2019 was an excellent year for the crypto and blockchain industries. Not only is the price of Bitcoin up more than 100% YTD, but some of the largest companies and most powerful nations in the world have made significant investments in the space. I’m confident that the next decade will be even more monumental, and I’m excited to continue to build Voyager and introduce more people to this revolutionary technology.

What comes next for the crypto market? While I have no magic crystal ball, I predict that this year, there will be a rise in national digital currencies, a bull run following Bitcoin’s halving, increased regulation around the world, and more. Keep reading for my top 2020 crypto predictions.

Stablecoin Growth

In 2019, Facebook announced its plans to launch Libra, a new digital currency backed by a mix of stable assets. While regulators around the world voiced their concerns with Libra and its parent company, reports emerged that China was getting close to releasing its own cryptocurrency, the Digital Yuan.

In a race to keep up with China, other countries will start developing national digital currencies in 2020. In the U.S., lawmakers have already formally asked the Federal Reserve to consider a national digital currency, and my prediction is that these efforts will accelerate this year.

U.S. dollar-backed stablecoins like USDC, USDT, and TUSD will also gain popularity as the crypto lending market continues to grow and businesses look for less volatile ways to move money in and out of crypto.

Exchange Consolidation

The past two years have been all about building on-ramps for people to trade and invest in cryptocurrencies. Following the 2017 bull market, a plethora of shady exchanges emerged that overlooked regulations and proper security measures to get to the market and obtain customers fast. In 2019, there was an increase in government crackdowns on exchanges, forcing many to shut down in the U.S. permanently or until they received the necessary licenses.  

In 2020, regulators will be even more stringent, forcing more exchanges and crypto platforms to shut down or consolidate. In my opinion, this shift will bring much-needed maturity and trust to the crypto market, and therefore, new customers.

Crypto Payments

Digital shopping is booming like never before. In 2019, E-Commerce brought in $3.53 trillion in business, and in 2020, that number is expected to rise to $5.69 trillion. The payments industry is rapidly evolving to support the speed and 24/7 service customers are demanding.

Crypto has the potential to solve many of the issues the payments industry is facing like high fees, slow transaction speeds, fraud risks, and more. There are a lot of great companies building the foundation to bring crypto payments mainstream. In 2020, I think crypto payments will become more user-friendly and widely used – with crypto funded debit cards and the lightning network increasing in popularity. More businesses will start accepting crypto, and peer-to-peer transactions will likely see a growth spurt.

Halving Run

Bitcoin is approaching its third halving, an event where the block reward for miners reduces by half. In May 2020, Bitcoin’s mining reward will drop from 12.5 to 6.25.

Historically, each halving event has resulted in significant price increases for Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market. In the year following the first halving, Bitcoin gained nearly 8,000%. Four years later, the second halving helped catapult 2017’s bull run.

Following this year’s halving, I predict the crypto market will spike as a supply shock sets in and the demand for Bitcoin becomes greater than the supply. The results of the halving will not be immediate, but I’m confident that in the 24-months following, we’ll see a new bull cycle.

Crypto for Charity

Cryptocurrencies offer charities a unique set of value propositions due to their immutability, transparency, and transaction security, and some of the largest organizations in America are catching on.

A recent report from the Block found that 12% of the top 100 charities in America accept Bitcoin, including Save the Children, United Way, and the Red Cross. Fidelity Charitable, which didn’t make the list, reported in August that it had received over $100 million in crypto donations since its inception.

While these numbers are still relatively low in comparison to fiat currency, they represent a massive opportunity for growth. I predict that in 2020 there will be a significant spike in crypto donations and the number of charities that accept it as more organizations begin to understand its unique benefits.

Crypto has a way of proving people wrong, and my predictions are likely no exception, but that’s exactly what makes this industry so exciting. Whether I’m right or way off, I’m looking forward to another year!

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The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to Voyager Digital or any Voyager subsidiaries. Please do your own research and consult with an investment professional before making investment decisions.