When the world heard about cryptocurrencies, most probably didn't realise that they'll end up being worth millions of dollars. And, when everyone started buying their Bitcoins, they probably didn't think of any shortcomings. Sceptics were ramping how cryptocurrencies are not here to stay, and those in the opposite camp continued buying newer cryptocurrencies hoping they will keep rising in price. The questions arose whether cryptocurrencies are the unicorn of the 21st-century or the money of the future. In this article, we will try to answer this question and examine what's in for cryptocurrencies in the future.

We cannot know for sure what the future holds, but perhaps there are some obvious truths we can research to predict the likely prospect for cryptocurrencies. Let's begin by looking at what is a cryptocurrency and what's so desirable about it.

"A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units and verify the transfer of assets."
" ... a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank."

Basically, in the words of Satoshi Nakamoto, it is a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. It's completely decentralised with no server or central authority.  And that's the first point to contemplate while discussing the future of cryptocurrencies.

When considering the future growth of cryptocurrencies, we must look at the regulatory and global pressures. The first issue is the call for regulation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These regulatory bodies have adopted the view that while Bitcoin is not considered security, various ICO tokens are, and therefore they should be subjected to individual scrutiny. Jay Clayton, the chairman of the SEC, made it very clear that ICO tokens should be sold in full compliance with the SEC guidelines.  The second issue is that of global pressure. Trade tensions, central banks tightening up policies, Brexit drama all contribute to declined market liquidity. This strongly affects the price of cryptocurrencies. And when you top it with the Google ban on cryptocurrency ads, you will understand how limited they are in their unregulated spectrum. Many fans of the cryptocurrencies would say for one to ignore the noise and trust the code. However, there is a severe threat in all of this, to how the cryptocurrencies function. Namely, if anyone tries to control or regulate cryptocurrencies, they will no longer be decentralised. And it is the privacy aspect to the cryptocurrency transactions that makes them so desirable.

When you pair the regulatory pressures with the market sentiment, you'll understand that maybe crypto is not likely to pick up its pace as fast as its fans would like to. The reason for that is the mood of the crowds that bought cryptocurrencies back in 2017. Majority buyers thought that cryptocurrencies would continue rising in price, and they could never crash. When the crash followed it took most buyers by surprise. Now you need to think if they’re likely to continue?

Moreover, many ICOs that promised prominent future crashed together with the market and the coins that were sold never reached its speculative potential. Hence, when considering the question above you must also take into account the mistrust among investors.
Yet, among losers, we might see some huge winners, just like in the late 90s we saw the .com bubble. Back then we saw an increase in value when a company added .com to its name, now we see a similar occurrence with "blockchain." Most .com projects turned to dust, but others succeeded massively, like Amazon or eBay for example. So if you're feeling pessimistic reading this article, don't give up your hopes just yet. This technology does have a lot of potential!

Imagine that many universities and countries see a bright future for cryptocurrencies, and they will continue to be integrating cryptocurrencies into the world of ordinary paper, coin and electronic money.

I think that many innovative projects will be exposed to scepticism. And in a way, I understand why, but to me the solution is simple. Firstly, cryptocurrency tech specialists should address the lawmakers' dilemmas to make the technology somewhat more reliable. We all remember the scandal involving the dark web. It gave a poor image of Bitcoin implying that it is used to support illicit transactions. Secondly, tech specialists should come up with an idea of how to reduce the costs of mining, which brings us to the last thing I wish to touch upon before we wrap up.

Recently, the Bitcoin hash rate also started to drop because many miners are not able to bear the mining costs after the BTC price fall. Reports say that the average mining cost of BTC is around 7000 USD. The price is an obstacle. If miners cannot mine, that means that the supply and demand curve could stagger and the demand relationship could be disrupted.

All of the above points sum up the facts that might impede or accelerate the growth of the cryptocurrency market. And I will understand if you have more questions than answers after reading this article. I believe that we haven't seen everything from cryptocurrencies just yet, and despite the somehow negative outlooks, we must remember that cryptocurrencies are in a way unpredictable and we might see them come back in style. If you're interested in them, do your research, as the time to buy might be just around the corner, and trust the code folks!