Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2019 Predictions: Vol. X

Opinion | December 27, 2018 By:

We continue our series of predictions from the industry’s thought leaders on what may happen in the coming year. 

By almost any measure, 2018 was a challenging year for the blockchain/cryptocurrency industries. Beyond the usual issues facing young businesses in hiring, marketing, technology and financing, companies were engaged in a crisis of confidence with investors, as the crypto markets lost 80 percent of their overall value from the beginning of the year.

Add to that the magic fountain of funding caused by the curtailing of initial coin offerings, increased government scrutiny and outright bans of certain activities, and the bitter battles between technology developers that caused market gyrations, and it’s amazing that any company survived such severe headwinds.

But heading into 2019, the survivors of this industry wide winter are showing faith in the underlying technology of blockchain and the continuing promise of cryptocurrency. They point out that institutional investors are still on the sidelines, and many retail backers are still not in the game in any huge way.

Add that to the continued interest of big businesses and the spirit of innovation shown by blockchain and crypto pioneers, and the story looks a lot brighter than mere numbers would suggest.

Block Tribune asked thought leaders in the industry for their takes on what may happen in the coming year. Now through the end of the month, we’ll spotlight their thoughts on what may happen in what all hope will be a happy and prosperous 2019.

Rex Wong, CEO of AIVON

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Where do you see Bitcoin heading in 2019 and why?

ANSWER: In 2019, We think 2019 will continue to be a challenging year for bitcoin but if SEC approves bitcoin ETF, it’ll help spark interest and demand from institutional investors.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Have recent crypto plunges affected your outlook and/or plans for 2019?

ANSWER: Recent crypto plunges did affect our plans in terms of fundraising. However, it did not affect our plans for 2019 in terms of building our core product. In a bear market, it allows crypto entrepreneurs and teams to focus on actually building a scalable product with a viable and sustainable ecosystem instead of focusing on fundraising.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  What role will stablecoins have in the market in 2019?

ANSWER: As mentioned, during this rational period. We expect the introduction of new stablecoins with better design and use case that can help with the long term sustainability of the crypto industry.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Which sectors – energy, e-commerce, gambling – do you think will have the biggest impact in the blockchain industry in 2019?  (Feel free to choose any other sectors)

ANSWER: AIVON believes that the advertising market will have the biggest impact in the blockchain industry in the upcoming year, 2019. With an immutable and transparent digital ledger, the advertising industry will benefit especially advertisers. Today, millions of dollars are misused and unrecorded causing media spending not reaching to the target audience. But, with transparency, advertisers can now know how much of their spending is actually reaching their audience. 

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What event would you like to see happen in 2019?

ANSWER: We would love to see Bitcoin ETF to be approved by SEC by early 2019. If bitcoin ETF do indeed gets approved by SEC, the crypto market will rise and bitcoin will dominant the market. Bitcoin will surely pull away in terms of market share and usage compared to others like ETH and XRP. 

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is the ICO dead as an effective fundraiser?  Why or why not?

ANSWER: AIVON believes ICO is not 100% dead as an effective fundraiser but is definitely affected by the bear market and public’s view of ICOs. In a bull market, any company can raise but in a bear market like now, good projects with strong founding teams and real use cases will standout and succeed in fundraising. Meanwhile poorly organized and “scam-like” companies will be forced to close business and operations.

Ashton Addison, CEO, Eventchain

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Where do you see Bitcoin heading in 2019 and why?

ANSWER:  Bitcoin will likely follow its path down, dropping over 90% in value before it stabilizes and moves into its next market cycle. At this time I see more Bitcoin heading into the wallets of those who have believed in it this whole time. Bitcoin has died over 100 times according to the media, and us believers know it’s not disappearing. Any further price declines are seen as new opportunities to get further involved with Bitcoin while it’s reasonably priced.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Have recent crypto plunges affected your outlook and/or plans for 2019?

ANSWER:  For those blockchain companies that raised funds in crypto throughout 2017 and 2018 and have not hedged their risks with some fiat, I expect their company roadmaps have been drastically affected. I’ve spoken to some founders who did not expect to have to raise more capital so quickly and this will mean their projects will likely shut down. As a blockchain startup that has also raised traditional equity and have a clear idea on how our blockchain tech is penetrating the live event industry, our plans have not been severely affected by the volatility of the cryptocurrency market.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What role will stablecoins have in the market in 2019?

ANSWER: Stablecoins will become more useful in 2019 and traders will have more options to choose from. With legitimate alternatives like Circle’s USDC and DAI becoming more popular, the community will not have to solely rely on USDT, an stablecoin that some would say has no backing at all, although it’s supposed to be backed 1 for 1 by the US Dollar.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Which sectors – energy, e-commerce, gambling – do you think will have the biggest impact in the blockchain industry in 2019?  (Feel free to choose any other sectors)

ANSWER:  The industries which will first be impacted by the adaptation of blockchain technology will be those that are currently considered high cost and low value, and do not have decades of legislation protecting their business processes. The ticketing industry, the gaming & gambling industry and the remittance industry are hopefully the first to see the blockchain change the way business is done.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What event would you like to see happen in 2019?

ANSWER: The more events bringing the blockchain community together the better. Since we started EventChain, we have been supporting event organizers looking to bring people together to talk about cryptocurrency and blockchain in all parts of the world. I expect more people to gather to learn how blockchain can be integrated with and impacts business with less focus on the cryptocurrency prices themselves. Of course, when the next bull run starts, there will be more newcomers flocking into blockchain to reap some financial gain, the public attention will bring more awareness to the legitimacy of this industry each and every time the prices rise. These newcomers have to go to events that are focused on education and implementation, not focused on investing.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is the ICO dead as an effective fundraiser?  Why or why not?

ANSWER: ICO Fundraising is not completely dead, but it is very saturated. The hype of the new ICO fundraising model quickly gained attention of startups looking to raise funds easily. Everyday as more blockchain startups looks for financing through tokens rather than equity, the differences in investors evaluate these offerings narrows. Utility tokensales can be effective as long as you’ve team has done their due diligence,  isn’t cutting corners, and is offering a product or service that has the potential to become something big. It’s expected that STO’s and security token exchanges will play a larger role in blockchain financing moving forward into 2019 and 2020.