Over the last few years, cryptocurrency has gradually enhanced its public standing, shifting from a potentially world-altering ideal adopted by a hardcore online base, to a regular headline-maker. Through its ability to, at the very least, remain in the public eye for positive reasons each year, cryptocurrency has proven that it’s not a fad.
While the price of headline cryptocurrencies has everyone from seasoned investors to your average Joe, the influence of coins is growing beyond an investment opportunity. In 2021, there look to be several ways in which the cryptocurrency landscape will continue to change, further making the coins more mainstream and more widely adopted.
A quick look back at 2020
2020 represented another step forward for cryptocurrency as a whole, headlined by the big names of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both of the biggest coins in the game hit all-time high prices last year, whipping up yet another frenzy of adopters. With the big names proving that the world is both interested and ready for cryptocurrency, governments stepped up their efforts to get in the game.
President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, very publicly called for the Euro to turn digital and continues to work towards achieving the feat. Over in China, the process is already a few steps further ahead, with the People’s Bank of China running tests to introduce its own national digital currency forged from the templates of the likes of Bitcoin.
An aspect that could be seen as a step back for the industry, despite its continued success through 2020, was the apparent flop of Blockchain Island. As it already is in online gambling, Malta hoped to become a global leader in the regulation of everything crypto and blockchain, opening to the industry in late 2019. By mid-2020, the vast majority of firms that initially offered up compliance to Maltese legislation haven’t bothered to seek a licence.
Overall, the globe has been very slow to react to and officially announce their stance on cryptocurrencies and virtual financial asset technologies. The longer that major markets remain indifferent or don’t declare an acceptance or rejection, the more difficult it’ll be for companies to know where they stand – especially if government officials suddenly seek to ban or apply unfavourable regulations to the industry.
Surging prices will still be vital
While the advent of cryptocurrency and its underpinning blockchain technology was to usurp dishonest central banks and fiat currencies, crypto price is still vital for exposure right now. As more big names hit the headlines for their record prices, contributing to the ongoing ‘crypto gold rush’, more people will look into the tech, look to invest, and even look beyond the price and into its actual uses.
This year started incredibly well among the crypto hierarchy, with Bitcoin following up on its 2020 quadrupling to smash beyond £22,000 for the first time in its history. One step down the ladder, Ethereum’s price doubled in under a month, hitting a new record of £1,044. Of course, other coins also experienced a surge coming into the New Year, but repeated positive headlines for the most recognised names only enforces the industry.
Social media influencers take a foothold in crypto
? Who let the Doge out ?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2021
For better or for worse, social media influencers have become important avenues of information and advertising in several industries. From Facebook to Instagram, YouTube to Twitter, charismatic people who can connect to an audience are swaying markets, and while the crypto industry hasn’t been immune to influencers, their power is becoming increasingly noticeable.
It’s been found that influencer tweets don’t tend to directly influence price changes in cryptocurrencies, with price changes instead resulting in an increase in Twitter influencer mentions. However, that might be starting to change now that some star power is more openly weighing-in. Through the first two months of 2021 alone, Elon Musk’s tweets about Bitcoin and then the jokingly-made Dogecoin saw colossal price hikes.
More to use cryptocurrencies for their true purpose
With the aim to provide a trustworthy form of currency, the person behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto must be eagerly awaiting the days when the interest in crypto turns to real change in the finance industry. While not exactly widely adopted yet, more people are starting to look to the Cryptocurrency Wallets List to find the best for storage and spending.
A growing number of major companies are accepting crypto payments, but where the trust is truly being shown is via the businesses that expressly deal in the deposits and withdrawals of money: online gambling sites. There are more and more casinos accepting Bitcoin, being cryptocurrency one of the most secure payment methods in the world and guaranteeing it the anonymity every gambler is looking for: there is no connection to personal names, or other private information that could lead back to the user’s identity.
Other major companies that accept cryptocurrencies as the highly-rated casino does include Microsoft, Twitch, Virgin Galactic, and Wikipedia, with more on the way. One of the most significant recent movers into the crypto-revolution is Virtuzone. Seeking to boost the growth of digital tech in the United Arab Emirates, Virtuzone has moved to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for its services of aiding business set-up in the country.
Further government interest and action
Venezuela made waves when its population widely adopted Bitcoin in the face of its economy suffering from hyperinflation. Videos of people selling accessories made of bolívar to give the currency some value made headlines, with the increasingly popular cryptocurrencies poised to make a statement. The nation’s GDP-adjusted peer-to-peer Bitcoin volume outpaced every other nation in the world as of late 2020.
Both Argentina and Iran – countries that have also suffered high annual rates of inflation over the last few years – have significant volumes of P2P Bitcoin transactions, but not anywhere near that of Venezuela. This has been put down to the government getting behind digital currencies, whereas other high-inflation nations like Zimbabwe have actively discouraged adoption.
With the government stance being so influential, those publically embracing cryptocurrencies look to be the next major markets for P2P volume. The likes of Singapore, Ecuador, Tunisia, Senegal, Japan, Russia, Estonia, and Sweden have already issued or are looking to launch national cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, China seeks to go entirely digital, replacing paper tender in its entirety.
Each year marks new milestones across the cryptocurrency industry, with 2021 set to be yet another landmark year for virtual financial assets.