Blockchain and Cryptocurrency 2019 Predictions – Vol. XVbr>
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.
Brandon Iles, Co-Founders of Ampleforth
Clarence Liu, VP of Development, Elastos
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Where do you see Bitcoin heading in 2019 and why?
ANSWER: I believe there will be renewed confidence in blockchain in 2019, which will positively impact Bitcoin as a base currency or a benchmark for blockchain in general. The reason for the renewed confidence, in my opinion, is that the current bear market has forced investors to genuinely learn about the projects they invest in, and as blockchain literacy improves they will migrate their investments to the newest, most promising, innovators in our space. I don’t believe anyone investing in blockchain lacks an interest in seeing it succeed, so I’m sure they will reinvest. However, numerous bad ICOs have highlighted that a superficial understanding of blockchain is not sufficient to make sound investments.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Have recent crypto plunges affected your outlook and/or plans for 2019?
ANSWER: The recent crypto plunges don’t affect our outlook because we believe in the technology, and the progress of numerous projects, including ours in 2019, will likely offset the current pessimism we see. Also for our core development and roadmap, we don’t commit to milestones unless the funding is already secured, so we are never in a position where our key priorities, goals, and developments are at risk.
Of course, I have to be frank — market conditions have affected our plans, but it should be noted that any blockchain project that says otherwise is probably lying. We have different plans for developing our ecosystem based on market conditions and it’s likely we will have to take a more conservative approach for the near future. I am not concerned though, because we will always have the ability to invest in the most promising projects, that’s one of the benefits of being a global project, and already having had the time to build our network.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Which sectors – energy, e-commerce, gambling – do you think will have the biggest impact in the blockchain industry in 2019?
ANSWER: When the payment sector’s adoption of blockchain hits a critical point in public penetration, I believe that will have the biggest impact. We are likely to see this happen in other countries first, especially in those with a more receptive regulatory environment.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What event would you like to see happen in 2019?
ANSWER: I would love to see a regulatory summit, involving politicians and blockchain industry leaders in the US, that results in some conclusive goals and first steps towards setting up some sort of regulatory task force. As it stands, the current regulatory uncertainty is having a negative impact on the rise of blockchain even in other countries. Even if some countries try to lead the way with regulation, if the US later takes a stricter approach, there are diplomatic concerns those countries may still need to be wary of.