Curated by

A down year?

If 2017 was a "mainstream moment" for a suddenly surging industry, 2018 proved once again that cryptocurrency and blockchain remain early-stage technologies.

But while last year's hype no doubt gave way to reality as prices and market capitalizations fell out of the moon's orbit, it would be a mistake to write-off the year as one in which no gains were made.

Across the globe, innovators continue pushing the boundaries of the technology, pressing boldly on in the face of challenges, while discussion continues in earnest among regulators, policy makers and financial institutions at the highest levels.

Bringing together a range of these top global experts, CoinDesk's 2018 in Review seeks to dive deep into this story, taking a look at the issues and trends that not only shaped this year, but that could play a bigger role in 2019 and beyond.

Be sure to keep us bookmarked as we'll be updating daily through the new year.

Stranger Things: The Upside of Down Bitcoin Prices

The bitcoin price correction of 2018 should actually help force the market as a whole to mature in 2019, writes the CEO of Seed CX.

Read Now

William Mougayar

The Future of ICOs: In the Hands of Regulators or Innovators?

What is the future of initial coin offerings? One of the movements early leaders suggests the market might be at a tipping point.

Sheila Bair

Romper Room to White Linen: Saying Goodbye to Crypto’s Infant Anarchy

As the crypto markets have matured, they've seen increasing acceptance with traditional finance and regulators, but there's still a way to go.

James Greaves

Crypto 2018 Was a Tale Told By An Idiot – But It Doesn’t Have to Signify Nothing

Culturally broken? A frustrated crypto entrepreneur argues 2018 was a money grab filled with broken promises.

Dovey Wan

Violent Delights Lead to Violent Ends: Rebuilding After the Crypto Crash

While emerging assets are always turbulent, 2018 has been an especially violent year for the crypto markets. Lessons need to be learned.

Zach Harvey

Crypto is for Activists: Why We Need More Cypherpunks, Not Cypherposers

Bitcoin is activism, not a get rich quick scheme or a startup platform, says Lamassu's Zach Harvey.

Hu Liang

The Intrinsic Value of Crypto (What the Bubble Hasn’t Changed)

The crypto bubble hasn't altered the intrinsic value of crypto assets – but it should change our outlook on how they will evolve.

Gary Gensler

When the Tide Goes Out: Big Questions for Crypto in 2019

After this year’s wild market ride and many failed projects, what might cryptocurrency mean for money and finance in 2019 and beyond?

Santiago Siri

Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords

The strategic use of blockchains will be essential in enabling humans to become meaningful long-term stakeholders in the future of governance, argues entrepreneur Santiago Siri.

Donna Redel

Institutional Crypto and a New Generation of Wall Street Leaders

The crypto space is shifting rapidly with new innovations – but the industry still faces a number of urgent questions, says angel investor Donna Redel.

David Nage

The Herd and the HODLers: Recovering from Crypto’s Two-Year False Start

Cryptocurrency industry observer David Nage thinks we're in the Friendster/Myspace error of blockchain, but that Facebook isn't too far away.

Henrik Hjelte

A Middle Way Forward for Blockchain

"Not too little. Not too much. Just right.” Chromaway's CEO gives his take on why the Swedish saying may be key to unlocking blockchain's potential.

Daniel Cawrey

Bitcoin’s Tick Problem (Getting Screwed on Crypto Exchanges)

A penny not mean much to you, but for crypto exchange traders it's a big deal.

Eric Piscini

The Crypto Winter Wasn’t the Real Story of 2018, and It Won’t Be for 2019 Either

Eric Piscini, CEO of Citizens Reserve and Deloitte's former blockchain lead, outlines the key threads of 2018 and how they signal what's coming for 2019.

Elly Zhang

Saying Goodbye to the Blockchain Romantics

Decentralization may sound like a sexy concept, but realism may be a better real-deal solution, argues Elly Zhang.

Kosala Hemachandra

What Happened to Dapps? (And 4 Other Big Questions for Ethereum in 2019)

Ethereum may have caught the world's attention but it needs to answer fundamental questions before being able to deliver on its promise.

