Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2019 Predictions – Vol. XI

Opinion | December 28, 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.

Aaron Lasher, Co-Founder, BRD 

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

ANSWER:  Assuming you mean price, if history is our guide, we’ll be at about $8,000 per BTC by the end of 2019. 

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

ANSWER:  Not in the least. In our 2017 board meeting we identified the imminent bubble and organized our plans around the eventual bear market that it preceded.

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

ANSWER: Stablecoins will be a big deal. They live in the same silly nursery of digital assets that you can send as easily as an email that bitcoin does. Right now it’s a novelty, but in the next 20 years people won’t believe that they ever used “bank coins.”

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Which sectors – energy, e-commerce, gambling – do you think will have the biggest impact in the blockchain industry in 2019?   

ANSWER: It’s going to sound a little cuckoo, but the proper effect of “blockchain” will be a compression of retail banking, followed by investment banking, followed by central banking. It’s kind of a downer. That said, the only other relevant application of blockchain that I can see right now is in compliance and time-stamping of past states for the purpose of reporting. It’s still a big market, but it’s more of an efficiency play in the medium term. Long term we can tokenize all certificates: House deeds, car titles, bar tabs, etc. We aren’t there yet.

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

ANSWER:I’d like to attend a party with people who used bitcoin to escape countries with oppressive capital controls.

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

ANSWER:  Yes, for now. We’re in a stage where utility tokens get the chance to unveil their worth. Most won’t. Some will. 2019 will be the year that makes or breaks the value proposition of the utility token. Security tokens are a different topic, and should do fine as synthetic equity or dividend-paying assets.

Anatoly Yakovenko, CEO of Solana.  

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

ANSWER: I suspect we might see a large ASIC dependant Proof of Work network fail.  All those bitcoin ASICs that are below profitability because of price cannot be used for anything else so the cost of renting them to attack another bitcoin PoW based chain is low.  We may be seeing this currently with the 51% attacks on Vertcoin. But I think this will cause a flight back to bitcoin as the secure PoW blockchain left standing.

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

ANSWER:  I think they have cleared the noise a bit.  The projects with real teams building great tech are still focused on delivering great products.

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

ANSWER: They will likely drive payments adoption, and I believe we will see a layer one with a stablecoin as the underlying coin.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Which sectors – energy, e-commerce, gambling – do you think will have the biggest impact in the blockchain industry in 2019?   

ANSWER:  It makes sense that FinTech will have the biggest impact, as decentralized trading platforms catch up to centralized ones in performance and usability.

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

ANSWER: Guidance from the SEC.

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

ANSWER:  Absolutely not.  We live in a world now where distributed teams of talented folks can raise capital from a global pool of investors.  I think we are at peak Silicon Valley.