The cryptocurrency market has a habit of defying traditional financial logic, and the development and growth of exchanges during 2018 is one example. Despite the significant decline of market values, and a decrease in trading activity, exchanges continue to press ahead. In what is already a very crowded space, the opportunity to buy and trade crypto is more diverse than ever. This expansion is a clear indication that interest in blockchain assets is far healthier than prices may indicate, and exchange operators are expecting a major uptick in activity in coming months.

Binance represents the most obvious example of an exchange that is little concerned with market conditions. Despite the fact that trade volume is down more than ninety percent since the beginning of the year, the Malta-based exchange is boldly expanding its operations. It is developing wallet services, based around Trust Wallet, which it acquired earlier this year. Binance has also launched its Gold Label Project, which aims to give status and legitimacy to cryptos that it believes meet higher standards of development and adoption. In fact, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has spoken well of the downturn, noting that it has given the exchange “breathing room” to upgrade its infrastructure in preparation for the next bull run.

Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are also moving ahead with expansion plans. Bancor, for example, has recently launched cross-blockchain token swaps, initially between EOS and Ethereum. Also, Waves has made significant progress on its DEX roadmap, launching a mobile wallet with a fiat gateway. Waves is also entering the dApp space, and will soon launch a token standard to enable smart contracts. Many other DEX projects are moving forward, including those associated with Binance, Tron, and Ethereum.

Exchanges are banking on a significant rebound in the crypto market, which is all but certain to happen, although when, and under what circumstances, is unknown. Critically, these exchange operators understand that the health of the blockchain space is measured by adoption and development, which has remained strong throughout this period of market decline. Simply put, present prices are not important, as the technology itself holds enormous value in the form of future mainstream use.

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Regardless of when the market rebounds, next year promises to be one of the most active yet in opening opportunities to invest in cryptocurrency. Exchanges are working hard to remove hurdles that make entering the crypto space difficult, such as long wait times for making purchases with fiat, and needing to use a major coin to buy alts. By the end of 2019 consumers will likely have the option to purchase almost any coin, quickly and conveniently, via any number of echanges.

Exchange operators also know that they will soon face competition from legacy financial firms, all of whom have established client bases eager to enter the crypto space. Knowing the challenge these firms will pose is also providing an incentive for exchanges to continue to develop their features, and provide the best experience possible to lock in their customer base.

Strong indicators are pointing to a price recovery taking place over the next few weeks. Regardless of when it begins, exchanges understand that their future depends on forging ahead with long-term development plans. The current environment is thus another example of how unique and revolutionary blockchain assets truly are, and how revolutionary they will be for the global financial landscape.

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