As is the practice at the beginning of every year, people begin to assess what the year has in store for various industries. The same can be said of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. Several trends are already springing up regarding the digital asset which enthusiasts and investors cannot miss. Outlined below are four of them.
1. Bitcoin-Friendly ATMs Becoming More Popular
Going by the numerous reports available, 2019 will witness the presence of more Bitcoin ATMs across cities in the United States. Recently, Chicago received 30 new machines, totaling 100 Bitcoin ATMs in the city, with Philadelphia having a similar amount.
As the number of crypto dedicated ATMs grow, it is expected that crypto adoption will also be on the rise. People who have been skeptical of Bitcoin in the past could be encouraged by the ATMs to finally invest in the digital asset while old users will begin to use the cryptocurrency more extensively than before.
2. Central Banks Becoming More Involved With Cryptocurrencies
One of Bitcoin’s selling point is the ability to use it without owning bank accounts. But in 2019, a trend being noticed is the support which central banks are now showing to cryptocurrencies by way of supplementing them with their gold reserves.
The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, in 2018 suggested that cryptocurrencies should be issued by central banks. 2019 may not be sufficient for this trend to achieve full adoption, but a better relationship between central banks and virtual currencies will be a good win for the year.
3. More Smartphones Now Store Bitcoin
Tech companies are not left behind in the Bitcoin race as the companies are now making plans to add integrated wallets into smartphones so that they can effectively store bitcoin. Towards the end of 2018, HTC announced a blockchain-friendly phone with a wallet named the Exodus 1. Only with cryptocurrencies could people purchase the phone.
Also, it was recently reported that the Samsung Galaxy S10 and 10+ series comes equipped with a crypto software wallet via the Samsung Blockchain KeyStore, so that crypto users can easily access their investments.
These types of smartphones could be the preferred way of storing Bitcoin in the future, but it’s still too early to conclude.
4. Use of Bitcoin in the Tourism Sector
Recently, there is a growing trend of Bitcoin use by tourist when they travel, and this is being encouraged by both companies and localities. Germany’s tourism board, in March 2018, included Bitcoin as one of the payment options it accepts for services rendered.
Talking about localities, an Australian beach town in Central Queensland recently became the first tourist town to be cryptocurrency-friendly.