Making predictions for anything is like walking a tightrope: too wild, and you’re probably wrong; too conservative and you’re just restating the obvious. Here though, we can at least exercise the fine art of learning from our experiences in 2014, Bitcoin’s most eventful year to date.
It will also give everyone something juicy to write about in late December when things are otherwise quiet.
1. The Bitcoin Price
Naturally, the most exciting thing to predict, since it’s so easy to just throw out numbers and even easier to be way, way off. And, there’s a 0% chance of being right if you don’t make any prediction….So, bitcoin prices will gradually fall into the $200s. There is a reasonable chance that they’ll break through $200 as well.
It would be too much to predict their extreme highs/lows, or where they will close the year at. But we can safely rule out rises to $5,000-$10,000. Even the most encouraging of news has failed to raise prices, and the era of speculative euphoria seems to have been exhausted.
We can also rule out doomsday scenarios of a crash to $1.
With several hundred already in existence, people no longer notice if a few more are created or go missing. Followers have grown weary, and pumpers are getting bored and moving on to their next fad. Therefore, their pace of (noticeable) generation will slow down in 2015. The prices of most will trend downward. A select few will remain resilient or even appreciate in value.
The aforementioned does not include tokens created with Bitcoin 2.0 platforms, which will proliferate during the year.
3. Bitcoin 2.0
2013 was the year when altcoin growth just started ramping up, with a maturing in the first half of 2014. Similarly for Bitcoin 2.0, 2014 was their breakout year and 2015 will likely witness several new additions, including clones of existing protocols.
A select few will lead the pack as they emerge as realistic candidates for real world applications.
4. Venture Investment
With the hundreds of millions already invested in 2014, it is tempting to say that the market will take a step back and give the companies time to execute on their plans. There will be some more deals, but few of the $xx,000,000 variety. The total dollars invested will be lower. We will however see an acceleration in….
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5. Crypto Crowdfunding
Crypto and crowdfunding were made for each other, both when it comes to the investment process as well as the nature of the startups. We will see much more of this is 2015. But we should not forget about….
6. The SEC
Their crackdown on non-registered shares issuance has only scratched the surface, and we will likely see wider activity.
7. GAW, Paycoin, Hashlets, etc.
The Paycoin game has evolved at an equally rapid pace as the Hashlet program, and will likely “transition” to the next round as quickly as it came- all while the crypto community remains distracted by the latest saga. Alternatively, (1) One day without warning, everything disappears without a trace, including its (very rich) tweet history, Hashtalk and other satellite proxies (this may be a trivial point since the extent of true business activity is unknown), and CEO not to be found, or (2) a sudden, Alex Green/Ryan Kennedy-like declaration of insolvency, accompanied with similar side effects as in (1).
8. Hacking, Theft, Invasive Mining
The game of cat and mouse will continue. However, a lack of awareness was to blame until now. As the industry learns from mistakes of the past, it is finding itself with the upper hand. Ironically, the “centralization” of the decentralized currency into large, bank-like entities like Coinbase will help as they make progress with features like multisig.
We won’t see another MtGox, but we will see more incidents at altcoin exchanges.
Hackers (and authorities) will continue to exploit flaws in Tor….
9. The Dark Net
….And so Silk Road 3.0’s and other dark net sites will be cracked by authorities, and the occasional hacker will get his fill of bitcoins.
Nothing earth-shattering will happen. Jurisdictions will issue varying money licensing requirements, and there will be some differences as to where to draw the line between currency/property for tax purposes.