The first half of 2020 was packed with events, updates and developments that will have a lasting impact on the cryptocurrency and blockchain scene for many years to come.
From Bitcoin’s much awaited Halving in May 2020, to the price swings of cryptocurrencies in during global stock market downturn in March 2020, and the official launch of regulations for blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses — legally known as Digital Payment Tokens (DPT) — in Singapore, there was certainly no lack of interesting news in the space.
Now that the second half of 2020 is already underway, here are some key cryptocurrency and blockchain developments that we recommend everyone to keep a lookout for in the second half of 2020.
1. Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum’s equivalent of Bitcoin’s Halving earlier in the year?
While Ethereum 2.0 has yet to make the headlines like that of the run up to Bitcoin’s Halving, it is actually a significant milestone for the entire cryptocurrency space.
Ethereum 2.0 will see the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization decoupling from a ‘proof-of-work’ consensus model to ‘proof-of-stake’.
The ‘proof-of-work ’consensus model has been fundamental to the development of cryptocurrency projects since the launch of Bitcoin introduced it in 2009 and Ethereum has been operating on ‘proof-of-work’ since 2015. The Ethereum community, however, believes that a ‘proof-of-stake’ model will improve upon the Ethereum network, and this transition is estimated to take place at the end of July 2020.
What will this mean for Ethereum and all the projects developed on an ERC standard? How will a ‘proof-of-stake’ consensus model work for one of the largest blockchains in the world?
2. Bitcoin Halving’s Impact
Bitcoin’s Halving in May 2020 was one of the most hyped blockchain/cryptocurrency events for the first half of 2020. From mainstream media outlets, to reddit and discord threads, there was no lack of coverage of the Halving.
Prior to the launch, we were also able to identify several trending discussions which pointed towards more medium to long term impacts of the Halving.
From predictions of the Halving’s deflationary mechanism having an impact on Bitcoin’s prices going into 2021, to potentially higher transaction fees, will these all come true for the most popular cryptocurrency till date? What will happen to Bitcoin’s dominance then?
Any developments that have an impact on the number one cryptocurrency, will definitely impact the entire blockchain and cryptocurrency market – the impact of the Halving is definitely something for cryptocurrency enthusiasts to keep an eye on!
3. The continued rise of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
At its core, DeFi aims to decentralize traditional financial products and services such as trading, lending and payments, using blockchain technology.
This would be achieved by running Decentralized Applications (dApps) or protocols on a blockchain such as Ethereum (ETH) — the most used for DeFi developments — which enables systems to be built on top of a peer-to-peer network.
While the base idea for DeFi has been around for a while now, a recent wave of developments has DeFi trending through much of the first half of 2020. Projects like Compound (COMP), and ones that are supported at Coinhako — like Kyber (KNC) and 0x Project (ZRX) — have been making headlines amongst blockchain projects today.
As with the ongoing demand, Coinhako will look to support DeFi projects when possible, for our customers, and the continued progress of DeFi towards the end of 2020, will certainly be one to keep track of.
4. The development of regulations in Singapore
In January 2020, we saw the launch of the Payment Services Act — the first regulatory licensing framework to regulate cryptocurrency and blockchain based businesses in Singapore.
With the first licenses estimated to be given out in the second half of 2020, companies looking to operate in Singapore began working towards compliance much through the first half of 2020.
This will have a lasting impact on the local cryptocurrency and blockchain scene for businesses, users and communities in Singapore, and we strongly recommend all owners and users of Digital Assets, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrencies to keep updated with the latest developments on this front.
5. The impact of 'The Travel Rule'
No, ‘The Travel Rule’ has nothing to do with your next holiday destination.
‘The Travel Rule’ is a global regulation that endeavors to mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the cryptocurrency or digital assets (or virtual assets in ‘The Travel Rule’) space.
Businesses that enable users to transact with such technologies will be required to develop measures for identifying both the senders and recipients.
The full impact of ‘The Travel Rule’ in Singapore will come to be with the issuance of the first licenses for businesses under the Payment Services Act — which is estimated to be during the second half of 2020. It will, however, have more of an immediate impact on businesses and not so much on users.
As this will impact Coinhako, we will keep our users updated on any changes that might relate to ‘The Travel Rule’, and we recommend all our users to keep a look out for the latest information.
6. Facebook’s Novi Official Launch
The much anticipated Calibra wallet, which would allow everyone to access and participate in Facebook’s Libra network, was originally planned to launch in June 2020. Due to circumstances faced by the subsidiary company of Facebook, the Calibra wallet has yet to be launched.
In May 2020, Calibra officially renamed the company to Novi, and the launch of the Libra based wallet will come under the Novi name.
The questions now are: When will the Novi wallet be officially launched? Will its launch have any impact on the financial market as a whole?
7. Singapore Blockchain Week Virtual Summit 2020
One of the largest blockchain events in Asia, is back again in Singapore on 21 July 2020.
The yearly ‘Singapore Blockchain Week’ brings together cryptocurrency enthusiasts, companies and communities from all around the world, and has always brought a string of refreshing ideas to the local blockchain scene.
As with the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements in Singapore, the event week will be moving fully online this year.
Nevertheless, the entire week has gathered a range of esteemed speakers and virtual exhibitors from the blockchain scene, and how this Virtual Summit plays out in the second half of 2020, will definitely be something to look out for.
8. Singapore Fintech Festival 2020
The Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) brings together traditional finance companies, cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, and fintech companies covering the wider financial market, in Singapore every year. This year, it is scheduled to take place on 9 - 13 November 2020.
If everything goes according to plan, the event will take place at the Singapore Expo & Matrix Atra in the second half of 2020. It will be interesting to see how 2020’s SFF, and Singapore’s continued efforts towards a Smart Nation, turns out amidst all the social restrictions of 2020.
Coinhako will keep our community and users updated of any happenings as we get closer to the event.
9. More exciting updates at Coinhako for Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies.
As a company, Coinhako endeavours to bring the best possible Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency services and experience for our users.
We have been working on multiple developments throughout the year, and we will be sharing more great news for everyone over the second half of 2020.
Do stay tuned with us!
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*The information presented in this article does not constitute investment advice and is purely for educational and/or informational purposes.
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