Blockchain And Cryptocurrency 2019 Predictions

Innovation, Interviews, News, Opinion | December 13, 2018 By:

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 everyone hopes is a happy and prosperous 2019.

Silvio Micali, Founder, Algorand:

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

ANSWER: Recent crypto plunges have not affected my outlook or plans for 2019. The industry has reached an inflection point. Despite the hype and billions of dollars invested in existing blockchain projects, the enormous promise of this transformative technology has largely gone unfulfilled. A seemingly intractable trilemma of technical barriers – scalability, decentralization and security – have undermined the trust and capabilities necessary for mainstream adoption and business relevance.

But, much work is being done to devise solutions to this trilemma. Now is the time to be more optimistic than ever, and in 2019 I will continue to work with my team to bring this technology to the masses.

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

ANSWER: I think that the blockchain industry will impact the financial services and banking industry the most in 2019. Blockchain’s ability to provide a new form of distributed ledger can and will be applied across a broad range of applications within financial services, as it has the potential to facilitate faster, cheaper, safer and more transparent financial transactions. But more importantly, I believe that blockchain will enable the democratization of banking globally and will bring both traditional and progressive financial services to under-served areas, allowing more people and businesses to participate in a fair manner.

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

ANSWER: In 2019, I expect the blockchain trilemma to be solved. When this happens, businesses will no longer be limited to utilizing immature blockchain technology hindered by several previously intractable technical barriers. Businesses will be able to focus on the development of real and tangible solutions that unlock the promise and potential of a decentralized and digital economy.

Russell Korus – co-founder and CEO EZ Exchange:

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

ANSWER:  Mass adoption of bitcoin is slowly but surely making its way across all segments of society, and this will accelerate in 2019. Scaling solutions that will enable instant bitcoin payments at the point-of-sale, greater consumer confidence from retail investors, greater interest from institutional investors, and approval of crypto-based ETFs, will all contribute to significant growth in the crypto market for 2019, both in terms of user base and market cap.

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

ANSWER:  Not in the least. We really need to separate short-term market fluctuations from long-term viability. Every day the global blockchain developer community grows, and every day more and more teams of extremely talented people get together to start building things we can’t even conceive of. The transformational potential of blockchain is more clarified today than ever before, and despite recent market conditions, there is no doubt that this technology represents the next paradigm shift in society.

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

ANSWER: Investors for the most part, hate volatility. Cryptocurrency markets have historically been extremely volatile – bitcoin has gone from $1000 to $20,000 to $4000 over the previous 24 months – and this volatility has kept many investors on the sidelines. Stablecoins are a very effective way to mitigate this, by providing entry and exit points, in and out of traditionally volatile assets, using a cryptocurrency pegged to a known currency, most often USD. The key to a stablecoin’s value, much like the currency it’s pegged to, is trust. Thus it is imperative to only use stablecoins that are fully allocated and 3rd party audited, to ensure that there are never any issues with redeeming the coins back to the issuer.

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

ANSWER: Cryptocurrency exchanges have proliferated of late, but 2019 will start to see customer service and ease of use, influence the industry. Crypto investors will start to demand the same user experience and level of support that investors in every other asset class enjoy. As well, consumers will demand that crypto exchanges be regulated, as more and more jurisdictions adopt regulatory frameworks around cryptocurrency.

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

ANSWER: I would very much like to see the SEC develop a comprehensive regulatory framework around cryptocurrency. As the largest and most influential regulator in the world, their actions will influence virtually every other jurisdiction, and this would lead to greater clarity around how and where crypto businesses can exist and thrive. A uniform set of global guidelines around cryptocurrency would go a long way to stabilizing the market and provide some much needed assurance and direction.