Security Token Offerings (STOs)
2018 was the year where the door opened for security tokens (STO) and according to Nasdaq, is “set to take centre stage in 2019”. There will be more infrastructure set in place with the likes of security token exchanges, which will either come in the form of standalone exchanges or as new parts of existing platforms. A shift from ICO to STO is already happening with the need for more stable and safe investment opportunities that is paving the way for STOs.
An STO allows consumers to purchase digital coins or tokens as part of a public offering, just as they would in an ICO. However, unlike many ICOs, these tokens will be backed by a tangible element, such as assets, profits, or revenue in a company.
Positive Institutional Responses
There is a growing trend in institutional investors as they are more comfortable with steady growth as compared to rapid fluctuations in the crypto market. Most noticeably, 2019 will introduce Bakkt Bitcoin Futures. This is hoped to be the gateway for institutional investors and different financial products are being developed to cater to this segment.
Bitcoin futures taking the next step
Major exchanges such as Bakkt and the NASDAQ are preparing to open futures contracts offer a new service with new implications. Bakkt, owned by Intercontinental Exchange, which also owns the NYSE is a futures trading and storage platform for crypto contracts. Many expected that the exchange would launch in Q4 2018, but now the date has been tentatively set for mid-2019.
Stablecoins continuing to be a thing
Stablecoins will continue to be an ongoing trend in 2019 particularly with new players coming into the market such as Facebook developing it’s own stablecoin for remittances.
Growth in gaming
CryptoKitties proved to be a hit in 2018, showing the potential of blockchain-based gaming. Gamers are arguably a great target audience for blockchain applications like cryptocurrencies as they are used to online payments and dealing with virtual currencies that exist within a digital ecosystem. Blockchain has provided the opportunity for the gaming industry something it was lacking for a long time — stability. Considering every few weeks a scandal about data leaks takes shape, this is a long-awaited change which is particularly important for the online betting and gaming industry.
While 2018 has been tough for cryptos, this year may finish the process of maturation and is shaping up to be an exciting time for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.