The sudden rise and fall of cryptocurrencies hit everyone hard in 2018. 2017 saw bitcoin rise 1,400 percent in value, before giving back ~ 70% of gains in 2018. As a result, many are focused on making cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology more useful in 2019, as The Wall Street Journal's Paul Vigna highlighted.
Andy Bromberg, the founder of Coinlist, said a key is “turn[ing] this technology into products for people to use.” Right now, cryptocurrencies and blockchain protocols are still largely used by developers. The developer tools that exist in the traditional tech world for iOS, Android, Windows and more simply don't exist for blockchain protocols. Thus, the creation of more accessible developer toolkits for platforms like Ethereum are crucial, as they would enable products to be built more easily.
Jalak Jobanputra, the founder and managing partner of venture-capital firm Future/Perfect Ventures, believes the new year will promote companies experimenting with the tech. More experimentation can lead to more breakthroughs. She hopes blockchain-based products and services, as well as crypto-based platforms, could potentially challenge iOS and Android.
Early in 2019, things are already looking up for the cryptocurrency market. The launch of a crypto-focused institutional product, Bakkt, was announced on New Year's Eve, a promising start to what will surely be an eventful year.