2019 Best Year for Bitcoin, DeFi’s Growth to Continue – Asian Data Aggregator

Amidst reports that the world’s total debt load has risen to $253 trillion, or 322% of its GDP, and that the price of Bitcoin surged to a two-month high, Asia’s top crypto data aggregator, CoinGecko, has released its year-end report which shows 2019 was not at all bad for the top cryptocurrency. In fact, despite the gloominess the state of the crypto market was painted with in the past year, Bitcoin still ended with a market cap and trading volume on an upward trend as the market gained ~$60 billion compared to the start of the year.

Hence, Bitcoin had its “best performance in 2019 with 95% gains at the end of the year” and followed by Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) which both gained ~40% apiece, the report shows. Its market dominance also increased from 56.3% to 71.5% (+15.2%) amongst the top-30 cryptocurrencies while XRP got squeezed from 12.5% to 4.6% (-7.9%), followed by ETH from 12.0% to 7.7% (-4.3%) while the remainder top 8 to 30 listed coins decreased from 10.6% to 7.9% (-2.7%). It may have been highly volatile (2019 trading range between ~$3,500 to ~$13,000), but Bitcoin emerged as one of 2019’s best-performing asset class and also the best investment of the 2010s. $1 invested in Bitcoin at the start of the decade would be worth over $90,000 by the end of the decade, the report points out.

“2019 saw BigTech getting more involved with blockchain with Facebook taking the lead through Libra,” said Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko. “Central banks worldwide are also actively researching blockchain and China’s Central Bank appears to be leading with its Central Bank Digital Currency. The 2020s certainly promise to provide a lot of excitement as we redefine the concept of money in our economy.”

Though as of press time, BTC is changing hands at $8,516 – its highest point in nearly two months going by CoinDesk BPI data, it is still being debated that the store of value feature of Bitcoin is a given. However, according to data from the Institute of International Finance, the world’s total debt increased by $9 tln in the first three quarters of 2019. This record-high debt has been linked to the weak growth seen by the U.S. and much of the rest of the globe.

The chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, Liz Ann Sonders, tells Axios that the “effect may be a subtle crisis over time…”. If the store of value narrative holds with the debt binge expected to continue (total global debt estimated to exceed $257 tln by Q1 2020), interest in the top cryptocurrency which CoinGecko notes its price movement was largely news driven in 2019 – citing the reaction to China’s President Xi Jinping’s announcement that China will be embracing blockchain – could be predictable.

On what’s to come in the crypto space, the CoinGecko team expects to see strong decentralized finance (or DeFi) growth continuing in 2020. They believe the concept’s current Total Value Locked in DeFi apps on the Ethereum blockchain of over $1 bln would be exceeded. Ong says:

“We will see over 100 DeFi apps by the end of the year and DeFi apps will also appear on other smart contract platforms. However, we will be reminded of the risks of DeFi apps and it would not surprise me if at least 1 DeFi app will get hacked. DeFi insurance / derivative markets will grow as a result to better handle these risks.”

For TRON’s Justin Sun, there is going to be a revolution in the content economy with more creators like PewDiePie switching to decentralized platforms like DLive.

“We are likely to see the rise of democratic content platforms where content creators and users are rewarded for their creativity and engagement,” he says, adding that “blockchain is also going to make a big impact on reducing our carbon footprint, by eliminating the need for ledger documentation and management records kept on paper and therefore reduce our energy consumption.”

BitGo’s Benedict Chan expects consolidation across the industry “as the bear market continues in the first 2 quarters of 2020” while “larger players will likely spend the year getting into position for the next bull run.”

“With the travel rule deadline looming in June 2020 and stablecoin regulation on the horizon, a bifurcation of tokens, companies and even ecosystems between the US and rest-of-world could occur. I’m hoping to see if the halvening could be a catalyst for the Bitcoin store-of-value asset narrative. This, combined with the potential for growth around financial derivatives, prime brokerage, and DeFi could bring us a very exciting year!”

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