2021 was a year of significant volatility for cryptocurrencies due to multiple factors, including regulatory changes in China and Elon Musk’s realization of the negative environmental impact caused by cryptocurrency mining. Last year, the value of Bitcoin reached all-time highs before plummeting in May. Late last year, Ethereum also reached a new all-time high. According to the World Economic Forum, there are 18,142 cryptocurrencies today along with 460 crypto exchanges and the total market capitalization of digital currencies is at a staggering $1.7 trillion, with over $90 billion traded each day. However, the industry is still in its infancy and is constantly evolving, making it difficult to predict where things will go in the long run. Given the market size and growing interest in digital assets, government officials around the world are working on cryptocurrency regulations. The future looks promising for this sector but investors would still have to act cautiously to make the most of this opportunity.
Policy decisions and innovation will be key
Lawmakers are debating over laws and guidelines to make cryptocurrency safer for investors and less prone to cybercrimes. President Biden's bipartisan infrastructure bill, signed in November, includes crypto tax reporting provisions to make it easier for the IRS to track crypto activity in the U.S. Although regulatory changes can affect cryptocurrency prices, industry experts believe that regulation is beneficial to the industry in the long run. President Biden recently signed an executive order ensuring the responsible development of digital assets allowing the government to explore and engage in cryptocurrency research to develop a regulatory framework for digital assets as well as to tackle the risks of digital assets and their technology. Although international organizations have been working on analyzing risks and relevant policy, there is currently no internationally coordinated regulation of cryptocurrencies. Officials across the world are keeping an eye on the rising digital asset market and crypto trends intending to stabilize their monetary systems while also encouraging innovation and economic progress. Many start-ups, on the other hand, are also working toward this goal by providing advanced and secure solutions. A good example is Exberry, an Israeli startup that provides exchange and trading technology expertise to exchanges, banks, digital securities, and marketplaces. The current infrastructure is out of date and does not provide an adequate solution to the rapidly changing and expanding marketplaces. Exberry serves this market by providing a deep-tech trading infrastructure that trading platforms can use to quickly create new digital asset trading platforms without needing to start one from scratch.
As digital assets become more widely accepted, many financial institutions are having difficulty adopting them due to a lack of infrastructure and a timely and complicated adoption process.
In addition to these innovative, young companies, well-established players in the industry such as Coinbase have introduced a plethora of new tools over the last 12 months to help both retail and institutional investors embrace digital assets. Since the industry is still at an infant stage, it would be reasonable to assume that companies involved actively in this space will enjoy a long runway for growth.
Despite regulatory challenges, the crypto market has already seen a significant breakthrough, with the first Bitcoin ETF debuting on the New York Stock Exchange last October. This ETF enables investors to purchase cryptocurrency directly from traditional investment brokerages. In 2021, mainstream companies from a variety of industries were able to invest in cryptocurrency and blockchain due to ongoing developments in the crypto market and emerging technologies. However, cryptocurrencies are more vulnerable to external market factors such as inflation, taxes, regulatory changes, and overall stock market performance. Economic concerns may cause a shift to safer alternatives, which could affect the price of digital assets in the short run. This does not imply that the market outlook is bleak as investors should ideally be focused on the long run.