Last year was supposed to be the year of blockchain. But bitcoin’s belly flop put a damper on public interest and mainstream adoption remains elusive. But blockchain pioneers made some important strides in 2018, and people are now using it to vote, deal in fine art, and microfinance entrepreneurs in refugee camps. Crypto evolved and even became a national currency for the first time.
The rough year for bitcoin and cryptos was offset by the hard work and creative developments from some very bright minds. These are the leaders and influencers taking crypto into the future this year.
Baldet left a high profile job developing blockchain for JP Morgan so she could launch her own dapp platform. She made Forbes’ 40 Under 40 list, and advocates for building bridges between the public and private sectors when it comes to blockchain implementation. Now she’s forecasting a dark vision of the future under surveillance capitalism, and giving us the keys to navigating it by thinking about our personal data as the new money.
As Forbes’ senior crypto editor, Shin was the first mainstream journalist to cover crypto and blockchain full time. Now she’s the host of the popular crypto podcasts Unchained and Unconfirmed, platforms she uses to talk crypto with key players, CEOs, cofounders, and the minds behind crypto’s most important developments. Look for her upcoming book about the history of the crypto space.
Lamison-White was just granted a patent for a system that uses hedge accounts to stabilize your crypto holdings. And he showed real foresight by designing the system and applying for the patent in 2014 when crypto was young. Meanwhile, he founded Pareto Network, which services crypto investors with real-time intel. In his Block Telegraph column, he recently posited that investment is getting safer as small startups and big fintech company R&D are working together to bring greater transparency, privacy, security and stability to crypto.
Balina just completed his 2018 Crypto World Tour, evangelizing for crypto in every corner of the globe. He’s made a considerable footprint in the crypto space, an investor-influencer known for making four million dollars in one year through crypto holdings, losing half of it to hackers, and bouncing back just as quickly. He also serves on the advisory board to several blockchain and crypto companies. This year keep an eye out for new book announcements, and upcoming spreadsheet app, and a musical album.
Wolfson is a crypto journalist writing about blockchain for Forbes, and she podcasts as The Crypto Chick. Her articles track developments like blockchain’s implementation in pharmaceuticals, its impact on the art world, and how blockchain can help with the ethical sourcing of conflict raw materials for electronics. She recently spoke with Digital Trends Live about crypto-loaded prepaid credit cards for those who don’t use bank accounts, and she assures us that for 2019 blockchain is here to stay.
Ali’s Ph.D. dissertation, Trust-to-Trust Design of a New Internet, imagines a new internet that doesn’t require the trust of its users. And it’s not just theoretical. He took a leave of absence from researching at Princeton to launch Blockstack, a platform for building decentralized, user-controlled apps. It fulfills in reality what his dissertation proposes in theory: that a new internet is possible. If blockchain really is going to be the biggest tech revolution since the internet itself, this is how it will happen.
Lee is known for founding the popular crypto Litecoin, in an effort to improve upon bitcoin and other early altcoins. He recently stated that if crypto isn’t vulnerable to 51 percent attacks, it’s not really decentralized. Follow him for thought-provoking perspectives on crypto developments.
‘CZ’ founded Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. So his thoughts might matter if you watch crypto.
“2018 was a tough year,” says CZ, “but we have a longer-term outlook for our industry. The builders have been building in 2018, so for 2019, I think we will see a lot of real products and real applications coming into the market.”
It may have been a bear market, a crypto winter, or simply a tough year, but 2019 is here and full of new promise. Let these influencers keep you up to speed as we build on the lessons we learned in the last year.
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Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.
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The Top 5 Barriers to Mass Adoption – And How to Overcome Them
You can’t write an article about crypto without mentioning the latest market massacre. That would be like not talking about the elephant in the room. Many people in the industry are still too new to remember Bitcoin’s many bubbles. Yet this latest one is so epic because of the amount of money bleeding out. But is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Could bitcoin’s plummeting price hold the key to mass adoption?
Let’s take a look at the various factors getting in the way of mass adoption and how a lower price–along with removing these other obstacles–could be the trigger to crypto’s recovery.
This time last year, Bitcoin was approaching its all-time high of almost $20,000. Now it’s flirting with $3,000 with some analysts calling for a low of $1,500. That’s a staggering drop by anyone’s standards.
While there’s every possibility that the price will skyrocket back up again, such fluctuations are not for the faint-hearted. They’re also not suitable for use as a currency.
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5 Token Launch Platforms to Consider
Token Launch platforms take away all the pain of designing tokens and developing smart contracts for ICOs. Thanks to the rise of UI/UX developers, you can create an ICO by simply choosing from drop-down menus. All of the token launch platforms reviewed below boast that you do not need to know to code to conduct your ICO.
This level of client-centricity is a welcome change in the ICO development phase which earlier stalled projects due to contract development issues. With time, that token launch platforms will begin to provide the level of customization expected by ICOs. The Blockchain space evolves rapidly and the route to success is paved with the number of your successful clients.
I reviewed 5 token launch platforms and rated them according to the following metrics:
- UI/UX — 10 points
- Features — 10 points
- KYC integration — 10 points
- Pricing — 10 points
Without further ado, let’s see how the top token launch platforms fared.
Arguably the grand-daddy of token launch platforms, Polymath specializes in security tokens. While ICOs vs STOs is a debate for another article, I sit firmly on the fence, for now. The Polymath platform requires…
Stellar (XLM) Primed to Dominate Crypto Markets Moving Forward
Earlier on in the year, the team at Stellar (XLM) anticipated that the number of transactions on the network was going to increase in volume. This is an indicator that they probably had expected good developments with IBM such as the cross-border payments that aim to become near-instant thanks to the Stellar blockchain.
For Stellar to keep up with the demand of a high throughput on its network, the team at the foundation have plans to implement the Lightning protocol by December 1st this year. The need to scale is in tandem with the foundation’s goal of wanting Stellar to become the world’s digital payment rail thus setting the stage for a Stellar vs. Ripple showdown in the remittance industry.
Scaling through Lightning
Lightning was originally proposed for the Bitcoin blockchain, but it has found its uses also on the network of Litecoin and Stellar by this December. Lightning works by allowing users to make off-chain payments through routers and hubs. This then means that Lightning can support cross-protocol payments from one blockchain to another. A user in the Bitcoin network can send to a receiver who wishes to receive XLM on the Stellar Network.
The developers at Stellar have been busy creating payment channels on other blockchains beyond Bitcoin. They include those of Ethereum and ZCash.…
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