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Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have opened up the door for millions, if not billions, of dollars in revenue throughout a span of different industries. This new tech has become a hot-button topic among investors of every type, especially when it comes to Bitcoin and other alt currencies.
The cryptocurrency market is hot, trending, and offers a lot of value. It's the new thing. That being said, the cryptocurrency market not as "new" as people claim it to be. Surprised? Though you shouldn't be, a lot of people are.
Though it's definitely still taking form, and while there are laws that blockchain is forcing to change that still need to be updated, there are definitely signs the cryptocurrency market is maturing. Here are some of the most notable ones.
Laws are starting to catch up.
One of the biggest signs the cryptocurrency market is maturing is that laws are starting to catch up to the new market. The IRS, for example, has made a statement saying that they expect to see taxes paid on capital gains from investing in cryptocurrency.
Many countries, including South Korea and China, have also started to clamp down on the market. This is what happens when markets mature; regulation ensues.
The "openness" of the mining market is closing pretty rapidly.
Perhaps the most telling of all signs the cryptocurrency market is maturing is the way that mining is growing increasingly exclusive. It used to be that mining Bitcoin wouldn't take much effort or special equipment at all. Anyone could do it.
However, as proof of work became increasingly demanding on CPUs, costs began to rise. These days, it's very hard to turn a profit while mining Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency unless you already have a ton of startup capital.
If you calculate Bitcoin mining profitability, it becomes clear that you'd need a lot of startup to make it worthy of doing. The fact that this is now the case is a sign that the market has matured and that there are now "big players" in the game that have advantages.
Major financial groups are starting to offer it as a trading option.
Financial institutions and major corporations are not interested in "flash in the pan" trends. They only tend to work with concepts that have had a pretty decent track record of being profitable.
That's why one of the signs the cryptocurrency market is maturing is the fact that major banks are now starting to offer cryptocurrency stocks or even cryptocurrency trading on their own platforms. The fact that you can trade cryptocurrencies on Robinhood, for example, is huge.
Fledgling industries don't get bank backing like that. This means cryptocurrencies are no longer a fledgling industry.
Then there's the time aspect to consider, too...
Bitcoin is almost 10 years old. The cryptocurrency world is now a decade old. That's pretty insane, right? Technology improves at an exponential pace these days, which means that by time alone, cryptocurrency is a solidly established market.
Another major indicator is the way the "boom" is tapering off.
Only two years ago, the amount of people who were discussing cryptocurrency and blockchain tech skyrocketed. It's no longer the underground movement it once was, and that means that for a short time, the market was insanely fluctuational.
Though the cryptocurrency market is still known for high volatility, it's nowhere near the ridiculous highs and lows it once was. It's a subtle change, but it's definitely one that shows that the market is maturing and people are being more realistic about their investments.
As price volatility continues to stabilize, we'll have a much healthier techspace.
Other currencies aside from Bitcoin are starting to get equal acceptance.
Experts note that having a single "company" or in this case, coin, dominating the market is often a sign of a very new industry. The fact that Ethereum is poised to overtake Bitcoin, or at least give it a run for its money, is a huge deal in this case.
In fact, some believe that this diversification ranks among signs that the cryptocurrency market is maturing. Considering the perks of Ethereum, this could be taken as a sign that consumers are growing wiser to the industry and are looking for more streamlined and efficient products.
The stigma is no longer there.
At one point, cryptocurrency was seen as a totally criminal form of currency. It was a kind of payment that was used almost exclusively in the Dark Web, and was very heavily linked to illicit transactions involving drugs, prostitution, or even weapons trafficking.
Though there is still that slight tinge of stigmatization, cryptocurrency no longer raises the eyebrows it used to raise. It's become a mainstream technology that has been proven to work well.
One of the signs the cryptocurrency market is maturing is the lack of stigma surrounding crypto-coins. People now see it as normal. Some are even talking about recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender!
Mainstream awareness also remains one of the most obvious signs the cryptocurrency market is maturing.
A brand-spanking-new industry will not have many early adapters, even if it seems otherwise. Most people will not know about a new market until it matures. It takes a while for these trends to catch on, after all.
The fact that you see people from a wide range of different cultures talking about Bitcoin as an investment shows that the market has matured past its "baby" point.
Companies are starting to consider accepting cryptocurrency payments, too.
A lot of companies have toyed with accepting Bitcoin payments, and it's really important to notice how big an accomplishment this is. One of the biggest signs the cryptocurrency market is maturing is the fact that mainstream retail is now accepting it as a legitimate form of payment.
While there aren't very many mainstream retailers that accept cryptocurrency right now, this could end up being a more mainstream currency form within two to three years.
Finally, there's now a rhythm to cryptocurrency investing.
Cryptocurrency investing and companies now have a typical standard they follow when it comes to the way they attract investors. They release an ICO, they market their coins, and they explain what the ICO is for. The fact that this is now a standard is one of the most telling signs the cryptocurrency market is maturing.
A rhythm means people now know what works, and that's a great sign for those who want to enter the market today.