Prominent crypto personality and CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong has revealed the top trends which he believes will define the next decade of blockchain technology.
Outlining 11 areas of development for blockchain and cryptocurrency during the 2020s, Armstrong predicts that blockchain will reach one billion users by the end of the decade, and also sees a future where governments make a mass move into crypto.
Armstrong predicts that over the course of the decade, new layer-two scaling solutions will be developed that may increase blockchain scalability by “several orders of magnitude”, which would allow decentralised applications (dApps) to be developed more rapidly.
Discussing scalability challenges, Armstrong said:
“Just like broadband replacing 56k modems led to many new applications on the internet (YouTube, Uber, and so on), I believe scalability is a prerequisite for the utility phase of crypto to really get going.”
Armstrong also addressed issues of privacy, predicting that a privacy coin would emerge during the 2020s which would attract mainstream adoption, and he also shared that trading and speculation would give way to real utility for blockchain assets.
CBDCs in the spotlight
Interestingly, Armstrong also included central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, in his predictions for the next decade.
He argued that while Facebook’s Libra coin had largely been met with derision from the global regulatory community, other digital fiat currencies were gaining traction.
Principal among these new CBDCs is China’s digital yuan, which Armstrong says has left the US playing catch up, exploring new ways to digitise the dollar.
However, Armstrong argues national-level CBDCs may not be the promised digital currencies of the future:
“I think we will then see basket digital currencies come out, either by a consortium like Libra or CENTRE, or possibly the IMF itself.”
Armstrong’s last prediction is based on what he terms the “billionaire flippening”. The Coinbase CEO predicts a scenario where BTC will reach $200,000 and more than half of the world’s billionaires will have their fortunes in crypto.
This theory was made popular by Polychain Capital founder Olaf Carlson-Wee and angel investor Balaji Srinivasan, who are good friends of Armstrong.
Discussing the potential effects of such a scenario, Armstrong shared:
“It would mean that more pro-technology people will have access to large amounts of capital in the 2020s. Presumably, this will increase the amount of investment made in science and technology, and I think we’ll also see more crypto folks turn to philanthropy.”
Despite Coinbase’s role as a trading platform and exchange, Armstrong has long been a proponent of blockchain utility, and has previously indicated a wish to move beyond trading and drive innovation.