Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2019 Predictions – Vol. XIV

Opinion | December 31, 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.

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

  • Reuben Yap, Chief Operation Officer of privacy coin, Zcoin:

    “The recent crypto plunges have definitely affected our plans for 2019, in a productive way. We’re tightening our purse strings to focus on development and building. This bear market is about wiping out the projects who aren’t sustainable and were just around to make a quick buck. I think we’re in for a long recovery period that will be healthy for the industry.”

  • Brian Norton, Chief Operation Officer of the original Ethereum wallet interface, MEW (MyEtherWallet) : “If anything, it has steeled our commitment to our users to bring them a safe, free, easy-to-use experience when interacting with the blockchain and exposing people to the many fantastic projects that builders in the space are creating. 2019 will be about proving the vitality of the space regardless of the behavior of the market.”
  • Lan Filipic, COO of Sofitto and Sugi Card, a cold storage cryptocurrency solution: “Of course, like everyone else, we are closely watching for changes and market sentiments that will affect our business, but we have not lost sight of what’s important – the commitment to building the infrastructure for the new digital economy. We are always strategically positioned for these kind of market swings and the influence or dangers of “hype”, and as long as we acknowledge it’s all part and parcel of our much needed economic evolution, we’ll stay on track.”
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Which sectors do you think will have the biggest impact in the blockchain industry in 2019?
  • Lan Filipic, COO of Sofitto and Sugi Card, a cold storage cryptocurrency solution: “The financial sector will continue to have the largest impact on the blockchain industry because it is already highly digitized, with the main areas being payments, investing/trading and trade finance. Other sectors with great impact will be the Government sector, with respects to voting, land registries or even digital national currencies. While I’m unsure what will actually be implemented at the government level, even an announcement or commitment to such projects could have a large impact. The third sector is energy and utilities, particularly in the energy trading area.”

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

  • George Harrap, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Bitspark – a stablecoin money transfer ecosystem: “Stablecoins will continue to grow in market cap and branch out into currencies other than USD in 2019. The biggest problem to solve is being able to easily transact in the worlds 190 currencies, of which only approximately 30 are transact-able digitally, the remaining currencies are often tied geographically to a location or lack the financial infrastructure necessary to be available digitally. Stablecoins for these currencies will increase trust, transparency, traceability and provide new financial opportunities for the residents of those countries.”

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

  • Samantha Yap, Founder & Director of YAP Global – a fintech, blockchain & cryptocurrency focused PR firm: “This year, the editorial integrity of the emerging cryptocurrency media industry was eroded by disreputable paid media coverage. In 2019, we’d like to see these unethical journalism practices disappear. At the same time, we hope more editors and journalists from mainstream publications begin to learn about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency so they can cover important stories about how this technology is already transforming our world.”
  • Reuben Yap, Chief Operation Officer of privacy coin, Zcoin: “We would like to see a more collaborative approach to the cryptocurrency space. We have seen so much childish and egotistical infighting within the community, when we should be focusing on how blockchain technology can help people around the world. The focus on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) rather than actual improvement in meaningful adoption of cryptocurrencies shows that we have some ways to go in maturity.”
  • Brian Norton, Chief Operation Officer of the original Ethereum wallet interface, MEW (MyEtherWallet): “If there is one thing that I hope happens as a result of this plunge is that the low prices convince the curious to get off the sidelines and start experimenting. Buy just enough ETH to play some games, swap some tokens, and really find out what the ecosystem has to offer. A little stability in the price would be nice too.”
  • Lan Filipic, COO of Sofitto and Sugi Card, a cold storage cryptocurrency solution: “In 2019 and beyond we would like to see blockchain-based products in the hands of an ordinary individual – not just the crypto enthusiasts and traders. We need to keep the momentum building for blockchain inclusion.”

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

  • Carlos Domingo, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Securitize – a compliance platform for digitizing securities on the blockchain: “Yes, unregulated ICOs selling securities to retail investors are dead for those issuers attempting to fundraise from investors in major jurisdictions. Anyone that wants to fundraise now will have to follow regulations and either file with regulators, use exemptions for selling unregistered securities, or use crowdfunding sites.”
  • Jamie Finn, President and Co-Founder of Securitize – a compliance platform for digitizing securities on the blockchain: “ICOs are really just global crowdfunding and it was clearly very effective. The problem was expectations. People thought they were investing, but they were really paying upfront for a product. Going forward, digital securities should fulfill the original intent of the ICO.”