Happy New Year to you all!

Here comes 2018

At OAX we’re looking forward to a busy 2018, but just now we think it’s worth taking a quick look back at just a few developments from 2017 that we think are significant for how the cryptocurrency market will continue to evolve and mature over 2018.

The first of these has to be the launch of futures trading in bitcoin, Cboe last week and CME on Sunday. Many people are seeing this as representing another step in the maturing of the cryptocurrency market, establishing digital currencies as a recognised asset class. However successful these turn out to be, anything that helps promote better understanding of the area has got to be a good thing.

Futures trading is not the only sign we’ve had this year that digital currencies are moving to the mainstream. Many media outlets, including Bloomberg, have reported that a number of central banks — including the People’s Bank of China and the Bank of England — are looking at using them. This will definitely be something to watch for in 2018.

Regulation of digital currencies is also moving up the agenda. Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, has called for a global approach with joint regulation implemented through the G20 — and his views are supported by many other European governments. Whatever your views on how the market should be regulated, we think this attention should be welcomed as another step in improving understanding of the industry.

The debate around regulation will continue well into 2018, we are sure — and almost certainly beyond. A healthy debate on the topic will be a benefit to all of us. Ongoing, constructive dialogue between industry and regulators should therefore be encouraged and seen as a positive sign for the industry.

Token sales have so far this year raised over USD 3 billion (including our own sale in June of course!): this figure alone shows how far digital currencies have come. The greater profile brought to the industry through the involvement of regulators and big name institutions will all help it develop further, but this is of course not the only way. Innovation is at the heart of digital currencies, and projects like ours will have an increasingly important and high profile role to play in helping create a mature and sustainable future.

2017 has been an eventful year in the world of cryptocurrencies, and with a few weeks still to go there could be more news to come before it’s over. At OAX, we’re aiming to get you more regular updates on the work we’re doing, the people involved and some of our thoughts on the wider industry. There’s a lot been going on behind the scenes as well as at the group sessions and events we’ve attended.

2018 will be a fascinating year for all of us involved as digital currencies move ever closer to the mainstream.