2019 was a remarkable year for the Blockchain and crypto space. We saw the birth of new alliances, new crypto trading products, Bitcoin and Ethereum survived the bear market.
The U.S. Congress and foreign central banks are paying close attention to the benefits of blockchain and digital assets. Even China has entered the blockchain race in full force by spending billions on innovation.
The largest financial companies in the world are building on blockchain and this trend is not slowing down.
Let’s have a look at some trends that will shape the blockchain ecosystem in 2020.
Lightning network is a layer-2 payment protocol that is implemented on any blockchain-based cryptocurrency. It paves the way for instant bitcoin transaction settlements.
The protocol uses off-chain data to catalyze the transaction speed and also decreases the associated charges.
In the year to come, we will be witnessing the establishment of more nodes, channels, and applications that build on lightning network infrastructure, thereby acquainting us with unforeseen market efficiency.
Crypto derivatives have now substantially grown in size and accessibility. Earlier, there were just a few exchanges offering them, today a majority enable their investors to trade in futures as well as options for large-cap cryptocurrencies.
This development will make the market more competitive in 2020 as more exchanges jump into space.
Decentralized finance also known as DeFi is the way to go forward given its wide-ranging advantages. DeFi projects have now crossed the value of $650 million.
Though it was beyond belief a few years ago, trust-less and secure provisions of financial services have now introduced fresh lending and margin trading facilities.
It has enabled traders to easily switch between different debt positions.
Ethereum 2.0’s phase has now reached the final phase of testing with the launch of public multi-client test-nest. Thankfully, the teams spearheading the development of clients and components have paid close attention to the feedback given by the community.
They also have been actively giving updates about the developments. This has generated confidence around the novel Ethereum blockchain.
Privacy in Transactions
There has been an increasing concern around privacy of transactions within the market. Thankfully, we have also seen the development of privacy tools to serve the purpose.
For instance, Ernst & Young have developed Nightfall for private transactions over the Ethereum ecosystem. It is a prime example of how various companies will be driving their transactions via public main-net with zero-knowledge privacy protocols in place.
We will see considerable momentum on this front as well as multi-party computations.
Wyoming, a state in the US, has enacted around 13 laws around blockchain and cryptocurrencies over the past two years. And suddenly, the least populous state of the US has become a global hotbed for cryptocurrency companies.
This is because these regulations are digital-banking-friendly and distinguish digital assets into three different categories. It barely came as a surprise as other US states and regulatory bodies followed suit.
We can anticipate other regulators to do the same in the upcoming year.
Overall, the next year is shaping up to be crucial for the blockchain technology and digital assets ecosystems. We have several main threads to watch out for and 2020 is already promising to be the year when the major blockchain protocols and digital assets continue to grow in usage, metrics and adoption rates.