The blockchain/crypto week in quotes

Here are the comments and tweets that caught our eye this week

“2018 was the most active year for crypto in its brief ten-year history. This was evidenced by rising investment in distributed ledger technology and digital assets, as well as by blockchain network metrics such as daily Bitcoin transaction value and active addresses. Yet, these milestones tend to be overshadowed by the more narrow focus on Bitcoin’s price, which has been seen by some, as a proxy for the potential of the technology.

It’s worth noting that major technology shifts prior to 2000, such as the advent of cell phones in 1980’s and commercialising the internet in the 1990’s, didn’t develop with the scrutiny of real-time digital headlines and tweets. While access to information as technology innovation occurs is extremely valuable, the risk is a “marking to market” of innovations before they have a chance to mature. Few innovations reached their full potential in their first decade of development.” Kelly Loeffler, CEO, Bakkt

“The crypto space has grown way more than I think we originally anticipated, or at least quicker. It’s amazing to me how hype-driven it is now. The allocation of capital and resources is wild to watch, when these projects that have zero technical merit get millions of dollars. It seems like a big shame. Hopefully that will start to change.

One of the nice things that comes with the market calming down. I still say it’s not a bear market; it means there’s less of that. 90% of these projects are BS. I’m looking forward to that changing. Things like Tron, it’s just garbage. But people dump tons of money into it, these things that just do not technically work.

In a lot of cases it just needs to be some sort of digital payment and you might as well use Stellar or Bitcoin. You don’t need a separate type of payment for cannabis.” Stellar Co-founder and CTO Jed McCaleb

Bitcoin is a very interesting experiment. If successful in the long run, it could not only revolutionise money, but revolutionise how we think about governance.” Cypherpunk Jameson Lopp

“At the beginning of 2018, the question was whether Bitcoin could live up to the hype of 2017’s manic rally. At the end of 2018, the answer seems to be an emphatic “no.”

After rising nearly 1,400% in 2017, Bitcoin reversed hard in 2018, falling about 70% and erasing some $160 billion worth of value. The selloff exposed the budding cryptocurrency market’s shaky footing. Despite the entry of some established Wall Street players, scammers abound and few tangible uses for Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology have emerged.” The Wall Street Journal

“What this past year showed is what Bitcoin Maximalists have been saying all along. Bitcoin is different because Bitcoin is decentralised. The advantages of decentralisation are often subtle and easy to dismiss, but they are real benefits. 

In Bitcoin, entrepreneurs decide what innovations will happen with their money and effort. In altcoins, central committees decide what innovations will happen. In Bitcoin, individual actors create products that use it. In altcoins, central committees commission other entities to build things for them. Bitcoin has separated itself from the other cryptocurrencies and will continue to do so going forward.” Jimmy Song

“I think we are in the process of finding the bottom on the large, liquid, and lasting crypto-tokens. But that process could take much of 2019 to play out. I expect we will see some bullish runs, followed by selling pressures taking us back to retest the lows. This bottoming out process will end sometime in 2019 and we will slowly enter a new bullish phase in crypto.

The catalyst for the next bullish phase will come as the result of some of the many promises made in 2017 coming to fruition in 2019. Specifically, I think we will see some big name projects ship, like the Filecoin project from our portfolio company Protocol Labs, and the Algorand project from our portfolio company Algorand. I think we will see a number of “next gen” smart contract platforms ship and challenge Ethereum for leadership in this super important area of the crypto sector. I also expect the Ethereum open source community to ship a number of important improvements to its system in 2019 and defend their leadership in the smart contract space.

Other areas of crypto where I expect to see meaningful progress and consumer adoption happen in 2019 are stablecoins, NFT/cryptoassets/cryptogaming, and earn/spending opportunities, particularly in the developing world.

There will also be pressure on the crypto sector in 2019. The area I am most concerned about are actions brought by misguided regulators who will take aim at high quality projects and harm them. And we will continue to see all sorts of failures, from scams, hacks, failed projects, and losing investments be a drag on the sector. But that is always the case with a new emerging technology that allows anyone to set up shop and get going. Permissionless innovation produces the greatest gains over time but also comes with the inevitable bad actors and actions.” VC investor Fred Wilson

“Word of warning! The renowned shitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos is as far as anyone can come to understanding Bitcoin. The only thing correct… how to spell Bitcoin. If you want to learn Bitcoin, blockchain. Avoid the anarchist priests. Sorry. Nothing he tells you is right.” Craig Wright

“In 2017, blockchain technology was a revolution that was supposed to disrupt the global financial system. In 2018, it was a disappointment. In 2019, it will start to become mundane.” MIT Technology Review

“While the hype over the prospects of blockchain technology has cooled down, the deployment of its commercial applications is expected to speed up. DAMO expects more and more blockchain applications to emerge, ranging from cross-border remittances, supply chain financing, electronic invoices to tamper-proof judicial records.” Alibaba Group’s DAMO Academy

“In my view, the Bitcoin network will begin its second decade in a state of post-crash consolidation and maturation. The biggest obstacles so far were both external and internal. The volatile and high fees of Bitcoin transactions are still preventing the cryptocurrency to be used for micropayments. Other internal factors challenging the network are the so-called “fork wars” and market manipulation by hashing monopoly. 

On the other side, we have the regulatory approvals pending all over the world. Ironically, for Bitcoin to see broader adoption, the only viable path forward involves its acceptance by the international financial system that Bitcoin once sought to defeat. We can argue that the current monetary policies and system are far from perfect and the decentralised manner suits better the global world we live in. What we see now is the attempt of smart regulators to adapt to the innovation. The UK Parliament’s Treasury Committee tries to make the United Kingdom a hub for cryptocurrency markets. At the same time in the US, the SEC is to warm to Bitcoin exchange-traded funds and, with the CFTC will continue to work to improve market transparency.” Natalia Karayaneva, CEO, Propy 

“In 2019, the cryptocurrency market is set to radically evolve. We can expect considerable expansion of the sector largely due to inflows of institutional investors. Major corporations, financial institutions, governments and their agencies, prestigious universities, and household-name investing legends are all going to bring their institutional capital and institutional expertise to the crypto market.

The direction of travel has already been on this path, but there is a growing sense that institutional investors are preparing to move off the sidelines in 2019.” Nigel Green, Founder and Chief Executive, deVere Group

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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