A mainstream moment?
2017 certainly saw a sea change in how the world viewed blockchain broadly. No longer niche, the tech grew to impact real businesses, winning fans the world over who have seen how trust might be reimagined in the digital age.
But as usual, the story is more nuanced. The road ahead is peppered with guideposts, signs, bridges and resting grounds that deserve reflection.
Bringing together a range of top global experts, from corporate innovators to prominent critics, CoinDesk's 2017 in Review seeks to unpack that larger tale, giving readers top takes on pressing issues and informative outlooks on what might be ahead.
Be sure to keep us bookmarked as we'll be updating daily through the new year.
2017: The 'Butt' of Bitcoin's Joke
Sanity? You weren't going to find it in the crypto world in 2017 according to author David Gerard. Insanity, though, there's plenty to go around...
2018: Another Growth Year for Blockchain
Think 2017 was a fluke? Not according to blockchain advisor Oliver Bussmann who makes the case next year will see further growth.
Bitcoin Investing: A 10,000-Year View
Far from a bubble, bitcoin is on the path to becoming a significant part of global money supply, according to trader and analyst Willy Woo.
Victory Lap? 2017 Was Bitcoin's Backwards Year
2017 was another bad year in bitcoin in the eyes of long-time industry observer Jim Harper, but he sees a silver lining at the end of the story.
2018's Big Question: Can Bitcoin Forks Deliver Value?
Forking bitcoin was all the rage in 2017. In 2018, the question might be, what are we getting in return?
Out With the Old? Blockchain Requires a New Regulatory Approach
What if an ICO is just an ICO? Eva Kaili argues regulations need more imaginative approaches to blockchain.
It's Time for Governments to Embrace Blockchain
Governments haven't typically been thought of as early blockchain adopters. That could soon change, writes IBM's Marie Wieck.
2018: The Year We Make Cont(r)act
2017 may have been a historic year in blockchain, but Banca IMI's Massimo Morini argues the seeds for this revolution were sown in 2016.
Blockchain Brain Drain Is About More Than Money
The next-generation of financial technologists will want more from corporations and businesses, argues ex-CME digitization lead Sandra Ro.
A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Blockchain Highway
Not for easily swayed, vlogger Mike in Space narrates a tour through the world of bitcoin memes (and mixed messages) of 2017.
2018: The Year Central Banks Begin Buying Cryptocurrency
A former central banker is predicting big changes on major central bank balance sheets as cryptocurrencies continue to gain adoption and market share.
Where Have All the Private Blockchains Gone?
What's next for private blockchains? More iteration, improvement – and adoption, argues developer Gideon Greenspan.
The Transformed Role of Government in the Blockchain Era
Embracing change might not be easy for governments, but it can be done, according to the head of Dubai's ambitious blockchain agenda.
2018 for ICOs: A Quarter-By-Quarter Outlook
This ICO insider sees the market's hot streak continuing into the new year – even though, there are some potential pitfalls along the way.
Blockchain's 2018 Goal? Human Rights Over Financial Gains
Financial gains may be attracting new entrants, but that's all the more reason to increase the emphasis on blockchain as a means for change.
Bring on the FUD: 2017 Was The Year Bitcoin Became Anti-Fragile
What happened after all the fear, uncertainty and doubt of 2017? Bitcoin became stronger than ever, according to developer Jimmy Song.
The 2017 Tapscott Blockchain Prediction Scorecard
How did the pundits fare in 2017? Author Don Tapscott reviews his own predictions, taking stock of where he went wrong and where he was on the money.
Writing the Blockchain Rulebook in 2018
2018 presents a rare opportunity for the blockchain industry to self-regulate, lawyer Josh Garcia argues.
How Regulators Become Blockchain Innovators
Don't believe the crypto hype? On a large enough scale, no institution is safe from dramatic change, argues Central Bank of Aruba's Ryan Peterson.
2017: Saluting the Non-Stop Price Drama That Was
Outspoken exchange exec Arthur Hayes gives a colorful overview of crypto in 2017 as the Shakespearean comedy he believes it was.
Jamming on Crypto Economics: What Comes After the Summer of Love?
Crypto's creative explosion may have hit a critical mass this year, but the results ahead could be just as impactful, argues Polychain's Ryan Zurer.
Buying Bitcoin? Hedge Funds Will Use Blockchain, Too
The future of tokenized monies calls for a tokenized investment fund. The road there is being paved, but it's not so cut and dry.
Cleaning Up the Crypto Markets: A Job for 2018
Regulation may be a four-letter word in the crypto markets, but that doesn't mean it should be embraced according to one bank analyst.
