1) After a strong launch in 2018, I see the growth of Lightning Network continuing in 2019. I predict that the number of Lightning nodes with channels will be ≥ 10,000 on ~ 2,100 now (60% confidence) because of the proliferation of nodal hardware and hosted solutions (for example, Nodl.it, Knot of the Casa) and graphical interfaces easy to deploy like those of Pierre Rochard. knot launcher. I predict that the capacity of the network will grow even more, from about $ 2 million to $ 25 million (+75% confidence) due to the lifting of maximum channel limits, double funding channels, etc.
2) At least one major exchange will launch a Lightning Network hub for their users, as trust in the stability and security of the network increases compared to 2019 (50% confidence). If this happens, my money is on Binance considering their iterative speed and their product or Coinbase chops, due to the increased focus on adoption and on the "Use" cryptocurrencies. I am particularly excited about the potential of Cash App here given 1) that this company includes Bitcoin 2) Jack regards Bitcoin as a a path to "financial inclusion" and 3) Jack's Investment in The start of Lightning Labs in 2018.
3) A work implementation of Schnorr signatures, for which Pieter Wuille has published a BIP project in July, will enter Bitcoin via Soft Fork by the end of 2019 with a node adoption rate greater than or equal to 5% (75% confidence).
4) Low volatility and lower prices still attract worried trolls and people who believe they can "change" bitcoin for the better. The last two years have seen many forks where the codebase is changed but the UTXO game is kept intact. In 2019, I expect to see the opposite: ranges with technology kept intact (to merge future upstream changes) when monetary policy or UTXO gaming is changed; The example is the Zclassic team who asks Zcash to withdraw the founder's reward). I predict that 2019 will see a major proposal from Bitcoin GOs to "fix" the sustainability of the post-block reward fee market, either by reclaiming Satoshi's Bitcoin (for example, my ironic tweet proposal "Bitcoin Freedom") or adding low and predictable inflation to the tax market (50% confidence).
5) 2018 was a great year for R & D on the confidentiality and fungibility of Bitcoins, with proposals for Taproot and Graftroot of Gregory Maxwell in the first quarter, a BIP project for theDandelion protocol in May, and an emerging path for a gradual upgrade of Schnorr-based signatures. By the end of 2019, a clear roadmap will be established for "good enough" fungibility and privacy protection on the Bitcoin base layer for a large set of arbitrations (speed, confidence level, etc.). ) (50% confidence).
7) 2018 has been a great year for finding stake research evidence with Depreciation of June of EIP 1011 (Hybrid Casper FFG), abandoning the Hybrid PoW / PoS step in favor of switching to pure PoS mode. The next phase for Ethereum-first named Shasper(Casper + Sharding), now called Serenity (Ethereum 2.0) – a six distinct phases, which span several years. More than 8 development teams are working on independent implementations, including:
Despite significant setbacks and changes to the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap, I believe that the first phase will be available in Q4 2019 (70% confidence) but with friction.
8) Augur, which everyone was eagerly awaiting its launch, seems to have gained ground (outside the niche markets around the election). I suspect it will be the arrival of the 2019 App, jumping from ~ $ 1.5-2M notional at stake≥ $ 10 million (70% confidence). My dynamism is due to (1) a full year elapsed with a functional product (2) UX improved / choice of customers (3) increased brand awareness (4) a demand in the market of a prediction market non-custodian (5) stablecoin integration and (6) better market organization and liquidity provision.
9) The story "crypto-collectibles" which strongly gained in force in the first and second quarters (culminating in March). $ 12 million for cryptokitties) will lose traction despite the orthogonal interest of negotiable gaming objects. Although collectibles are interesting, they feel like a solution in search of a problem (although it should be noted: I am not a taste maker) and the adoption of the players is a chimera, because companies are unlikely to replace their existing monopolies. I suspect that several less well-funded cryptokitty impersonators with a 2018 "single-purpose" niche will be closed next year (85% confidence).
ten) Despite the hype begun early this year, Consumer Adoption of Decentralized Trade (DEX) has significantly delayed expectations. Relays leveraging 0x – considered by many as the best exchange protocol – have globally exchanged < 2 million notional dollars most days in 2018. I predict that the total volume of December 2019 on 0x will be less than the volume of a day compared to Coinbase (90% confidence). The big problem with adopting DEX in 2018 is that it's hard to know who the target user is.
Although non-dependent transactions give the impression of being a boon, the trade-offs presented (for example, in terms of quickness of reconciliation / execution, upstream operating potential, reduced confidentiality , difficulty of accounting, etc.) make it an unattractive product for institutional investors, not even considering the UX curve. It remains to be seen whether the participation of individual investors will be sufficient for long-term sustainability. In addition, many DEX protocols with paid tokens will be forked (as 0x has by their top player), but I predict that we will see an increase in the number of cross-channel swaps and similar non-depository trading options without tokens.
11) Many leading projects have promised new types of markets, for example. forcalculation or storage room. With the "utility token" narrative, the demand for these solutions seems to have lost its value, as it is unclear if (1) the demand for XYZ uncensored is sufficiently compelling given the increased cost compared to centralized alternatives or (2) any of these new markets sufficiently primed to achieve the economies of scale required for their adoption. Not one of the new decentralized markets that promise to manage distributed or inactive resources is a threat to AWS, Microsoft, Dropbox, and so on.