Brian Flynn

Beyond CryptoKitties: 10 Trends That Defined the Year in Crypto Gaming

From advances in art trading to setbacks for celebrities on the blockchain, it was a year of serious building for the crypto collectable market.

Han Yoon

Nevermind the Bears: 2018 Was the Rude Awakening Crypto Needed

Sure, it was a tough year for crypto. But emerging from that year companies and projects are stronger and growing faster than ever.

Sheila Warren

So Long to the Clutter: A Cooling Crypto Market Will Bring Change We Need

Free from distractions, blockchain builders can – and must – now focus on using the technology to enable positive societal change.

Won Hee-ryong

It’s Time for Local Governments to Break Blockchain’s Regulatory Gridlock

How a South Korean governor is moving fast on blockchain, despite a slow national legislature.

W. Scott Stornetta

Crypto Is Down, So Why Am I Smiling?

One of the cryptographers most often cited in Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper has reason to think the industry's future is bright.

Arwen Smit

3 Conflicts That Will Shape Blockchain Tech in 2019

Three areas of conflict are taking shape in the crypto space and 2019 will see them unleashed in full force, says MintBit's Arwen Smit.

Charlie Moore

Asset-Backed Securities: Entering the Crypto Conversation in 2019

There's a growing consensus that DLT supports the credit sector's digital transformation goals, says Charlie Moore of Global Debt Registry.

Taylor Monahan

Building for Bulls, Bears and the Crypto Revolution

The crypto revolution won't happen overnight – and it won't happen without pragmatism.

Asheesh Birla

2019: The Year Blockchain Begins Finance’s Great Unbundling

There will be opportunities for smart blockchain companies that can find their niche in the coming unbundling, says Ripple's Asheesh Birla.

Kyle Samani

12 Markets Crypto Decentralization Can Actually Improve

What do virtual real estate and distributed computing have in common? They're both markets where P2P networks can improve efficiencies.

Zachary Fallon & James Blakemore

The Cost of Not Engaging Regulators

Regulators are going to regulate the digital asset space with or without the participation of the people and businesses in it.

Ian Simpson

It’s the Crypto Network, Stupid

A simple lesson from the 2018 bearish crypto market: We are better together, argued Ian Simpson of the Crypto Valley Association.

Carlos Domingo

2019: The Year Digital Securities Offerings Become the New ICOs

The ICO market may be waning, but a new way to tokenize assets is coming to Wall Street.

Evan Kuo

The True Crypto Alternative to Government Money

The denationalization of money is finally unfolding organically in the form of digital assets.

Shiv Madan

It’s Time to Talk About Crypto Twitter

Fixing crypto Twitter starts with following positive examples – and a recognition of the problem.

Leah Callon-Butler

Where the Future of Crypto Payments Is Being Built

The Philippines may not be the crypto capital of the world – but it may be where infrastructure building runs the deepest.

Eric Larcheveque

2018: A Record-Breaking Year for Crypto Exchange Hacks

The CEO of one of the largest crypto security companies recaps his takeaways from the year that was.

Massimo Morini

The End of the First Crypto Decade

Investments veteran Massimo Morini believes the end of 2018 is not the end of a year, but a decade, that changed the world of finance.

Ouriel Ohayon

2019: The Year We Might (Finally) See Better Blockchain UX?

In this op-ed, Ouriel Ohayon argues why 2019 will be the year blockchain UX sees a new level of priority among developers and companies.

Devin Finzer

Blockchain Gaming: Separating Signal from the Noise

Games frequently serve as an experimental playground for new technology, writes Devin Finzer.

Micah Winkelspecht

2018 Was the Reality Check. 2019 Starts the Crypto Comeback

In this op-ed, Micah Winkelspecht explains why he believes that 2019 will see the return of bitcoin dominance after 2018's reality checks.

Pascal Thellman

Bitcoin’s Next Halving Rally: Coming Soon in 2019

Get ready for talk about bitcoin's halving – the once-in-a-while event that won't happen in 2019, but that just might have an impact on the markets.

Chelsea Palmer

Resisting the Threat of Blockchain Recentralization

In an op-ed written exclusively for CoinDesk, Chelsea Palmer argues that defining blockchain governance must be a priority for 2019.

