2017 has been an amazing year for Ethereum. Prices has hit an all time high of $800, and it is now the processing nearly double the number of transactions of bitcoin at a million a day.
As we enter 2018, I think Ethereum will be the next Facebook due to the massive amount of use cases that i am finding in major industries that benefit greatly from decentralization & transparency.
Ethereum is basically the app store for blockchain. It allows creators to build and run apps without having to worry about the underlying “operating” system just like Apple.
Here are some of the areas to look out for:
ICOs are the largest real world use case for ethereum. Traditionally, to fund your idea, you would have to borrow money from a bank, give up a lot of equity to a VC, or get an expensive loan from people lending sites. Basically, ICOs is a kickstarter on steroids.
As the founder of fundyourselfnow.com, I have worked with entrepreneurs all over the world on their product to get it ready for their ICOs. Many come from developing nations such as Indonesia (EagleCoin) and India (WandX) where it would have been extremely hard to raise significant funding for their idea due to lack of local investors.
ICOs are democratizing funding and spawning the next wave of innovation from young hungry entrepreneurs all over the world who will eventually contribute back to their local communities for a better future.
Currently, the crypto-currencies are quite hard to spend. Crypto credit card companies such as TenX, Monaco, Tokencard are stepping in to fill in the gap. All of them are built on the ethereum network. I personally hold a TenX Card and have used it to spend on daily goods and services using bitcoin.
Monaco in particular, has gotten official approval from VISA to issue cards to Singapore residents. Expect to see a huge increase in actual cryptocurrency spending & adoption 2018 as many of these crypto-card companies get official approval from VISA or MasterCard.
There has also been a rise of ethereum based lending solutions, such as SALT lending and ETHLend. The interest rates are expected to be fairer than getting from a bank, and people globally can gain access to financing even without a bank account.
I expect that 2018 will be the year where we will help lot of the unbanked get included in this new digital world.
The gambling industry is ripe for disruption. 2017 started off with a very simple dice game, etheroll. You send ether to a smart contract and then you receive winnings in a matter of minutes. Etheroll has over 260,000 ethers wagered so far (Around 2000m USD), which is incredible considering how simple and basic the game is.
The virtual nature of gaming lends itself incredibly well for the blockchain. Many successful gaming companies have started to include tokens in their games/product to fund their gaming ecosystem.
Here are some of the interesting ways on usage of tokens (not exhaustive):
Engin Coin — Used to create virtual goods that people that can on their marketplace. Instead of using “gold” in most games, expect games in 2018 to require you to use their own Ethereum game token to make & trade items.
What more interesting is that with the use of Ethereum tokens for games, this could potentially mean that you could eventually trade items across games. For example, you can trade an Enjin Coin Item for land in decentraland through decentralized exchanges using the ENJ/MANA trade pair. Virtual worlds economies which are currently “silo-ed” could potentially change with the ability to “trade” across worlds.
I see the money flowing into Ethereum and the overall cryptocurrency market as a positive. The technology underpinning Ethereum has a lot of real world usage that has yet to be unlocked and money is being funneled into innovative ethereum projects via ICOs at an incredible rate.
Mark Zuckerburg started facebook at the young age of 20 about 13 years ago, and it has completed changed the way we interact with our friends and family.
Vitalik, founder of Ethereum, started Ethereum also at the young age of 20 too about 3 years ago. I strongly believe that within the next 10 years, Ethereum will radically change the we interact with our world.
Happy New Year to everyone!