Poof, Your Money's Gone: Building for Blockchain Users
MyEtherWallet founder Taylor Monahan knows a thing or two about blockchain users, arguing they're not ready for the early blockchain tools of today.
Utility: The Defining Word for Tokens in 2018
A rising token tide may be lifting all boats, but when the water line lowers, utility will likely be their key defense.
After the Futures: The Next Chapter for Bitcoin
The future is bright following Wall Street's futures trading embrace, but education is emerging as a key hurdle ahead.
2017: The Year Blockchain Got Weird
Blockchain may be a revolution in finance – but it's also weird, as this tour through the outer edges of crypto cyberspace proves.
My Advice for ICOs? I'm Sorry I Was Right…
He's not your lawyer, but he's giving you advice. Avid pocaster and legal expert Jason Seibert enjoys a last laugh on ICOs.
The Death of the ICO (And 4 Other 2018 Predictions)
The year of interoperability? Or enterprise digital asset adoption? Both futures might be on the table for 2018, according to Ripple's CTO.
A Central Bank Cryptocurrency? Not in 2018
Central bank digital currencies may sound like a nice idea, but blogger JP Koning argues they'll remain just that in 2018 – an idea.
Editable Blockchains? Mining Futures? 2017 Saw Crypto Patents Pile Up
A run-down of some of the more notable crypto and blockchain patents seen in 2017.
Bitcoin's Real Bottleneck
Bitcoin's markets may be booming but it's the network's rare development talent that may be most valuable.
2017 Was Bitcoin's Year. 2018 Will Be Ethereum's
A long-time bitcoin investor is now staking his claim to a new blockchain network, one he believes will enable more value creation in the long term.
Why Crypto Looks A Lot Like Wall Street
Crypto may have set out to rethink Wall Street, but a decade into the experiment, advisor Jill Carlson isn't convinced the industry has it right.
Privacy on the Blockchain: Where Are We Headed?
Privacy may be an issue with major blockchains today, but 2017 saw innovations by leaps and bounds, argues VC Arianna Simpson.
No One Should Control the Blockchain Supply Chain
Blockchain supply chains are coming to market, but they might not look the same as they were once envisioned.
ICOs: The Beauty, the Beast and JFK
What did ICOs get right in 2018? What went wrong? Attorney and entrepreneur Christine Duhaime unpacks a chaotic year.
2018 and Beyond: Tokens Are Slowly Eating the Firm
Think DAOs and tokens are just a joke? This lawyer believes they may be coming to bring an open-source ethos to your business model.
Hacks, Scams and Attacks: Blockchain's 2017 Disasters
Hackers and scammers netted nearly $490 million in 2017. In this recap, CoinDesk takes a look at the most important incidents and their impact.
Bitcoin or Blockchain? Bet That Both Will Thrive in 2018
Competing technologies? Not so much argues Symbiont executive Caitlin Long who believes the best of both bitcoin and blockchain will prevail in 2018.
From $900 to $20,000: Bitcoin's Historic 2017 Price Run Revisited
Bitcoin's price started the year off by crossing $1,000, culminating with a run that brought it close to $20,000.
Avoiding Digital Feudalism Built on Blockchains
Blockchains may be transformative for society, but if that's the case, we should ask what society will remain, regulator Cab Morris argues.
Blockchain in Healthcare: 2017's Successes
Blockchain in healthcare might not be sexy, but it's moving forward according to one of the sector's leading female CEOs.
What Wall Street Said About Bitcoin in 2017
To short or to long? Is bitcoin in a bubble? We summarized the various views from prominent figures in the finance world and the academia.
Blockchain Asset Registries: Approaching Enlightenment?
Putting real-world assets on a blockchain may be a promise worth pursuing, but field reports suggest it's an idea still just out of reach.
2017: The Year Crypto Became a New Asset Class
Crypto assets may have become an asset class in 2017, but that doesn't mean there's work yet to be done to bring the technology to main street.
What DAO? Charting Ether's Epic 2017 Price Climb
Ether's price began 2017 below $10, shooting to as high as $800 earlier this month.
China on a Blockchain? Maybe in 2018
China may have moved to ban crypto activities in 2017, but that doesn't mean the country won't be a major player in the year ahead.
2017: A Defining Year for Cryptocurrency Regulation
This Year in Review article look at some of the major regulatory developments from 2017.
Where Are All the Quick Wins for Blockchain?
Was 2017 too long-term focused? Entrepreneur Tom Klein believes quick wins are what's needed to bootstrap corporate blockchains in 2018.
