Ten predictions for blockchain (and crypto) in 2019

Time to gear up for protocol wars as blockchain giants draw up battle plans to win the spoils

As is by now de rigueur, I felt it would worth looking to the year ahead and trying to pin a few tails on a few donkeys, and seeing how we might look in a year’s time…

1) dApp graveyard:

2019 will see multiple high (and low) profile blockchain companies that launched ICOs in 2017/2018 go to the wall – the “dApp graveyard” begins. With almost every ICO having been conducted using ERC20 tokens, the vast majority of blockchain projects have either clung to their Eth with the hope of it increasing in value and now have significantly less (up to 90% less) fiat equivalent in their treasury, or they have been cashing out as the price drops and still have far less money to execute their promised white paper vision. Without a doubt, all of these companies now have a far shorter runway than initially envisioned and still need to execute. A lot are now looking like Zombie companies, just waiting for the cash to fully run out and pray they aren’t prosecuted for misleading investors.

2) Increased SEC prosecutions:

The SEC will increasingly go after ICOs that registered as a “utility” and be prosecute the company and its officers for securities violations. Back in 2017, it seemed it would be easy to raise money for a project – jam a token in there and call it a utility, and you’d get away with it. 2019 will see regulators come back and bite hard on companies that have skirted securities law.

3) Increased demand for blockchain education:

Google search queries for “what is blockchain?” increase significantly as both consumers and businesses seek genuine understanding. The mainstream media will continue to cover with glee the blockchain space, but consumers will still not really be able to understand it. Google is always the first point of entry when seeking to learn.

4) Security Token Offerings take hold:

STOs start to gain traction, but nowhere near to the same extent as ICOs in 2017. (see prediction 2) With new blockchain companies registering their fundraising as Security Token Offerings and using regulated frameworks, we will also see it as significantly harder for the pubic to participate in these offerings.

5) Blockchain based solutions get real:

In Q4 2019, we will start hearing of successful blockchain enterprise projects that have been piloted over the course of the year. This will de-risk the blockchain space so that more enterprises launch their own pilots. Blockchain Rookies is aware of several FTSE 250 companies that have undertaken their own blockchain project. Ones that have been constructed well and are fit for purpose will start to lift the kimono and let their industry, and the wider world, know.

6) Blockchain and crypto advertising returns:

Facebook and Google start to relax their rules around blockchain companies advertising on their platforms. With the ICO scams of 2017/18 gone, Facebook and Google will start to relax their rules around B2C advertising of Blockchain projects – less for investment purposes and far more marketing for consumer adoption.

7) Blockchain protocol tokens recover some of their value:

The protocol currencies that haven’t died (Bitcoin, Ether etc) start to regain their values slowly, but will stay below their ATH of December 2017.

8) Protocol wars:

2019 will see the start of The Protocol Wars. Each blockchain protocol will be vying for developers and entrepreneurs to adopt their protocol to build upon. This will be BIG! For protocols to exist, they need a reason for being. Bitcoin’s is clear (see the Bitcoin white paper of 2008), however, Ripple, Ethereum, EOS, Cardano et al will need to start fighting for dApp generation 2.0 – which consensus mechanism is best, who will win? By late 2019, we are sure to start to see who the winners may be.

9) Token taxonomies are agreed:

Agreement is made on what is a security, a commodity and a utility in the crypto space. The SEC, FCA and many other financial regulators start to tighten their grip on the blockchain fundraising and crypto space – it’ll be the shake out of the scammers, with far fewer ten gallon hats and spurs around the place.

10) More Lamborghinis for sale:

The value of one year old Lamborghinis is significantly depreciated as there seems to be a larger than normal volume of them for sale. Autotrader?


Jon Walsh

Associate Partner of Blockchain Rookies, a Blockchain education and strategy consultancy firm.

Twitter: @walshjonwalsh and @IGetBlockchain


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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