What does 2019 have in store for the crypto community? And what should we be doing in response? Find out from the cream of Crypto Valley
Opinions expressed herein may differ or be contrary to those expressed by SEBA Crypto AG.
2018 was a year of tumultuous change in the crypto community, tail-ended by what many are calling the “crypto winter”.
Such tempestuous times can be a sign of better things to come. That’s certainly what these Crypto Valley experts think.
We asked them how they thought the crypto landscape would change in 2019, and what they were doing to prepare for it. In other words: what their crypto New Year’s Resolutions are.
The responses we received revealed a broad consensus that 2019 will be a year of consolidation and maturation. A year of tangible evolution, in which long-term foundations are laid. A year that will leave us staring at a markedly different landscape by its end.
But don’t just take our word for it. Read on to see what the cream of Crypto Valley think 2019 will bring – and what they plan to do in response.
He sees 2019 as a period of consolidation in the crypto markets:
“In 2019 we will see more institutional and traditional players entering the crypto space than ever before. After the necessary consolidation of an over-hyped market, we see the beginning of cryptocurrencies as a new asset class.”
To prepare for the increased entry of institutional and traditional payers into the crypto space: “We [will] continue to offer institutional-grade service offerings to bridge the existing with the new finance world.”
Jesperson predicts that as the “crypto winter” recedes, only the strongest will be left standing, making 2019 a year of marked evolution in crypto:
“The big change in crypto in 2019 will be the “survival of the fittest.” In 2017 and 2018, most teams could survive without performing at all. In 2019, the space will continue to mature throughout this “crypto winter,” and serious projects that are focused on the technology and core fundamentals, not hype, will survive and do well in the long-term.
Performing in the tough times ahead is what will set apart the strongest projects from the rest of the pack. Fortunately, Tezos is one of these strong projects that is focused on the fundamentals and in a great position to succeed in the long-term.”
Reto Gadient is CEO of B.Academy, which provides education about blockchain for individuals, executives and organizations. He is also organizing this year’s CryptoMountain, a World Economic Forum blockchain event that blends skiing, talking and partying.
Gadient shares Jesperson’s view that the “crypto winter” is receding, heralding a maturation of the crypto space – as long as the right education is in place:
“A glimpse into the glass ball tells me: I still expect many surprises for 2019. Depending on how the economic and political weather conditions continue to develop, the “crypto winter“ will be over and we will experience a new spring. Mining will see a revival because of further efficiency gains regarding energy consumption. We will see a boost in quality among ICOs too: Investors are better educated, and more private individuals - as well as SMEs - will move away from traditional bank credits and discover the benefits of tokenization.
What to do? Education and training at all levels. We need to learn how decentralized systems work and how they are applied. We need to understand the new rules of token economics. We need to accept new ways of leadership and management, how to live with the paradox of decentralized businesses in a centralized entity. It is not just about tech leadership in which Universities play a key role. It is about having a holistic view, an ecosystem mindset. Networks such as that in Crypto Valley help us on that journey.”
Ralf Glabischnig is Managing Partner at inacta, which uses blockchain to deliver exceptional information management.
He sees 2019 as the year serious investment enters crypto, and blockchain breaks out of finance:
“The year 2019 will be remembered in history books as the year where the technical evolution of blockchains made a giant leap forward.
Those gambling on rapid gains in ICOs that were pumped to the moon will be replaced by serious investors that follow traditional best practices such as several subsequent financing rounds that only get unlocked upon successful completion of pre-defined milestones. This will benefit great teams, such as those supported by CVVC, whereas projects that were overfunded in 2017/18 despite mediocre teams and only vague ideas will face the harsh reality that no white paper can replace smooth execution.
What's more, the race we've seen coming between corporate initiatives and decentralized community efforts will intensify and produce winners, where both of those streams combine forces and successfully merge communities and sustainable economic goals.
Last but not least, we'll see blockchain technology evolving beyond the financial sector into insurance, real estate and commodities. We at inacta, a leading DLT service provider, are proud to support several corporate and community efforts to build the next generation infrastructure.
Serious Money. Serious People. Serious Projects!”
Zhao shares the view that institutions will enter crypto this year, as well as expressing high hopes for the further development of distributed ledger technology:
“A big change I see in 2019 is institutional players making waves in this space as 2018 has seen many of them building the infrastructure and laying the foundation for it. For crypto-assets to have a chance of mass adoption beyond the geeks and tech savvy investors, this asset class needs to be integrated into the mainstream financial infrastructure.
