make cryptos stronger.
For one, cryptos are not easy to use on your everyday life. That is because there aren’t that many merchants that accept them.
Some crypto start-ups are looking to change this. One of them trying to attract more people onto crypto is Cyclebit.
As reported by Cointelegraph.com:
‘A “technology enabler” startup known as Cyclebit is aiming to simplify things by enabling stores to serve as “cryptocurrency gateways” – enticing crypto enthusiasts to come and spend their coins with them and inject some new funds into the economy.
‘The idea has already started to gain traction – and Cyclebit is already working with businesses in Europe and South Korea. According to the print version of the Spanish business newspaper Expansión from 16 Oct 2018, the crypto payment technology is being rolled out in Nostrum – a network of 130 coffee shops throughout Spain – which has just started accepting and selling Bitcoin.’
What makes Cyclebit different?
As Cointelegraph continued:
‘Unlike some of the other startups in this space, Cyclebit says it already has access to a working ecosystem provided by Ibox – an omnichannel payment platform that has an annual turnover of $1 billion.’
Cryptos building infrastructure for mass adoption
More merchants accepting cryptos would bring more people onto the space, and mass acceptance would make the market much bigger, and less volatile.
The collapse in price earlier this year has also calmed down the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) frenzy we saw last year.
During the boom, we saw a considerable number of ICOs coming into the market to raise funds.
With less money flowing into the space, ICOs are having a harder time raising money. Instead, they are looking at more traditional ways of funding like venture capitalists. This means projects will need more than just an idea behind them to get funding.
And, Coinbase is looking to help there.
If you are not familiar with Coinbase, it is one of the main digital exchanges with 25 million users. Just to give you an idea of their size, Fidelity has 26.7 million brokerage accounts.
So far Coinbase only supports six different cryptos: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin and 0x.
Now Coinbase recently announced ‘Coinbase Listing’.
What it means is that new crypto projects can apply to get listed on Coinbase. All they need to do is submit an application, and meet Coinbase’s Digital Asset Framework requirements.
The best of this is that, if they qualify, the listing is free. This will make it possible for smaller projects to quickly access Coinbase’s millions of customers.
It will also mean that there could potentially be hundreds of digital assets added to the platform.
And, of course, another issue with cryptos is regulation. Cryptos have been hailed as the currency for criminals, money launderers, terrorists…
Well, as Reuters recently reported, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is looking to set up some rules for cryptos by next June:
‘The global watchdog for money laundering will set up its first rules on oversight of cryptocurrencies by June, a major step towards creating international standards for an asset currently subject to patchy regulations.
‘The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said on Friday jurisdictions worldwide will be required to license or regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and some firms providing encrypted wallets, to help stamp out the use of digital money for money laundering, terrorism financing or other crimes.
‘Firms providing financial services for issuances of new cryptocurrencies – initial coin offerings – must also be subject to the rules, it said.’
And while some countries are banning cryptos, others like Malta, Bermuda, Gibraltar and Switzerland are working hard to attract them. The truth is that they don’t want to miss out.
Bermuda, for example, is looking to generate US$286 million per 1,000 blockchain jobs it creates.
The truth is that we could see more governments regulating cryptos and releasing their own digital currencies.
After all, why shouldn’t they?
It is a great way to increase revenues, get rid of cash and increase surveillance.
Editor, Markets & Money