12) I foresee that disinherited minors of the ETH, deprived of their rights, will propose a controversial solution (60% confidence). The Ethereum roadmap is already relatively hostile to miners: the planned upgrade to Constantinople in January (which, among other changes, brings the rewards in blocks of 3 to 2) hurts the miners currently on the sidelines, putting them probably bankrupt. Although the supply reduction is generally bullish, the upgrade may be bearish in the short term (given the increase in sales of minors' stocks) if it has not already been included in the price.
13) The "governance chips" will be less popular than ever before end of 2019. For me, they seem to be misaligned on the incentive plan: in practice, it seems that the holders of rational tokens should orient themselves around. (1) the rooting of existing power structures (as the original token). holders have a disproportionate influence on future protocol decisions, including the future design of value capture) and (2) maximize the value of the token rather than what is often cited as an objective (maximize the token). utility). The enthusiasm for the governance token (eg, "We do not need to worry about capturing value, we just need to build something that deserves to be governed.") Was a by-product of a bull market never seen before and which will justify: significant skepticism in 2019 (60% confidence).
14) At first glance, decentralized finance ("DeFi" or "Open Finance"), a dominant story of Ethereum in 2018, still attracts me, despite my bias for Bitcoin. One of the goals of the cryptocurrency movement has always been to increase financial inclusion and the fundamental principle of the "DeFi" movement – to provide crypto-native financial products to unbanked people – has obvious appeal. However, I do not understand what the product market looks like for the vast majority of "DeFi" products.
If these products (in many cases, new non-depository derivatives or leveraged credit products) are designed for institutions, I find it difficult to understand how they will allow the product market to adapt to market for many reasons invoked in ten on the DEX. The liquidity of seed will be extremely difficult (ie I do not wish to trade an exotic non-depository derivative without cash and it is unlikely that a marginal trader wishes to do the same – the classic problem of the egg and of the hen). If these products are designed for particular investors, I also do not understand that the product market is suitable. The long-term thesis may be that the unbanked are looking for easy entry points that DeFi can solve, eg. exposure to US capital markets / stocks with synthetic chains CFDbut I am doubtful. Most consumers in the world do not have significant savings, which does not match Vanguard type indices or more complex derivatives does not seem to be the right starting point for global adoption.
I think some of the US-based teams working on the DeFi stack are taking significant risks and will be subject to regulatory oversight in the US (70% confidence) because of their shift to structured products. This will test Ethereum's flagship application: a regulatory arbitrage (first with the offer of non-registered securities and now with quasi-legal structured derivatives), while the teams [the law]. "
While the engineers are discussing "Compound financial primitives", I am worried about the composition of the technical (or legal) risk.
15) Two years after the pseudonym, Tom Elvis Jedusor published an article describing the Mimblewimble architecture at # bitcoin-wizards IRC channel, 2 different implementations, Smile and BEAM, should be launched in the first quarter of 2019. They fall under different conceptions, ranging from the immaculate conception of Grin to Bitcoin to BEAM's basic Zcash model, in addition to differences in monetary policy, position on ASICs, etc. important in the wars of privacy in 2019, Grin grabbing the lion's share (≥ 70%) of the market interest for Mimblewimble (75% confidence). Although its monetary policy is not ideal for early users because of high inflation, it would not surprise me if it ended up having a market capitalization of ≥ $ 250 million (60% confidence).
16) Given Zooko's two comments about the two EPOS and the Zcash Founder's Reward I think it is possible that (1) Zcash is planning a multi-year transition to propose the switch to a hybrid PoW / PoS system (50% confidence) or that (2) a modification of the founder's reward (30% confidence) takes place. While the founder's reward runs out in 2020, while there is still a lot of research and engineering work going on, I see a proposal to extend it (or extend the reward beyond 2020).
17) It's not a secret J & # 39; hoping most undifferentiated "means of exchange" tokens (eg $ IOTA, $ DASH, $ BCN, $ XVG, etc.) will die for a period of time. With the exception of Litecoin (which boasts an old brand, an extensive integration and "test-net" status of Bitcoin) and Dogecoin (which will never die), I m & # 39; Expect that ≥ half of these undifferentiated payment tokens will be eliminated. in the next year (70% confidence) while (1) the price action in 2018 shows that they are subject to the same volatility issues as Bitcoin (2), Lightning network growth mitigates the need for a "bitcoin more" fast "(3) without interesting innovation to maintain the commitment of a large community in the same way as other public block chains with confidentiality (eg Monero, Grin) or ecosystem products (eg example Ethereum, EOS, Tezos).
18) Since the era of the Silk Road, Networkless Markets (DNM) – alongside pornography – have been a hotbed for innovation in cryptocurrency. The DNMs had more sophisticated than everfrom centrally managed sites with unique points of failure (eg, DNS termination) to decentralized infrastructures, spider webs and Telegram robots, and better reputation systems. Problems remain: bitcoins remain the crypto-currency of choice par excellence (due to lack of customer awareness) despite the lack of better and more private options and the conversion of fiat into bitcoin is a pot for agents responsible for law enforcement.
