Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2018 Predictions – Part IV

Blockchain, FinTech, Investing, News, Regulation | December 29, 2017 By:

Block Tribune continues today with its survey of industry leaders predicting what might happen in the coming year. We will run several each day through the New Year, offering insight from the people on the front lines of creating this bold new world.

The year 2017 has been a wild time for blockchain and cryptocurrency – more than $3 billion was raised via initial coin offerings and traditional investments, countless new companies were started, and cryptocurrency prices soared.

Now 2018 beckons, offering further innovations, government actions, traditional players getting more heavily involved, and (hopefully) continuing price increases for cryptocurrency.

Our experts predict:

Sarva G. Mada, CEO of PocketinnsAnalysts refer to it as a bubble, while others argue that this is just the beginning. Various market gurus predict a $1 million decline or a total market crash, expected within the next 5 years. This is without a doubt nothing less than a revolution with massive disruption. We’re seeing ICOs attempt to literally replace venture capitalists while emerging crypto and blockchain-based businesses working to out-disrupt innovators like Airbnb, Uber and Amazon in their own spaces. Bitcoin is surely here to say and the family of altcoins poised to take off.

My prediction for the long-term growth of the price of BTC is expansion into the $200K-$250K range within five years. By end of year, my team predicts the price will be in the ballpark of $23,000 per coin. What I’m sure of is that the upswings and volatility of the currency will keep increasing especially with the opening of CME futures trading – a service that will likely impact altcoins as well. We’re seeing Ripple, Litecoin and Monero growing substantially while BTC’s main rival, Ethereum, has hit an all time high of $844 as of this note.

The revolutionary blockchain technology upon which Bitcoin is built is here to stay, however it’s difficult to tell which cryptocurrencies will emerge as winners in the long run. We’re set to see the market mature and traders become savier as other disruptive coins – like our very own PINNS currency – are slated to go live. For now, fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, we’re in for a long ride.

David Johnson, Co-founder/CEO, Latium:  I feel strongly that the cryptocurrency boom we have seen in 2017 is just the start of a very long term growth curve for the entire crypto industry. Demand is growing daily, but is still nowhere close to market saturation. I think 2018 will be a transitional year. Crypto will evolve from being a risky outsider to an everyday asset class. I see huge growth potential in the institutional side of the space including large businesses with more traditional models. Established coins will see substantial growth in adoption, but we will also see new coins come online and garner attention. Bottom-line is crypto in 2018 will set new records across the board including price, business development, adoption and usability. Who knows, you might even hear Grandma touting Bitcoin to her friends before the year is out.

Tariq Al Wahedi, Founder, CryptoBnB:  2017 was definitely the rocket launcher year for cryptocurrencis and in particular BTC..  We have seen token shooting more than 2000% in couple of weeks. This indicates two things for me one is good and the other is bad; the good side is that public is starting to believe more and more into this technology.  This is great because this will make it tougher to break the crypto movement.  The bad part is we are seeing signs  similar to the dot com bubble in 1998.  If that bubble burst and there was big cry-out then government will intervene for sure and that means the start of the decay. I think 2018 will be different from many aspects.  I think the following will happen: 1) ICO regulation which might mean the end of ICO wills start.  ICOs will start to cost tons of money and that will hinder many pursuing the advancement of blockchain; 2) ICOs will naturally slow down due to the competition and high number of offering.  Investor will get wiser and choosy as supply exceeds demand.  ICO caps will get smaller and smaller; 3) Blockchain coding will spread like fire and programmers will not be scarce; 4) BTC will continue to store value this year though this is not sustainable as it defeats its purpose.  Smarter token will continue to emerge, and the pipeline has many promising replacement platforms; 5) I see major bottlenecks in the network will be created very soon which might threaten well established networks like ETH.  Could forking come soon? Maybe!

Vinny Lingham, CEO, Civic:  1) Government regulations will increase. Scams will come to the forefront due to new and enforced government regulation oversight. It’s going to get much tougher in the ICO space and many will fail; 2) BitCoin will hold at $10,000 and BitCoin Cash will catch up. The combined total value could reach $20,000; 3) 2018 will be about proving the blockchain model. A lot of scaling is necessary to reach the level of Visa or Mastercard when it comes to transactions. Tokens are everywhere. Every sector will have an ICO and have a token economy; 4) Blockchain identity will take off more than ever before. Governments will be a lot more interested in how it’s used in projects including the UN partnership with WIN to curb child trafficking.

Simon Yu, CEO, StormX 2018 will be one of the best years for cryptocurrency yet and push the market to levels we haven’t seen before. Until now it has been primarily retail investors pushing the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With a futures market and options to reduce the risk profile, more institutional investors will finally be able to start jumping in. Traditional funds have risk levels that have prevented them from entering the volatile cryptocurrency market. But with financial instruments finally starting to be created, we could see trillions of dollars in institutional money flow in over the next few years.

 

Josh McIver, CEO and founder of ULedger: As we move forward in 2018 and beyond, more and more entities will adopt a blockchain infrastructure for data integrity and transparency as they see the benefits from those that are currently using blockchain.  There is increasing demand for companies to implement technology and procedures to prove the integrity of their data as we hear about data breaches, deleted emails, and fraud almost daily in the news.  Adopting a blockchain infrastructure allows companies to send a message to everyone that they care about the integrity of their data and would like to build trust with their customers, partners and stakeholders. 2018 will be the beginning of widespread blockchain implementation.”