Another change that I see or hope to see is a major breakthrough of the nascent distributed ledger technology (DLT) and much more building of real products utilizing DLT. No more concept-based projects that look tantalizing but have nothing to show, not even real problems, because only working products have them.
Compliance is key to institutional adoption and it has been NEO blockchain’s design philosophy to build a compliance-ready smart contract platform. As one of the leading public blockchains - which has had its main-net running successfully for two years, and more than 100 dApps built on it - technology sets us apart and remains our core.
Being technology-driven and compliance-ready will prepare us for changes and challenges for the future.”
As Head of Economic Promotion in the Canton of Zug, Beat Bachmann is a key figure in nurturing the world’s leading crypto community. He also sees 2019 as the year that hype is supplanted by a mature industry. And he intends to play his part in smoothing the regulatory path:
“Blockchain technology has already initiated a major global change. As one of the first global blockchain hotspots – the cradle of Crypto Valley in Zug – we experienced this “blockchain revolution” first hand. We believe that 2019 will be the transitional year from start-up hype to a maturing blockchain industry. Of the countless business ideas around the world, the best blockchain companies will establish themselves with their use cases and business models. These depend on legal certainty and a clear regulatory framework.
The Swiss Federal Council has laid the necessary foundations with the recent publication of the report "Legal Foundations for Distributed Ledger Technology and Blockchain in Switzerland". Switzerland will refrain from creating a new blockchain law and instead adapt existing laws. This intelligent approach of technology-neutral regulation will enable new innovations and establish Crypto Nation Switzerland as the world's leading hub.”
We in the Crypto Valley have a lot to thank Johann Gevers for, since he was the original founder and visionary thought leader who conceived of the Crypto Valley ecosystem. Johann has a distinct perspective on what’s missing to move crypto and blockchain to mainstream adoption.
“A decade after its invention, not only has Bitcoin failed to achieve mainstream adoption — its usage actually fell 80% since Q3/2017, even while achieving new price highs. As an ecosystem thinker, I’ve been asking myself, “What is holding back the global crypto ecosystem?” Various answers have been offered, such as speed, cost, scalability, lack of interoperability, volatility, and regulatory uncertainty. While these are certainly contributing factors, they have all been solved in principle, and implementation is underway.
However, a year ago I realized there is still a crucial missing piece — Blockchain’s missing link: An economy consists of entities that transact for mutual gain. So an economy requires both identity
systems and transaction systems.
So far, we’ve built crypto transaction systems, but we’re missing crypto identity systems. The lack of a solution to crypto identity cripples usability and trust, locks us into outdated legacy identity and compliance systems, and prevents the crypto economy from truly taking off.
The problem is, centralized digital identity solutions cannot work — neither technically nor socially — because they cannot meet fundamental security, privacy, and individual sovereignty requirements. And so far, virtually all identity initiatives have been centralized (single provider), which is why they failed to gain momentum.
What is needed is a decentralized solution to digital identity that enables multiple providers to interoperate — a unifying identity meta-system. This means the internet needs not an identity product, but an identity layer to enable the various products and services to fluidly interoperate. And in fact, digital identity researchers have taken evolutionary steps in this direction, shifting from centralized, to federated, to user-centric, and finally to fully decentralized self-sovereign identity.
The big change I foresee for crypto in 2019 is a growing awareness of the central, foundational importance of identity, and of the specific requirements for a successful identity ecosystem — in Kim Cameron’s words, the laws of identity. The crypto community needs to support the pioneering work of the W3C in developing decentralized digital identifiers (DIDs) into an open global standard, and build the internet’s identity stack and infrastructure to enable the crypto economy to fulfil its immense promise.”
Guido Bühler is our very own CEO, and a man who likes to keep things short and to the point. It’s his kind of laser-focused leadership that makes our ambitious mission to build a crypto-bank from the ground up in under a year, not only plausible, but likely.
When asked what he thinks 2019 will bring, and how he plans to prepare, he answered simply:
“1. The arrival of institutional money
2. Banking License.”
By which he means - as other Crypto Valley experts predict - institutional money is ready and waiting to enter the crypto space; thanks primarily to the introduction of regulated custodial storage services. And that with a Banking and Securities Dealers License, SEBA will be in prime position to provide the bank-grade services those institutions require.
The consensus from Crypto Valley seems to be that 2019 will be a landmark year in crypto-history. Potentially the year that crypto truly becomes globally adopted.
Salient prediction or over-enthusiasm?
Tell us what you think!