It's not a secret for anyone. I do not think there are many real cases of using the blockchain outside of quasi-legal applications. It is clear that the future of the DNM goes through a transition to a fully decentralized stack (between crooks based on smart contracts, etc.), the lack of privacy of most public block chains into. made a dream for 2019. Despite this, DNM serves as an important entry point for the crypto-mental virus – a painkiller rather than a vitamin.
19) By putting more emphasis on the "equity" of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, we will inevitably see new blockchain distribution-based experiences. While I am less enthusiastic2019 will likely be the year of the launch of a Valley-based blockchain project, focused on the long-standing goal of "making cryptography accessible to everyone in the world". This form of UBI (inb4, "universal blockchain income") is convincing to many and will have some impact as the crypto-currencies' share of mind has exploded beyond its libertarian-anarchist roots to include ideologies of the whole political spectrum.
20) $ XRP, uh, I mean that Ripple Labs, Inc. will get a small fine / a little pat on the wrist from the appropriate regulatory authorities, who will eventually face the fact that it's probably an unrecorded security (80% confidence). Thanks to the regulator-revolving door, Ben Lawsky (BitLicense architect: the worst cryptography regulation in the world) is now on their board. While it's unlikely anyone will go to jail, it's hard to see Ripple's enormity letting them out of control.
21) Bitcoin Cash divided in 2018, with the emergence of the ABC and Satoshi's Vision (SV) factions. While the ABC camp kept the $ BCH ticker, the BCHSV continues to live. Bitmain is potentially confronted with internal problems (supposed layoffs, balance sheet problems, delays in IPOs) and Craig Wright willing to see "2014 prize" to win, this could continue despite the fact that nobody cares. I'm more optimistic about Bitmain's business than most people, but I think Bitcoin's domination of both ranges will increase from today (80% confidence). I also expect that the dominance of ABC against SV (~ 64% currently) will reach 80% by the end of the year (70% confidence). Despite my misgivings about Bitmain's strategic decisions, "Do not start a hash war with Bitmain" could be as premonitory as "Never wage a land war in Asia".
22) The year 2018 was a good year for the Bitcoin forks, with imitators like Bitcoin Gold (market capitalization of $ 233 million), Bitcoin Diamond (market capitalization of $ 140 million) and Bitcoin Private (market capitalization of $ 41 million). of dollars). They are all currently in the Top 25 of the market capitalization and have survived everything 51% of attacks and secret mine exposures, but I think they will not stay in the top 25 by the end of the year (70% confidence, lest the extreme inefficiency of the cryptography market do not fail me).
23) EOS and Stellar both took a long time to strengthen the developer experience and core infrastructure in 2018. Despite my skepticism potential of Internet money, some development teams around the world are interested in an interface with these networks. for decentralized applications. The hacking groups on both networks are extremely well funded. Although they are not considered by many in the crypto cognoscenti as "legitimate" projects, SV energy could push them to significant adoption by developers (more than 50 applications launched) in 2019.
24) I've been whistling with schadenfreude on "masternodes" for a while. This is the ideal market for the bull market: lock more and more coins as prices go up (even more tail-end flight thanks to the smaller float), but we have not seen a real tightening of prices. liquidity despite the decline. I would be very surprised if non-DASH masternode projects have the liquidity or support of the community to prolong life until 2020 (40% confidence …sigh).
25) Registers with tokens, once the most popular "crypto-economic primitive" of the scene, have less sense now than before 2018. They seem to me an excellent example of the excesses of 2017 (and the desire to symbolize everything). The model is extremely convoluted and it would not surprise me to see the industry moving away from the TCR in large numbers (60% confidence).
26) Formal governance within the chain, which has been the subject of heavy media coverage in 2017 of projects such as Tezos, Decred, and Aragon left a lot to be desired. Although the goal of formal governance systems is to allow for smooth upgrades with the input of many stakeholders, most suffer from basic problems, cementing plutocratic regimes rather than allowing open participation. Most formal governance experiences seem primitive because of the lack of appropriate tools (eg for anonymous voting). There have been some new announcements, including the publication of Commonwealth Labs work with Edgeware (a chain on the parity substrate) but the long-term viability of formal governance systems remains unclear. In 2019, I think we'll see some non-trivial base protocol decisions being chain-decided for the first time.
27) One thing that needs to be more excited: with more research on formal governance systems, DAOs could make their comeback in 2019. Widely amortized as a concept that failed The DAOtwo years later, there are new attempts. A CAD launch that looked cool this year is the Moloch DAO, which aims to contribute to the Ethereum infrastructure and solve the tragedy of the problem of common goods in the open source (infrastructure) development of the ecosystem. J & # 39; I declared before that "cryptographic projects should have a plan to dissolve into a future model of decentralized governance". I see cryptography projects reorganizing the Swiss foundations into CAD as the first "potentially lethal use case" and I think we'll see the iterations in 2019.
Note: I am not an investor in any of the projects or companies mentioned in this section.
28) Despite sustained declines in public markets for cryptography, private valuations (especially for projects from Silicon Valley) have not yet been adjusted. Fred Wilson recently noted the relationship between public market valuations on the stock market:
There is a big difference between private markets and public markets. They do not move at the same time. For years, private markets in the final phase have prices that far exceed the valuations of their public markets. This is true for a number of reasons. First, private market investors have longer horizons and look for a return of three to five years, not immediate. Second, private market investors gain a liquidation preference that theoretically protects them from losses. Finally, private market transactions are clear in an auction-type environment where the highest bidder wins the transaction. All of these factors mean that a company on fire can mobilize capital on private markets at valuations far beyond where it can raise capital (and trade) in government markets.
The most convincing for crypto is the last argument: hungry for alpha, assorted investor model to find "the next Ethereum". Although these investments are still cost-tagged by several crypto-funds, it is hard to believe that investments made at valuations ≥ $ 500 million (and in many cases, over $ 1 billion) will represent a gain for investors when the vast market of public cryptography has shrunk considerably. In 2019, I expect that many teams will increase again to lower valuations or will see significant losses occurring during trading (90% confidence).
29) Some of these networks include Dfinity, Hashgraph, Algorand, Filecoin, Ncent, Thunder Token, etc. I expect that less than 50% of these networks will be launched in 2019 (70% confident).
30) The last quarter of 2017 and the first half of 2018 saw dizzying private valuations thanks to a powerful combination of new fund currency / crypto whale and a path to liquidity that divides fundamentals and due diligence in favor of the same. from FOMO. With liquidity avenues virtually gone, I anticipate that projects will return to more "traditional" fundraising approaches (read: equity) and focus on business models that are adjacent to a protocol rather than creating new funding protocols. based.
31) A launch of Hand shake (technical overview) could be an interesting development for 2019. Although I am skeptical about their need for a token, replacing ICANN's root server is an interesting problem and it is clear that the current DNS / CA system is Out of order. Potential development for 2019: The handshake is a simple but effective solution for sites with regulatory or speech risk, which is enough to serve as an effective start-up mechanism.
32) One thing I'm not looking forward to seeing in 2019: the battle of messaging crypto-tokens messaging apps, with Telegram (TON), Signal (Mobilecoin) and even Whatsapp getting into the fray. Although none of them is interesting as a potential competitor in non-sovereign currency, I am especially interested to see what Facebook is doing: stablecoin designed for sending funds could have a significant impact by shipping millions of people into the UX cryptocurrency (and normalizing it in India, a country that had 2018 legal battlesaround Bitcoin). I'm the least excited about Telegram Open Network, which had a $ 1 billion on sale on the back of crypto-mania, Telegram's pull and many techno-babble pages.
33) The year 2018 was definitely "the year of stability" with the strategy of Paxos Standard. PAX, Gemini gusd HaidaCircle USDC, Carbon CUSDand TrustToken TUSD; although none of them is truly decentralized (I prefer the term "token backed by price stability assets" or "fiat money" if it is a mouthful).
Since these tokens allow traders to trade like banks, one should not be surprised that they are under control KYC / AMLlike the banks. Fiat parts are not without permission, although aggregation of demand for the product at the level of the exchange layer has a perfect strategic sense for trade. Even the shortest stain of a unsavory transaction may charge Tyler and Cameron the personal closure of your account.
Holding fiat-pieces leaves you at the mercy of the issuer to control your financial destiny: we have just exchanged one god for another. While The domination of the loin has fallen Due to concerns about credit risk and the emergence of these new projects, it's hard to know what the product market looks like for fiat-coins. Is the use case a currency of refuge or intermediate settlement for traders? Is it a new "digital dollar" with its own product ecosystem?
In 2019, I predict that Tether's domination of the fiat-wedge ecosystem will fall below <50% (75% confidence) with the total of the fiat coin (counting TUSD, USDT, USDC, PAX, GUSD) exceeds $ 4 billion in market capitalization from ~ $ 2.5 billion now (80% confidence).
34) Despite my reservations about the long-term viability of the model, MakerDAO strong growth in 2018 (with ~ 1.8m of ether locked from this post). Although the system is robust – a byproduct of over-collateralization guarantees in the system (currently ~ 370%) – its use seems generally limited to margin demand in the ether, although the team shared others case of use of CDP. Continuous Ether Deposits in CDP have affected the price of the ether, I would not be surprised to see that the ether in the CDP exceeds 3% of the total ether in 2019 (60% confident) although less volatile guarantees or the emergence of centralized options such as Compound Finance can be more attractive.
35) After the stablecoin marquee project return money to investorswe have lost one of the most interesting experiments on crypto-currencies. Est-il possible à un groupe de capital-risqueurs et à une vingtaine d’années intelligents d’amorcer une devise stable en fonction des prix et reposant uniquement sur des convictions (spoiler: probablement pas pour l’instant)? Malgré le recul, des équipes comme Reserve travaillent sur similaire actions seigneurie modèles avec des plans de décentralisation dans le temps. Je pense qu’il est peu probable que nous voyions un lancement du projet Stablecoin basé sur des actions de seigneuriage avec plus de 1 milliard de dollars d’émission en 2019 (80% de confiance).
36) La crainte du soutien de Tether était plus forte que jamais en 2018, avec des inquiétudes quant à relations bancaires, activation de la manipulation des prixet une constante flux de préoccupations «audit» approprié des fonds (bien que cela puisse être impossible de fournir de manière concluante). L'année s'est terminée avec un Histoire Bloomberg laissant entendre que toutes les réserves pourraient en fait être là. Je prédis qu’il est très probable que Tether dispose en fait de tous les dépôts en dollars américains qu’ils prétendent avoir (85% de confiance) mais qu’en raison d’autres enquêtes portant sur des activités criminelles (blanchiment d’argent, manipulation de marché, etc.), les consommateurs risquent de voir leurs fonds bloqués par les autorités au cours d’un long processus de retrait, semblable aux sites de poker en ligne après le tristement célèbre «vendredi noir» (30% de confiance).
37) Mon indicateur fondamental préféré reste l'action des prix. Plus tôt cette année, J'ai dit sur les fonds crypto:
Au début du cycle, de nombreux fonds progressifs seront alloués aux gestionnaires pour qu'ils «prennent les devants» (voir: Passport Capital, Union Square Ventures, A16Z, Sequoia et d'autres allouant des fonds cryptés). Cela vient d'une reconnaissance que la nouvelle classe d’actifs est différente de celle à laquelle ils sont habitués mais pourraient potentiellement devenir beaucoup plus pertinents pour leur stratégie… Au fur et à mesure que le battage médiatique se dissipera, une deuxième génération de répartiteurs du capital émergera, plus expérimentés et retirant des capitaux des gestionnaires de fonds lanceurs d'armes qui ont chevauché la première vague. Il est fort peu probable que les meilleurs gestionnaires de fonds d’une nouvelle classe d’actifs aient également été les premiers à la repérer. Nous commençons à voir cela maintenant, avec Matt Huang et le nouveau fonds de Fred Ehrsam, le crypto-fonds récemment annoncé par a16z, et plusieurs autres fonds non annoncés qui collectent des fonds sur le marché baissier du crypto aujourd’hui.
Cela a duré à peu près comme les nouveaux fonds de deuxième génération ont levé de (1) LP plus crédibles[[[[y compris la dotation Yale](2) avec des blocages plus longs et (3) des généralistes plus crédibles.
Cela dit, je pense que les financements vont ralentir en 2019 compte tenu (1) du manque de dynamisme des marchés publics de la cryptographie (2), des opportunités à investir limitées en raison de la taille du marché et (3) de la prolifération de véhicules d'exposition bêta. Le troisième point est critique: la plupart des fonds les plus importants surpondèrent BTC / ETH, les responsables de la répartition du capital payant des frais excessifs pour le bêta(particulièrement avec les modèles longs uniquement). Alors que les généralistes expérimentés n'auront aucune difficulté à soulever et argueront souvent que l'allocation BTC / ETH est une décision de portefeuille, je soupçonne que de nombreux commanditaires opteront pour une exposition directe via des produits d'investissement simples / multi-actifs à faible coût.
38) Avec le sang cette année, l’opportunité de différenciation des fonds cryptés a finalement émergé – bien que les rendements soient moins que stellaires (Le benchmarking de Vision Hill était un développement positif). De plus en plus de fonds commencent à comprendre où ils se «situent» dans le paysage (par exemple: fondamental long-only v. Long / short v. «Exploitation minière généralisée», etc.) v. Se nommant de manière générique «fonds cryptographiques». voir une institutionnalisation similaire en 2019 de haut en bas de l'ensemble du pipeline de crypto-fonds, des opérations de back-office à la garde. En outre, de nombreux fonds seront liquidés une fois que l’action sur les prix de l’année dernière aura été appliquée et que trop de rachats seront consentis pour continuer (les actifs sous-exploités pour la zone de la mort représentent probablement environ 25 millions de dollars, à moins que vous ne lésiniez sur les services, les services juridiques et les salaires).
39) La concentration deviendra fashionable avec la consolidation de fonds (due à des fermetures et à une réaffectation du capital de la société en commandite) car les fonds «de premier ordre» (de type fondamental «long only / long-short») ont un chevauchement important avec la propriété des mêmes noms (20-25) . Je pense que cela contribuera grandement à réduire la corrélation entre actifs au cours de 2019.
40) Stratégies d’investissement issues des marchés financiers traditionnels, telles que les modèles activistes, par exemple Couche 1, ont été extrêmement sous-explorés. Alors que les premiers modèles ressemblent à Blockstream et à une firme commerciale et que des questions subsistent (par exemple, est-il un modèle où les gains sont socialisés mais les pertes ne sont pas durables?), Je suis enthousiasmé par ce développement. Un modèle d’activiste qui m’intéresse particulièrement: un fonds qui poursuit un arbitrage judiciaire pour tenter de s’assurer des bons du Trésor à partir de projets où la valeur totale des fonds du Trésor dépasse la capitalisation boursière. Avec le paysage actuel du marché, la créativité est nécessaire.
41) J’ai été sceptique à propos des blockchains d’entreprise et j’ai promis de ne plus y consacrer de temps après. my experience lors d'une rencontre l'année dernière. Cela dit, il semble que l’intérêt des entreprises pour le capital-b Blockchain ralentisse, les prix de la cryptographie étant déprimés et utilisant des éléments tels que mention des gains comme un proxy utile. Qui aurait pensé? Il s'avère que les investissements dans les entreprises ou les efforts de «blockchain» autorisés ne sont que calmes alors que les prix de la crypto (et l'intérêt des entreprises) sont au ralenti.
Dans de nombreux cas, nous sommes en 3ème ou 4ème année de la «Blockchain, pas Bitcoin» expériences qui ont commencé à la suite de la bulle 13-14 Bitcoin. Nous avons déjà commencé à voir les premières victimes comme notés execs abandonnons des projets allant de R3, Hyperledger et d’autres efforts de Microsoft, IBM, etc. Je m'attends à ce que la plupart de ces équipes voient des mises à pied ou soient fermées en 2019 (75% de confiance) à la suite d'une adoption limitée et d'une utilité encore plus limitée.
42) L’évolution positive de 2018 est le nombre de nouveaux produits matériels bon marché noeuds dans la boîte, allant des produits de grande consommation comme Coinmine’s au matériel barebones comme Nodl.it’S. Bien que les coûts varient énormément en fonction de la richesse en fonctionnalités et du facteur de forme et que la commodification (du point de vue des investisseurs) suscite des inquiétudes, elle est certainement bénéfique pour les utilisateurs qui souhaitent acquérir la souveraineté sur leurs relations avec des chaînes de chaînes publiques. Le coût moyen de l’industrie pour une boîte à nœuds complets devrait avoisiner les 150 USD (bien qu’elle puisse être utilisée à moindre coût sur un Raspberry Pi).
43) Les jetons de sécurité ont connu un battage médiatique extrême en 2018 avec hundreds ofmillions de dollars en investissements pour les échanges, les normes symboliques, les émetteurs, etc. Ma thèse reste stable, la quasi-totalité de la valeur générée par les titres libellés sera capturée par 1) les souscripteurs 2) les détenteurs d'actifs [who benefit from the illiquidity premium] 3) early investors in STOs who can arbitrage sophistication 4) infrastructure providers.
A little STO inside baseball: as it stands, the space has little traction and is teeming with underwriters—who often stand to directly benefit from the deal from advantageous pricing as principal investors in addition to underwriting fees—hyping up future retail investor interest. Incentives are often misaligned.
Despite grandiose claims of $80T TAMs, I’m skeptical that security tokens have found investor-market-fit. It’s unclear who the “right” audience for STOs is. It’s not institutions, who lack any effective way to hedge or manage risk of these long-only products (or take custody, for that matter). Howard Marks’ comment in a 2015 letter on liquidity comes to mind:
It’s one of my standing rules that “No investment vehicle should promise greater liquidity than is afforded by its underlying assets.” If one were to do so, what would be the source of the increase in liquidity? Because there is no such source, the incremental liquidity is usually illusory, fleeting and unreliable, and it works (like a Ponzi scheme) until markets freeze up and the promise of liquidity is tested in tough times.
With investor-market-fit uncertain, a potential macro cycle shift, and lack of institutional-grade infrastructure, and the roadmap to deployment looking uncertain, I’m skeptical the world will be tokenized in 2019. I would be surprised if the actively traded market of (novel) tokenized securities exceeds $2b in the next year.
44) There are a wide range of different institutional-grade custody offerings funded in Q4/Q1 of last year set to launch in 2019, either with direct self-custody products or by providing the technology back-end for other custodians. I suspect we’ll see a major custody product offering from a traditional sell-side firm (excluding Fidelity Digital Assets) by the end of the new year (60% confidence). I also think we’ll see the first crypto-native custody solution be granted broker-dealer/qualified custodianship status, a major step in the maturation of the asset class (75% confidence).
45) I’m bullish on efforts like Lolli and Cash App, beautiful products from companies who grok consumer UX and are making meaningful strides to help consumers understand and buy, earn, move, and store cryptocurrencies directly. I suspect these and new consumer products will lead to millions of people interfacing with a cryptocurrency for the first time in 2019.
46) As described earlier: Coinbase is fighting a multi-front war. Fidelity, Gemini, and a slew of Wall St. firms are competing for any institutional business. In the event there is an STO battleground to fight over, tZero, Templum, Harbor, Securitize, ASX/Malta/Gibraltar, and others are in fray. The profitable consumer business faces constant pressure from Robinhood, Circle, and Binance.
While their regulatory moat remains strong, Coinbase appears to be going into 2019 heavily focused on increasing consumer usage/adoption and aggressively expanding token listings (perhaps motivated by dampened trading volume in a crypto bear market). In 2018, Coinbase launched both their venture arm and expanded their M&A activity (acquiring Paradex,Earn.com, and acqui-hiring many smaller teams) in an effort to become the “Google of crypto.”
While I’m skeptical of the strategy to list tokens with dubious utility other efforts, a few facts remain true going into 2019: (1) Coinbase is still synonymous with “place to buy crypto” for millions of consumers. (2) They have a war chest to rival many of the largest companies in the space while (3) having a sizable regulatory moat in the US and (4) top-of-the-line product teams (at least relative to other crypto companies).
In 2019, I expect to see continued expansion into crypto-native consumer products that allow consumers to interface directly with protocols in addition to improvements to exchange infrastructure (as the bear market offers ample time to prepare for the next cycle of adoption).
Coinbase has already launched their Earn.com-based “education” service. Other product moves from them could include: a more consumer friendly wallet (Toshi refreshed) which allows customers to stake and interface with dApps/Lightning, increased focus on lending (Coinbase is a bank after all), and productization of the OTC workflows as they expand their institutional presence with sales and trading (other OTC desks lack the product and engineering chops).
I also strongly suspect that Coinbase shifts to a more Bitcoin-friendly position in 2019.
47) On the subject of exchanges, after a year spent acquiring fastest unicorn ever status, I suspect Binance will have a much tougher 2019. What Binance has in engineering chops they forego in regulatory attack surface area.
I suspect 2019 will see (1) Binance more comprehensively close access to US participants (75% confidence) after facing regulatory action (2) launch a full-on DEX (80% trust) (3) launch multiple global fiat on-ramps (80% confidence) while (4) becoming the dominant exchange in Africa (90% confidence). While regulatory action will slow down growth from prospective US customers, I doubt they’ll see a full shut-down given their Malta domicile (30% confidence). I would peg a prospective shutdown of BitMEX (given shades of market manipulation/excess leverage) significantly higher (70% confidence).
48) 2018 was the year of the shitty exchange tokens following the runaway success of Binance’s token in 2017 (success always breeds imitators), with many resorting to shady “transaction mining” from companies like Fcoin, catex, ZBG, coinall, coinex, Cashierest, and abcc.
This is a new type of scam: instead of taking fees from customers, these shady third-tier exchanges choose to give back the notional value of trading fees to customers in the form of their native exchange token. This is clearly unsustainable, with a couple of these businesses already shutting down.
Many of these native tokens saw huge jumps in initial volumes from curious traders but are now cesspools of wash-trading given easy gamification. Not only does offering a token represent a serious liability, it represents major counterparty risk as the exchange-token scheme could collapse at any moment. I suspect ≥ 75% of the exchanges offering these trans-mining schemes will shut down in 2019 (85% confidence).
49) Consensys has had a rough year with major drawdowns in ether and other ERC-20 tokens (held in treasury/launched by Consensys subsidiaries), ending the year with lay-offs and plans of spin most of their less-favorite children. This is a bearish sign and I suspect the majority of projects that are spun off will have trouble raising follow-on financing due to cap-table concerns and broader theses shifts in the ecosystem.
50) Given Consensys’ contributions to Ethereum infrastructure (includingInfura, MetaMask, Truffle, etc.), it raises meaningful questions about the sustainability of open-source development and how important non-core protocol-adjacent work (e.g. developer infrastructure, etc.) will be funded.Historically, we’ve seen a few different models:
While economists like Elinor Ostrom have tried to répond a cette question in other domains, I suspect we’ll see significant iteration on different funding models in 2019.
51) While the news of Bakkt’s launch (delayed twice) and the announcement of Fidelity Digital Assets were eagerly promoted by the broad crypto-community, I suspect their Q1 launches will have less demand than expected with adoption trickling in over the course of the year. It remains ambiguous to me who the anticipated customer is for Bakkt’s bitcoin-settled futures product. Fidelity’s DNA appears to be deeply-rooted around Bitcoin’s cypherpunk roots, they will go a long way to combating common worries around rehypothecation during the financialization of Bitcoin.
52) [[[[Disclosure: I’m an advisor to The Block.]2018 saw the emergence of a number of new media properties (and media-adjacent companies/projects) including The Block, Messari, BREAKER, Token Daily, and TruStory. While they have various flavors of ideology and differing goals, they all go a long way to legitimizing coverage of an industry plagued with fake news, disingenuous PR, and blatant scams. While regulators have their hands full with low-hanging fruit, these companies are often the first to expose foul play — they will continue to play an important role in uncovering the deep underbelly of long-tail crypto projects as the industry continues disciplined self-regulation.
53) Bitmain, once the unstoppable inspiration of 1000 “mining is centralized” thought-pieces (a behemoth staring at a $12b 2018 IPO price), doesn’t appear to be immune from crypto bear market woes. The bearish case for Bitmain is straightforward: they’ve suffered immensely from a costly bet on Bitcoin Cash (and an ensuing pissing contest, err, “hash war”), lost some top engineering talent (who are now competitors), and are victims of depressed crypto prices along with other miners. Bitmain has lost technological superiority — their latest, the S15 (23 TH/s) has formidable competition from both BitFury’s Tardis (80 TH/s) and Ebang’s Ebit 11+ (37 TH/s).
Despite additional rumblings that Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan will be replaced with new leadership, I believe Bitmain’s obituaries are premature. 2018 saw many people come at the king, though some early competitors are already shutting down due to the difficulty and prohibitive cost of 7nm ASIC manufacturing. Bitmain may never be Ghash but shutting down this year feels like a long shot (85% confidence).
54) J'ai summer baissier on Overstock (and tZero’s) prospects for some time. I think it’s highly likely that Overstock successfully spins out their retail business (85% confidence) by 2019’s end but that their blockchain efforts continue to sputter given a lack of profitability and slower-than-anticipated adoption of security tokens.
