Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2019 Predictions – Vol. XIX

Opinion | January 5, 2019 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.

Phoenix Choi, CEO & Co-Founder, Infleum

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

ANSWER: The recent cryptocurrency plunge has totally been great for us, because this means that we can take our time to really create a community that believes in INFLEUM. We have added more roadshow events to our plans and outside our current roadmap that we are sticking by with, we will meet and garner private and individual investors to strengthen INFLEUM’s role in the market.

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

ANSWER:  For INFLEUM, from 2019, we plan to accelerate the development of the full platform with the blockchain-based compensation engine.

In general, as the blockchain is understood regionally and globally, national and international regulations will be placed. I think this will stabilize the market and financial products for fiat currencies like ETFs are expected to enter the cryptocurrency market, which would be really neat. 

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

ANSWER:  Amount of funds raised from ICO’s around the world in September is 89.5% less than January 2018 which shows the recession in the ICO market. This may be due to the number of ICO’s dropping 73%, however the number of industry-led reverse ICO’s have increased. We can see that start-ups were leading organizations hosting ICO’s up till now, but corporations have announced ICO’s starting in 2019. These bigger companies will introduce blockchain tech into their processes and will discover efficiencies that will lead to price reduction, fraud prevention and market expansion.

I also expect that exchanges will have a larger role in ICO processes. By combining ICO process with decentralized autonomous organizations (DAICO process), investors will have more power in project decision making and will be able to get refunds when project does not satisfy its promises.

Charlie Sheng, CMO of San Francisco-based startup Measurable Data Token(MDT).  
BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Where do you see Bitcoin heading in 2019 and why?
ANSWER:  The approval of ETFs by the SEC will make a significant impact on bitcoin next year. With the bitcoin ETFs, institutional bitcoin investments from the wall street can finally join the market, which could be a stimulus to push the market to new heights. It also means that more investors can have regulated, easy and reliable access to the crypto market. On the other side, individual investors out there probably won’t chase after bitcoin as they did last years. The plunge this year will probably keep most of the speculators away from the crypto market.
BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Have recent crypto plunges affected your outlook and/or plans for 2019?
ANSWER:  Not really. Our team is still building the product MDT ( according to the roadmap. And we will release the product sooner than we planned.
BLOCK TRIBUNE:  What role will stablecoins have in the market in 2019?
ANSWER:  People are getting to realize how important stablecoins are in such a volatile market. However, currently, we haven’t seen any stablecoins that are reliable and decentralized. Hopefully in 2019, the most popular ones like Tether can be more transparent about their financial status and be more responsible for the market. I’m also open to new attempts on creating a stablecoin that works in a decentralized way.
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: I would say Big Data. With the development of AI and machine learning, big data industry is going to boom in the coming year. Every industry relies on big data to come up with future decisions and better solutions.Blockchain so far is the perfect solution for decentralized data storage. Other than that, it ensures secure and data transaction without violating data privacy. I am excited about how big data and blockchain make impacts together.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What event would you like to see happen in 2019?
ANSWER: Better and more consistent market surveillance across the world. We saw regulators from the US, Singapore, and some other countries are trying to come up with regulations on this new industry. However, the cryptocurrency market involves too many departments, sectors and parties. It’s going to take a long time before we see a clearer regulation.
Currently, Singapore and the US are the two most popular markets for blockchain developers. I would like to see more policymakers take the lead and push this new technology forward in the year 2019.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is the ICO dead as an effective fundraiser?  Why or why not?
ANSWER: Yes. Unregulated “ICO”s have lost its heat, which does not even need the hand of the regulators. It’s already starting to fade away among investors. The market itself will eliminate Insecure, unregulated and risky fundraising. The “ICO”s will probably evolve to a new form where it ensures both security and liquidity for investors. It should not be viewed as a replacement to equity fund-raising, but as a complement to it. I would say the new “ICO”s would best fit a certain type of projects which are mostly open-source and designed as a token economy. They will not apply to just another startup company who needs fund-raising any more.