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2017 was a huge year for Bitcoin. Starting off in January valued at $778, it rose to record highs of more than $12,000 by mid-December. As we look ahead to 2018, there are many developments with the cryptocurrency that are worth paying attention, and not all of them involve it’s rising price. Obviously, Bitcoin’s price is set to increase as the year progresses. Kay Van-Petersen, who is an analyst at Saxo Bank, accurately predicted Bitcoin’s rise in 2017 and currently predicts that it could hit $100,000 this year. However, she also predicts that Ethereum could outperform Bitcoin in 2018. He said, “Ethereum came after Bitcoin, it has a more unified leadership than Bitcoin. They seem to be a bit further along the way in regards to forming the solution to scaling issues. And you can see transactions on their side eclipses transactions across other cryptos.” So, due to Ethereum having a core group of developers who control how the technology grows, experts believe that it will give it longevity and certainty which hasn’t been said the same regarding Bitcoin.

Another development in 2018 for Bitcoin comes in the possibility of mass public awareness for it and cryptocurrency in general. Perry Woodin, CEO of Node 40 which is a blockchain governance and cryptocurrency tax compliance company, says “It [2018] is going to be the year when every friend and relative will want to know how much you have and how to purchase it. The topic of Bitcoin is going to be the ultimate water-cooler conversation.” Taxation will be another big issue for Bitcoin investors. This year we will start to see more Bitcoin millionaires and billionaires reporting their gains due to the pressures coming from the IRS.

It is also a guarantee that we will see a rise in the number of people using cryptocurrencies. Yonatan Sela, the SVP business development of PROPS by YouNow, estimates over 50 million people worldwide holding at least one form of cryptocurrency by the end of 2018. In that same vein, investors will start to become more aware of the other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin such as Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH, and IOTA. They will begin to diversify their crypto assets and manage these investments in the way they look at the more traditional assets.

We should also expect to see more regulation of Bitcoin. As it continues to boom, the management will come to ICO’s before it moves on directly to cryptocurrencies. As of now, it is tough to determine whether the regulation will have a positive or negative impact on the industry. There are some who don’t believe the regulation will not hinder cryptocurrency like Dmitry Zhulin, co-founder of INS Ecosystem. He says “Bitcoin is expected to rise to approximately $30,000-$40,000 in 2018 based on its convenience and further adoption as a means of payment and capital preservation.”

It’s evident that 2018 is set to be a big year for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole.