I was very excited to try and stare into my crystal ball and predict what exciting new changes and transformations 2019 would hold in store when I wrote this column in the winter of 2018.
Now that the dust is starting to settle on 2019, I felt we should revisit those predictions and see just how wrong I was before I can start delivering more incorrect predictions that few people should believe for 2020.
So here goes:
- The dApp graveyard – 2019 was a tough year for dApps. I’m yet to see a dApp that has figured out a product/market fit and is executing. I have no doubt that 2019 saw a lot of these projects and associated tokens abandoned. Accuracy rating: 7/10
- Increased SEC prosecutions – We have seen some significant charges levied by the SEC in 2019. Kik, XRP, EOS, and more. However, it does seem that the SEC can be pacified with fines being paid. Accuracy rating: 8/10
- Increased demand for blockchain education – Hmmmm. Well, there is some vague curiosity surrounding blockchain, but demand increasing for paid courses? Not really. Accuracy rating: 2/10
- Security Token Offerings take hold – There was a lot of hype at the start of 2019 around STOs, but it just never really seemed to materialise. There have been some. They really haven’t been that interesting. Accuracy rating: 3/10
- Blockchain-based solutions get real – Well, this really was a huge fail. I struggle to see how there was any more reality to blockchain solutions changing anything from 2018 to 2019. Even the blockchain conferences are far quieter with fewer exhibitors and smaller spaces. The industry is not even close to proving itself so far, and right now I wouldn’t bet on 2020 being any better. Accuracy rating: 1/10
- Blockchain and crypto advertising returns – Hurray, I got another one right! After Facebook fanfared its Libra coin project, it was pretty much a given that crypto-related advertising would be allowed again. However, the main problem was that it allowed all the scammers to return. Jan de Mol, the Dutch billionaire media mogul, successfully sued Facebook for allowing ads that featured his image promoting a Bitcoin scam. Crypto advertising is back, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Accuracy rating: 10/10
- Blockchain protocol tokens recover some of their value – Well, sort of. Overall, 2019 was a better market for these network tokens than 2018, but not by much. ETH is still sitting around the $150 mark, EOS is currently around the $2.60 mark (which is about where it was this time last year), and it’s a similar story for Cardano. I would say as a basket, these coins are overall higher in value than a year ago, but they need Bitcoin to be included to really see that value lift in comparison. Accuracy rating: 6/10
- The protocol wars – Not really. EOS, via its VC network around the world, seems destined to be selected as the protocol of choice for a number of companies if we look at new investments around the world, but I didn’t really see a “war” in 2019. In fact, barely a skirmish. Accuracy rating: 2/10
- Token taxonomies are agreed – I’m going to take this one as a win. As much as I can whinge and moan about the lack of teeth and bite from the FCA when it comes to acting on the scams, they have managed to do a pretty good job of understanding distinctions between legitimate digital assets. This is probably a moving feast as the industry is transforming in front of our eyes, but this was a fairly solid prediction. Accuracy rating: 8/10
- More second-hand Lambos for sale – A churlish and childish prediction. However, despite the summer’s buoyancy and highs of $14,000 for Bitcoin, I’m not convinced that 2019 was a bull market. Accuracy rating: 6/10
Overall grade is 5/10, and must try harder. I would say that I expected more progress in 2019 than really happened.
My 2020 predictions are coming next month!
Get in touch with me on Twitter @walshjonwalsh.