The Big Interview

Johnathan Turrall: How cryptocurrency could topple fiat currencies in the future

The CEO of Cryptonomy, Johnathan Turrall, explains how cryptocurrencies could replace fiat currencies in the future as he looks to new innovations for 2019

In the future, Johnathan Turrall, the CEO of Cryptonomy, predicts a move from centralised services such as Facebook and Gmail, to a decentralised platform not using blockchain which will “rewrite the internet.”

He was an early adopter of cryptocurrency when he first learned of Bitcoin’s existence in 2012 and contacting his friends who worked in the City to enthusiastically extol its virtues. “So what?” was some of the responses he received.

Similarly, he got the same response when he called some of his computer scientist friends.

Those who didn’t say “So what?” are now working with him at Cryptonomy, he adds, wryly.

Cryptocurrency expertise

Cryptonomy, established in 2012, is formed of a mix of computer scientists, business strategists, development architects, financial analysts, marketing and legal professionals, who all have one thing in common: blockchain and cryptocurrency expertise.

They are three separate companies under one umbrella offering crypto consulting, software development and compliance and are based in London and from the University of Sussex in Brighton, where it was first founded by Turrall.

He describes himself as “a polymath, who likes biology, esoteric physics and Bitcoin.”

Cryptonomy is working with the Royal Mint which is using Decentralised Ledger Technology to make gold available to its investors. He says the Mint is conscious that the global demand for its physical coins diminishes more year-on-year and it is looking to realign its business.

They work with Ethereum, the Cardano Foundation and IOHK, as well as clients across the globe and they deliver development and support for cryptocurrencies on Ledger’s devices and BOLOS platform.

Regulatory arm

In recent times, the regulatory arm of his business has been growing at the fastest rate and he’s a huge advocate of regulation in the space as it moves towards mass adoption.

When frequently asked why own crypto, he says: “Let’s turn this around – why own fiat? Over the centuries, there have been many attempts at fiat-based economies and they have always collapsed.

“Evidence suggests it’s not a case of ‘if’ but when. Our entire global economy is fiat-based, so from this point of view, things don’t look good.”

Genuinely useful

He says: “What we are going to see is people using decentralised consensus systems like blockchain more and more to achieve systems that are genuinely useful to people.

“Rather than having an overturning of governments like we used to have 100 years ago. We are going to have a gentle revolution where people are excited about the technology and they migrate into it as it works for them there’s gradually a natural step change where people graduate to this technology that has silently come up.

“That’s exciting in itself.”

Bigger picture

Asked about the fall in the market with crypto, he says he is more interested in the “bigger picture” and the market is cyclical in its nature and repeatedly follows the same pattern it has over a number of years “and each time it bursts, the amount in circulation and the value increases.” He currently believes we are in what traders refer to as “the dead cat bounce” part of the cycle.

It can be “very easily dismissed” by those who don’t understand it but it has not yet reached a mature stage which could be many years away. Ultimately, “Bitcoin could be replaced by something better.”

Real innovation

He adds: “There is genuine innovation going on here in computer science – the cryptography. This kind of technology is new and revolutionary and is very different to anything we’ve seen before. There’s real innovation here that will stick.

“We are going to see incumbent businesses that haven’t innovated for a long time suddenly being challenged and users are shifting quite quickly to these services. That wouldn’t surprise me at all.”

He says the scammers and criminals who were drawn to cryptocurrency during the price bubble was as a result of “human nature and psychopaths being drawn to new frontiers.” He likens it to the gold rush in America.

Fiat decline

Fiat currencies are in decline and could collapse, he warns. He says just because it hasn’t happened, doesn’t mean it won’t. He cites the collapse of the economy in Greece and hyperinflation in Venezuela.

He advises people to “get a small amount of cryptocurrency” to protect themselves against this possibility and to even squirrel some gold away. “I would argue that Bitcoin is probably much safer than the GBP, USD and EUR,” he adds.

He also predicts there will be a reduction in the number of companies using blockchain, as it has sometimes become a buzzword and not a necessity for organisations.

“There are some companies on the blockchain bandwagon who don’t need it as a technical requirement for their organisation,” he adds.



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