Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are not a long-term trend but a fraudulent fad. That’s how establishment business media pundits and high-profile banking officials relentlessly label them. They were wrong in 2017, and our 2018 “Cryptomania Cash-In” trend will prove them wrong again.

The Trends Research Institute has consistently predicted substantial volatility across digital-currency markets, especially as governments worldwide scramble to impose regulations and controls over the trading of cryptos, new coins entering the market and initial coin offerings (ICOs). 

However, the media and even cryptocurrency advocates are missing the Globalnomic® perspective: As we have steadfastly forecast, cryptocurrency’s growth will escalate as nations go cashless. 

Paying by apps, cash is not part of the new world order of millennials and the generations to follow. And, to them, digital currencies are what gold once was for baby boomers: safe, comfortable and trusted. 

They see cryptocurrency as a “populist” coin, one of financial sovereignty and independence, and not a coin of the realm associated with a national identity. And, unlike fiat currencies that central banks create when wanted and as needed, with cryptos such as bitcoin with only 21 million set to be in existence, there are limits on how many can and will be produced, thus prices will always be determined by supply and demand.

And as 2017 draws to a close, new trend lines are emerging. They signal cryptocurrencies’ strengthening role in the global economy in the year ahead.

Despite some governments’ efforts to ban crypto trading, in the new millennial techno-world, the cryptocrazed will continue to invest and speculate by using privacy-centric messaging apps such as Telegram to outfox Big Brother. 

In addition, while some governments and central banks will attempt to restrict cryptocurrency trading, others, such as Japan, embrace cryptos. And, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently suggested creating a “petro” cryptocoin  backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves to “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”

Doubling down on Venezuela’s ditch-the-dollar pitch, it’s reported Russia may use cryptocurrencies in oil trade to challenge sanctions and the petrodollar.

Increasingly, from India to the Netherlands, which has its own “Bitcoin City,” countries are innovating and opening brick-and-mortar storefronts to educate consumers about digital currencies and how to purchase them. 

TREND FORECAST: Sharp crypto growth in 2018 will ignite from three areas: customized innovations by nations creating their own crypto currencies; the evolution of new technologies, making it easier to trade digital currencies; and launches of crypto futures trading exchanges by Cboe Global Market’s Futures Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Nasdaq, etc. 

As trading intensifies, so too will market swings. However, unlike equity markets, there will be no Plunge Protection or National Teams to intervene, either on the way up or down. The crypto future is in the hands of individuals, not governments or central banks. 

Also, cryptos already are going mainstream. The accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has accepted Bitcoin payments for its services, for instance. And during 2018, we forecast continued growth of ATM machines in more countries to accommodate Bitcoin transactions; more businesses accepting digital currencies; more exchanges making it easier to buy and sell digital coins; and the variety and quality of coin offerings improving. 

Fortifying the trend’s growth are surveys of Bitcoin investors showing they’ll expand investments by purchasing other cryptos. 

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