As altcoins begin to see astronomic growth over the next few weeks, it will be important to be aware of altcoins with major technological releases and/or updates in the imminent future. Below are some of the major announcements in altcoins scheduled for Q1 2017.

January or February 2017: Waves DEX and Fiat Gateways in the lite wallet. This will allow instant trading of Waves Community Tokens and other assets in the lite wallet, with unparalleled speed and simplicity compared to NXT, Bitshares, Counterparty and other versions of decentralized exchanges. Fiat gateways will allow easy purchase of Waves, WCTs and other assets with fiat transfer in the lite wallet. This overcomes the burden of buying bitcoin, transferring it to another exchange in order to trade for another altcoin prior to sending said altcoin to your private wallet.

February 5th, 2017: Dash releases Version 12.1 "Sentinel Release" of its core software. This is the biggest Dash update in over a year, which will be the core version of the software prior to the release of Dash's much anticipated Evolution in early 2018.

January or February 2017: MaidSafeCoin will likely release further public tests of its Vaults in their decentralized internet. The last public test of the Vaults took place over 3 months ago in October 2016. As this project has been ongoing in the development of a decentralized internet for over 10 years, even seemingly tedious development updates tend to drive price increases.

January and February 2017: Factom announced the release of Federation (M2) on December 20th, 2016, and began rolling out the new platform on December 31st, which is still currently underway. Federation (M2) has been under development for over a year, and is the second major release of the Factom software. Features will include a more robust network, transaction times in seconds instead of minutes, support for multiple blockchains including bitcoin and ethereum, and new tools in its development suite/public test net. Foundation light and Exodus wallets will then be released afterwards in February 2017.

January 2017: Minebox will be released, which will be an external hard drive that can farm Siacoin while storing users' files both locally and on the Sia network. This could increase the reliability of storing data on the Sia network.

January or February 2017: Stratis will likely release their full nodes (nStratis) and Stratis cloud at or prior to one of the Blockchain conferences in Q1 2017. Some dates to keep in mind are January 23rd and 24th, which is the Blockchain Expo in London, and February 9th, which is the Blockchain Event in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The Stratis team is attending both conferences. It is possible that announcements of Stratis full nodes and/or Stratis Cloud will occur around or on these dates.

March to May 2017: Syscoin will release their Blockmarket, which will function as a decentralized version of eBay with payment in bitcoin, syscoin or ZCash for better anonymity. Although they say the release will occur in Q1 2017, I expect delays possibly into Q2 2017 for a project of this undertaking.