Jim Radecki

The Secret for a $1 Trillion Crypto Market? Keep Building

Sure, the crypto market boom of 2017 exposed the industry's lack of infrastructure. That just means the solution is clear – we must build it and keep building.

Jake Yocom-Piatt

How to Last the Crypto Winter? Seek Simplicity, Manage Complexity

Decred's Jake Yocom-Piatt explains in this exclusive op-ed why he thinks information asymmetry is a key factor driving the manic buying and panic selling cycles in the crypto markets.

Jenny Leung

7 Legal Questions That Will Define Blockchain in 2019

In this exclusive op-ed, Jenny Leung, an Australian attorney who formerly worked for the country's financial regulator, explained 7 legal questions that will define blockchain this year.

Bradley Miles and Sid Kalla

The Map Is Not the Territory: Rethinking Crypto as an Asset Class

Crypto as an asset class? Investors would do well to learn it's not a one-size-fits all classification.

Paul Brody

Falling Crypto Prices Aren’t Stopping Real Blockchain Progress

ICO-related drama overshadowed blockchain tech's enormous progress in 2018, writes EY's Paul Brody.

Guy Zyskind

2018: When Privacy and Decentralization Collided

In an op-ed written exclusively for CoinDesk, Enigma CEO Guy Zyskind says 2019 must be about building decentralized solutions for data privacy.

Simon Seojoon Kim

The Biggest Problem for ICOs? In 2018, It Was Their Own Investors

Hashed CEO Simon Seojoon Kim looks at the inherent limitations of ICOs, in particular the belief that "anyone can invest in an initial project."

Ajit Tripathi

RIP ICOs: 2019 Will Be the Year of Enterprise Blockchain Tokens

In 2019, tokens will invade the enterprise in full force and the line between public and private networks will start to disappear, writes ConsenSys' Ajit Tripathi.

Angus Champion de Crespigny

The Coming Bifurcation of Bitcoin

Two particularly important ideas related to bitcoin's future are likely going to conflict with each other. But that doesn't need to a problem.

Terence Zimwara

Africa Needs Open Currency Competition. It Needs Cryptocurrency

Africa's various currency crises illustrate why cryptocurrency innovation shouldn't be stifled, says economic analyst Terence Zimwara.

Chi-Ru Jou

Security Token Offerings: A Way Past the SEC’s Incomplete Crypto Guidance?

Are STOs a way to pass the SEC's incomplete crypto guidance? Chi-Ru Jou explains what are the unresolved legal issues for STOs in the coming year.

David Lu

Decentralized Exchanges: 2019’s Key to a Dapp Comeback

A class of dapp that we should all be excited about in the short term is the decentralized exchanges, says 256 Ventures' David Lu.

Yin Wu

‘0% Success’: Why Blockchain Apps Just Aren’t Taking Off

In 2018, the promise of a decentralized future took a big knock. There are lessons to be learned, says Yin Wu, founder of Dirt Protocol.

Jutta Steiner

Web 3.0’s Crypto Winter Mission: Keep Our Heads Above the Hype

Despite the gloomy narratives, 2018 was hugely productive for teams building the decentralized web, says Parity's Jutta Steiner.

Tim Draper

I’m As Certain As Ever – Bitcoin’s Revolution Is Only Just Beginning

I’ve been through the ups and downs with bitcoin, and I am as certain as ever that the bitcoin revolution is coming, says Tim Draper.

Alexis Gauba

The Time Is Now: We Need an Active Approach to Blockchain Inclusion

If blockchain is to be part of our financial and governance future, the development process must represent a diverse population, says Alexis Gauba.

Mason Borda

All Crypto Is Created Equal? That’s What Regulators Seem to See

Are digital assets equal to digital securities? TokenSoft's Mason Borda argued the two types aren’t so different in terms of how regulators view them today.

Coleman Maher

Why ‘Mainstream Adoption’ Is an Unfair Success Metric for Dapps

We are way too early for “mainstream adoption” to be a sensible success metric for dapps, says Coleman Maher.

Edward Woodford

Stranger Things: The Upside of Down Bitcoin Prices

The bitcoin price correction of 2018 should actually help force the market as a whole to mature in 2019, writes the CEO of Seed CX.