Sol Lederer, Blockchain Director at LOOMIA: In 2018 we will likely see social media platforms such as Reddit, Medium or YouTube integrate a blockchain token to reward and incentivize their content creators. We started seeing this happen in 2017 with the Kik messenger platform launching their own crypto token to create a micro economy within their app, and Steemit—a Reddit-like platform that utilizes its own blockchain and cryptocurrency. We also saw the arrival of the Brave web browser with it’s crypto-token, BAT, that is used to reward users for their “attention” to content or ads. In general, we will see more media platforms using digital currencies to reward users for their involvement.

Another development we’ll see in the coming year are some large established companies offering a pilot service or product on a public blockchain. We already saw some movement in this direction in 2017 with insurance giant AXA offering flight delay insurance on the Ethereum blockchain. Established companies are very cognizant of how institutions that ignored the internet in the 90s were consumed by web startups, and they don’t want to be similarly blindsided with the arrival of blockchain technology. They recognize it’s either start experimenting with a blockchain, or go the way of blockbuster.

Jonathan Chou, CEO of Bee Token: According to blockchain.info, the amount of unique bitcoin addresses grew from ~500,000 in Jan 2017 to ~700,000 in Nov 2017. Meanwhile the price went from $1,000 to almost $10,000 in the same time period. The user growth is severely lagging behind the price movement. 2018 will see the first wave of everyday applications that gets blockchain into the hands of the everyday user starting from obvious case studies like Uber for blockchain or Airbnb for blockchain.

 

Max Kordek, Co-founder of Lisk: In 2018, we can expect to see many developments in the field of blockchain network governance. These include mechanisms to establish how consensus is reached, how updates are decided on and, most importantly, which stakeholder should have the final say over a network’s development. With Bitcoin’s User Activated Soft Fork (UASF), or Lisk’s Delegated-Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanisms, we can expect future solutions that help make crucial decisions about a project’s future.

The issue of scalability will be another hot topic continuing into 2018. Current blockchain frameworks are still lagging behind when compared to transaction speeds offered by traditional competitors such as VISA or Mastercard. The industry will need to find new solutions and optimize code to a point where competitive levels of responsiveness can be achieved. This is one of the reasons why Lisk is implementing sidechains. Ensuring well-distributed network activity and improving processing speed on the network is essential.

Luis Cuende Co-founder and Project Lead of Aragon: In 2016 everyone was talking about the DApps. 2017 was all about ICOs. 2018 will be about DAOs. Governance is the key ingredient in making blockchain projects more efficient and fair compared to legacy solutions, in addition to built-in evolutionary capabilities that will make them more successful than their traditional counterparts. Creating proper incentives through governance will help with adoption and encourage positive behaviour, especially preventing scammy or malicious actors stealing money. The more these new blockchain based tools and networks are used, the more value will be created for those using them.

What we need in the space is accountability, which is gained through transparency. Transparency will keep people accountable for their actions and make them more trustworthy. We have to work on the fundamentals of the protocols we use, because without them, we wouldn’t exist. So there needs to be an emphasis on that, with funds allocated to core development. Tokens can be leveraged to incentivise community members to strive toward a common goal. We will see the usage and thus value of cryptoassets increase in the near term as more and more people discover the benefits of removing unnecessary intermediaries.

Abhishek Pitti, CEO of Nucleus Vision: Blockchain is a powerful tool that can bring positive change in many industries, and we foresee that advancements in encryption technology and cryptography, coupled with blockchain, will be the recipe for success in the security industry in 2018. For instance, the Equifax data hack is something that needed more than just blockchain to have prevented it. While blockchain technology could have really helped customers assert more control over their own personal data owned by the company, bad security practices would have left them vulnerable, with or without blockchain.

Where blockchain’s security features will really come into their own will be in their coupling with IoT. With an ever-increasing number of connected devices, 2018 will need blockchain’s security architecture to protect IoT applications and users from sophisticated data breaches. I strongly believe that 2017 was only a trailer for what is to come in 2018 across the entire blockchain ecosystem and sector.

Yonatan Sela, SVP Business Development of PROPS by YouNow: This will be another big year for the blockchain, a year that overall will show maturation and growth for the space. This growth in entrepreneurial innovation around the blockchain is the result of a unique combination of promising financial returns for entrepreneurs, and the opportunity to undertake impactful entrepreneurial endeavors without the immediate fear that looms over innovation in most areas of tech today – being copied or eaten by the tech giants. Multiple areas in technology and innovation are essentially dominated by the leading tech giants, who have a unique advantage when it comes to developing the infrastructure and leading products in AI, AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, and multiple other promising areas of innovation. Blockchain, however, is unique in this context, as it is one area to which these tech giants have little incentive to enter in the short-medium term, as it undermines the business model they thrive on. Therefore, additional capital and talent is pulled into the blockchain space at unprecedented rates. I believe that by the end 2018, we’ll see over 50M people worldwide holding at least one cryptocurrency, and that we will see at least a couple of blockchain products adopted by a large user base.

Perry Woodin, CEO of Node40:2018 will be the year of mass public awareness for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. It 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. And the conversation won’t just be about the staggering price and wild volatility. Starting around February or March of 2018, the main topic of conversation will be about how to report tax liability. People who have Bitcoin will be looking for solutions like NODE40 Balance. Throughout 2018 we are going to see lots of media stories about new Bitcoin millionaires being under investigation by the IRS for neglecting to self report their gains. My big concern over the next five years is what happens to the industry when people begin to realize that Bitcoin is not “a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Where will Bitcoin’s floor be when its lack of utility becomes apparent to investors? My hope is that Bitcoin will continue to maintain value as a form of digital gold, and the promise of digital cash will be fulfilled by Dash.