BitClave - 10 Major Events and Trends in the Blockchain Industry in 2017
As the year comes to a close, it’s time for the blockchain community to reflect. It’s time to celebrate the wins and contemplate the losses. The year 2017 has been a year of extraordinary growth, a year of ICOs and VC investments, and a year of security hacks, regulations and skirmishes about forks. Whatever the future brings, everyone in the community will remember the year with great nostalgia.
We’ve picked 10 major events and news that have kept the blockchain community engaged throughout the year:
1. Bitcoin Breaks Records: 2017 will be remembered as the year when bitcoin broke all records. The price has grown more than 1700% since the start of the year. In December, the bitcoin price was flirting with the $20K mark. With the financial market giant CME group starting bitcoin futures trading, there is going to be more excitement surrounding bitcoin in the future.
2. Year of ICOs: The year saw a record number of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). There has been more than $5 billion in ICO funding since the beginning of the year. The decentralized storage network Filecoin raised $257 million, smart contract platform Tezos raised $232 million, decentralized liquidity network Bancor raised $153 million and decentralized search engine BitClave raised $25,5 million. Token sale chatter has dominated all the blockchain discussion channels throughout the year.
3. Bans and Regulations: It wasn’t all sunny in blockchain world. Dark clouds of bans and regulations hang on the horizon. China banned all cryptocurrency exchanges in September. In December, South Korean regulators banned bitcoin futures trading. Banks in Kuwait, Nigeria, and Columbia are also not trading in cryptocurrencies. Regulators have become more active in Japan, Australia, US and the European Union.
4. Year of Large Hacks: In November, Parity Technologies, an ethereum-based company, was hacked and $156 million funds were frozen. It is the largest blockchain hack to date. The South Korean exchange Youbit filed for bankruptcy after thieves walked away with $35 million in April. Nicehash lost $70 million and Bitfinex lost $60 million to bitcoin hackers. Security issues continued to plague the blockchain industry this year.
5. The Rise of Decentralized Exchanges: Due to security concerns, we saw the rise of decentralized and “trustless” exchanges. KyberNetwork is one of the frontiers of this movement. Bitsquare is another decentralized exchange that is gaining popularity.
6. More Acceptance of Blockchain: JPMorgan integrated its privately developed Quorum blockchain with zcash. Governments around the world are also actively seeking ways to integrate blockchains into their countries. The governments of Dubai, Estonia, and Georgia have started blockchain projects to improve their government operations.
7. IBM Blockchain For Banks: IBM has started to operate a blockchain based payment technology for a network of banks in the South Pacific. The cross-border money movement is speeding up transactions in that region.
8. The SegWit2X Skirmish: In November, Bitcoin SegWit2X hard fork was supposed to happen. Everyone was getting ready for the impact. But the plan was suspended last minute.
9. NVIDIA Rises on Mining Strength: NVIDIA stocks have seen a significant increase this year because miners are rushing to buy NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards to improve their mining power.
10. Overstock Benefits from Cryptocurrency Adoption: Overstock stock prices skyrocketed after it started to accept cryptocurrencies. It is the first major retailer to accept various digital currencies as payment options.
Overall, 2017 has been a roller coaster ride for the blockchain industry. And there is no sign of slowing down. Next year, expect the unexpected, hold on to your digital wallets and enjoy the ride.