Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2019 Predictions – Vol. XII

Opinion | December 29, 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.

Daniel Alexiuc, CEO, Living Room of Satoshi
BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Where do you see Bitcoin heading in 2019 and why?
ANSWER:  Bitcoin has almost reached 10 years in operation as the world’s first truly international currency, independent and resistant to control by any government, group or individual. I think it has now proved itself to be reliable and in 2019 it will continue chugging along and churning out a block of transactions every 10 minutes, while businesses start to get comfortable with the idea that it is here to stay.
BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Have recent crypto plunges affected your outlook and/or plans for 2019?
ANSWER:  Not really. Living Room of Satoshi has witnessed similar price volatility in previous years, it’s something that we expect and anticipate as Bitcoin continues to grow. We intend to continue building innovative Bitcoin based products like Wallet of Satoshi – the world’s simplest Lightning wallet.
BLOCK TRIBUNE:  What role will stablecoins have in the market in 2019?
ANSWER: Stablecoins have the same inherent weakness as all asset-backed tokens, including security tokens, equity tokens and the like. Real world assets are fundamentally centralised, while blockchain tokens are fundamentally decentralised. Trying to peg one to the other results in a compromise and breakdown of both models, and I expect all stablecoins to be unable to maintain their pegs (which we have seen already with Tether this year).
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:  Retail payments, including online sales and brick and mortar stores. Bitcoin has proved itself as a reliable security layer, which now enables new retail focused second layer technologies like Lightning to build on.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What event would you like to see happen in 2019?
ANSWER: Satoshi Nakamoto moving some of his earliest mined coins.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is the ICO dead as an effective fundraiser?  Why or why not?
ANSWER:    Yes, government securities regulators around the world have now started enforcing penalties on ICOs which are all basically operating as illegal securities in most jurisdictions. And I’m happy to see them go, I think the whole concept of an ICO is incredibly misleading and deceptive to most investors, and is usually evidence of an unethical and scammy business model.
Eric Solis, Founder and CEO.  MovoCash

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

ANSWER:  Bitcoin will experience a legitimate bear market which I believe will last through all of next year. The reason is that both bull and bear markets are driven by the collective psychology of society. Given the extreme market capitulation of the magnitude we have experienced with bitcoin, buyers will be very cautious going forward and this is GOOD. The underpinning of bitcoin relies on the TRUE market forces to emerge, unencumbered by government manipulation. Over the long haul, this utterly free market dynamic will turn bitcoin into what was intended by Satoshi Nakamoto. A currency that can not be manipulated.

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

ANSWER: No. I believe in Crypto (specifically bitcoin) more now than when it was going up. This decline is equivalent to putting gold into refining fire. You must burn out the impurities and this shakeout is accomplishing that. I think it is a mistake to look at bitcoin through the eyes of an investor. We need to see bitcoin as a payment system that eliminates fraud through a push technology. Believe me when I tell you that the entire pull financial system is broken beyond repair. Bitcoin solves this crushing problem.

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

ANSWER: ZERO!!! I think stablecoins are a complete waste of time. If you want a stablecoin tied to the dollar, then put your money in the bank. The assumption that the dollar and all other fiat currencies are stable is an utter illusion. Inflation/deflation are constant threat purchasing power parity. The idea that a stablecoin solves this problem is laughable.

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

ANSWER: I am personally excited to see what happens to the energy sector. I think a really smart global innovation would be to democratize renewable energy by loading the entire value chain onto the blockchain. Theoretically, bitcoin and energy combined could converge to create a world currency backed by power and harnessed by bitcoin/blockchain.

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

ANSWER: I think that one of the main drivers of the decrease in value of bitcoin is forces around the world screaming for regulation/laws that govern this powerful new currency. Imagine if there were no property laws governing ownership of your house? What if no patent laws existed around IP? What if you did not have a registration on your car or even a marital certificate for your marriage? What makes the US different from many other countries are our property rights. Property rights are the core tenants of wealth creation in a free market. Bitcoin is as free market as it gets, but it is begging for a legal framework to work within. Once jurisdictions around the globe define how bitcoin will work within respective borders, then it will find equilibrium as a global currency.

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

ANSWER: No. Much like the dot-com bubble that burst, ICO’s will be categorized as pre-bubble and post-bubble offerings. All of the white papers that received funding with nothing but a back of a napkin sketch will be relocated to the dumpster where they belong. Then after some time of reflection, the market will begin to slowly rebuild with companies that are real. Tokenization is a revolutionary new form factor representing ownership and value. Again, this is a market that desperately needs adult supervision by way of rules and regulations (ie laws). But in the end, marketability of an asset with real value should be accessible regardless of the size of the company. I believe long run ICO’s are here to stay.