What Do We Do With All This Money?
All dressed up and nowhere to go? VC Wendy Schadeck argues this may be the problem for funding-rich ICO projects as they enter 2018.
2018's Resolution? Revisit Blockchain's Fundamentals
Entering what could be another growth year, author William Mougayar invites the blockchain industry to take a step back and remember the basics.
Cats Went Crypto First, Now It's Time for Consumers
CryptoKitties may have been the breakout blockchain game of 2017 – but it's just the beginning according to one of the viral sensation's creators.
Why Bitcoin Needs Fiat (And This Won't Change in 2018)
Cryptocurrency ecosystems are still dependent on the very financial system they vilify for daily support and stability, says Tim Swanson.
2017's Crypto (R)evolution Was Just the Beginning
The crypto markets aren't small business anymore – here, one of the ecosystem's earliest traders recaps 2017's wild rise to the financial mainstream.
Volatility: A Necessary Ingredient for Monetary and Social Transition
Cryptocurrency volatility isn't just here to stay, it's heralding the chaotic change of the blockchain future yet to come.
Japan: The New Heart of Bitcoin
The head of one of Japan's largest bitcoin exchanges looks back at 2017, a year he believes the country became a true market leader for the industry.
Bank Blockchain Integration: A Challenge Overcome
It's a long road yet to mainstream blockchain use, according to Santander's head of blockchain R&D. But integration, he argues, won't be the issue.
ICOs: The Tech Is Here, But Where Are the Standards?
ICOs may be here to stay, but self-regulation can make all the difference for the fledgling industry, the head of Gibraltar's stock exchange argues.
What Crypto Didn't Give Us in 2017
The cryptocurrency market may have exceeded expectations in 2017 – but there's plenty of goals left on the industry wishlist.
A Legal Renaissance, Blockchain Style
Last year, lawyers and law firms finally got over themselves and worked together in the blockchain space. In 2018, such teamwork will be critical.
2018's Challenge: What Are Crypto Assets Really Worth?
We've bought in, but how much are these assets really worth? Turing Group's top quants talk about a major token challenge ahead.
I Love Bitcoin. That's Why I Sue Exchanges
The lawyer who's filed more crypto class actions than any other speaks out on his outlook on the blockchain industry.
Banks and the Blockchain Blues
Banks excited about their blockchain work may do well to monitor their signal-to-noise ratios in 2018.
2018: The Year We Democratize Blockchain
Cryptocurrencies may be in a market mania, but that interest will spark a new wave of blockchain growth according to Deloitte's top blockchain lead.
Beyond the Red Tape: The Path Ahead for Token Sales
While 2017 was full of demand from innovators with a move-fast ethos, 2018 will be marked by demand from the finance world with a need for compliance.
Goodbye ICOs, Hello TAOs? How Tokens Will Change in 2018
The landscape for tokens and ICOs will change this year, but the effects might be farther reaching and more impactful on society than you'd think.
Crypto Cat and Mouse: 2018 Will Be the Year of Policy Subterfuge
Global regulators have staked out a diverse set of rules for blockchain, but entrepreneurs may be better off playing arbitrage until the dust settles.
2018: The Year Blockchain, AI and IoT Converge
Cryptocurrencies emerged as a leading tech in 2017, but 2018 may find them merging with other technologies to become even more ubiquitous.
What the Data Tells Us About Bitcoin in 2017
Statistics show bitcoin is at the forefront of an increasingly complex ecosystem that continues to grow in a variety of ways. And it refuses to die.
Blockchain and the Rise of Transaction Technology
Governments are centers of trust – so why would they make the leap to blockchains as a way to extend that already vital service?
Blockchain in the Boardroom: Toward Enterprise Deployment
Enterprises may have gone quiet toward the end of 2017, but that doesn't mean they won't be players in the year ahead, Accenture's Valiente argues.
5 Blockchain Developments Coming in 2018
What's in store for blockchains in 2018? Infosys's Peter Loop offers a diverse selection of forecasts for the year ahead.
Tokens Will Bring Conflicts of Interest to Healthcare
ICOs and tokens may open up new modes of healthcare funding, but are there as many cons as pros?
Enterprise Blockchain Is Ready to Go Live in 2018
2018 will be the year enterprise blockchain goes live and businesses can move from experimenting to production, says Oracle's Mark Rakhmilevich.
2018's Challenge: Promote Responsible Blockchain Innovation
The chief innovation officer at the U.S. regulator for national banks details the agency's efforts to support fintech while still mitigating risk.