2016 has been one of the more exciting years in the blockchain space with Bitcoin rising triumphantly, Ethereum grabbing everyone’s attention, Zcash finally launching and blockchain going mainstream.
Not lacking its share of drama, including millions allegedly stolen from Bitfinex and an attempted theft of the Slockit DAO funds, few other years contain the excitement of the ever-rising ether price during this summer, Zcash trading frenzy, an ever-increasing bitcoin price to near its all-time high and even a rise for Monero.
2017 might hopefully give us a solution to the scalability debate with the new Trump administration likely to be much more friendly to bitcoin and the wider Fintech scene. Hopefully, he will change IRS’s policy of double taxation, scrap BitLicense and implement a sandbox in line with UK’s forward-looking Fintech approach.
The many ethereum projects that have launched will now be tried and tested in a real-world environment with some potentially reaching a critical mass. Many new ones are to be expected as experimentation with the full potential of blockchain technology continues.
Equally, household brands that have this year experimented with integrating blockchain technology may begin pilots with small samples of real customers in preparation for potential full-scale deployment in the coming years.
There is every reason to be excited for 2017. Constant monetary mismanagement from countries such as China, India, Brazil, Venezuela and Nigeria might lead to bitcoin reaching a tipping point this year. Blockchain technology has already gone mainstream among CEOs and industry leaders, with its greater awareness reflecting on bitcoin, ethereum and other public blockchains. This will probably continue with zcash’s return of privacy to public and private blockchains addressing one of the main criticism by businesses looking to adopt this technology. And, quite importantly, US regulators are now likely to be very friendly to this space, accelerating development and innovation in the country that has most demand for blockchain technology as well as the highest level of talent.
As a new year arrives, the blockchain space now has the opportunity to renew and re-energize itself, as well as re-focus towards driving forward this technology for the benefit of all.
Happy New Year!