2017 = Crypto was overhyped for sure. People basically invested in an investment class/products that had no real world use case and even whitepapers (ie. words on a pdf + website) with the goal of making a quick buck.
2018 = We've had a shit year in terms of $ value but lots of developments, partnerships, and some products/platforms coming to life. Yes we're still far off in terms of ease of use and actual use cases, but software development takes time. The last thing we need is a bunch of shit products that haven't gone through appropriate testing.
2019 has me excited and is looking to be a big year. I can't comment on international institutions outside of North America but we're going to witness a war of institutions/banks (maybe a good idea to invest in popcorn).
Cryptoccurency exchanges have made a shit ton of a money last year, obviously banks want in. We've got Bakkt and Fidelity launching in Q1 and ErisX (funded by Nasdaq, fidelity, TD Ameritrade , Virtu Financial, & CBOE) in Q2. We're talking institutions worth Billions/Trillions, who have clearly done their research and know there's value in the space.
These new exchanges will 1) give legitimacy to crypto 2) Allow more retail investors to join in and 3) let institutions/institutional investors and semi-wealthy everyday/retail individuals join the party
Regarding the semi-wealthy individuals – Imagine you make enough money not to worry about money, why would you invest in a non-regulated, gray area, volatile market? There's no point. Your financial life is fine, it's not worth the headache.
Once one institution starts to make money via an exchange, obviously others will want to get their share of the pie. Institutions are going to be competing for customers, offering better services, lower fees, larger number of trading pairs, etc.
Also, let's take in the fact that I mentioned only 3 exchange platforms, which are going to be run in North America. I know nothing of international banks getting into the space, but it's a matter of time.
Why someone would sell or claim "Cryptocurrency is dead" is beyond me. Relax, let 2019 come. This month is limbo, it's a forced vacation from the cryptosphere. I'm not expecting a boom over night, but at least by Q3 2019, we should be in a much better $ value position.