55) After seeing the $1b in revenue some OTC trading desks were generating in 2017, banks leapt at the opportunity to capture juicy spreads and generous commissions, most notably led (and later supposedly shuttered) by Goldman. I suspect demand for Wall St. offerings for spot BTC trading will be ~0 given the existing landscape of institutional-grade options (which execute the majority of spot bitcoin trading). It would surprise me if any tier-one bank opened an OTC spot or derivatives trading desk in 2019 (50% confidence).
56) A large exchange (top-10 in volume) will be hacked in 2019. The bear market is prime time for hackers, particularly with more fringe exchanges laying off some staff amidst difficulties (50% confidence).
57) As part of broader market consolidation in the bear market, I think we’ll see strategic acquisitions by larger companies or early movers in both on-chain analysis (e.g. Chainalysis, Elliptic, Coinmetrics) and custody products like Anchor (60% confidence).
58) Rage over payment system censorship felt like it reached a tipping point in 2018 with Mastercard (downstream via Patreon), SWIFT, and even PayPal demonstrating that payment networks like other web-based messaging services are susceptible to top-down decisions to cut off free flow of money at any point. Bitcoin can potentially catch a lot of these leaks as we saw with late 2018 examples from fringe social-networks like Gab or controversial personalities like Jordan Peterson. I anticipate this trend will continue into 2019.
59) 2018 also saw many different proposals (from the BIS, IMF, and others) around central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) peaking with ce papier.
The core argument for CBDCs some economists make are that by moving private deposits to CBDCs, a more safe narrow-banking system system emerges replacing the current commercial and private banking infrastructure (which in turn allows central banks bigger control of the economy). Other economists like Ken Rogoff have made historical arguments in favor of moving to digital cash systems (phasing out large bills) citing both financial efficiencies and greater oversight into money laundering (and downstream crime).
Personally I find CBDCs terribly uninteresting, another attempt to extend to the financial system’s Foucauldian panopticon. “CBDCs, not cryptocurrencies” is just the latest of the already-tiring “Blockchain, not Bitcoin” trend. However with the world largely trending towards digital payments, I think CBDCs in some form are inevitable though I doubt we see large-scale consumer-ready deployments in 2019 (75% confidence).
60) We’ve already started to see the first regulation actions come to ICO teams in 2018, with the SEC going after low-hanging fruit, establishing a clear pattern through the process. While no large projects have faced serious regulatory scrutiny, I anticipate the SEC will shift focus here in 2019 with a top-25 project (by market cap) facing injunction (60% confidence).
61) 2018 saw more Bitcoin ETF proposals than ever with SolidX-VanEck Bitcoin Trust, ProShares Bitcoin ETF (they also filed a Short Bitcoin ETF), GraniteShares Bitcoin ETF (corresponding short ETF), and others, including more esoteric multi-asset ETFs from companies like Bitwise Investments. Despite outstanding concerns over market manipulation of BTC spot prices, I think it’s likely we see a Bitcoin spot ETF approved by the end of the year (70% confidence), with my bet on VanEck to grab first approval.
62) One place we’ve seen little regulatory action is with “crypto influencers” facing fines or other actions, though regulators have started clamping down on celebrities. Naming names is rude, but this SHA-256 hash has my list of influencers that are more likely to get rekd, with a reveal coming in 2020: a6c061624f97399d08fb58dbd23801ab9d03a9329128f5147a9873c9daf906a1
63) Along with excitement over CBDCs, I think it’s likely some country (likely smaller) will announce a pilot or experiment around a blockchain-based identity system (50% confidence).
Some closing thoughts on prices and adoption
With this year marking the start of a crypto recession, the focus for many technologists has been around adoption and use.
In my view, the only thing that can drive crypto adoption is (1) bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies serving as an escape valve for people who are in uncertain monetary regimes (and willing to stomach Bitcoin’s volatility), e.g. Venezuela, Iran, etc., (2) people buying into the idea that Bitcoin is effectively a call option on becoming a future store-of-value, or (3) people buying the idea that Ethereum, Dfinity, Tezos, and other crypto-networks represent a radical shift in the way computing works (“Web 3.0”) ahead of what will likely be a multi-year validation process.
There may be others, but those three things represent to me the majority of factors that could “drive crypto adoption in the short-term.”
As people’s interest fade and near-term sell pressure drops off (which we’ve seen over the last several months), we’ll enter a prolonged phase of virtual boredom (read: this is right now) which lasts months, if not years, where many spend time speculating on what’s “next” for adoption (post-13/14 cycle this was new protocols like Ethereum, merchant/payment processing tools, etc.) while the majority of people involved in the previous bubble leave.
I don’t really worry about questions like short-term adoption drivers. People will buy cryptocurrencies for one of the reasons above, or they won’t. Gradually as the market bottoms out, prices becomes more appealing and perhaps renewed interest leads to another cycle, serving a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or maybe the price dips below a point of “no confidence” (i.e., BTC prolonged < $1k) at which point no one has faith and only HODLers of last resort are left (like we saw last cycle). Either way though, the digital sound money genie is out of the bottle.
As I’ve noted before, cryptocurrencies are still in the “risk basket” (along with venture capital) for institutional capital allocators. Particularly considering a broader macro “risk off” scenario over the next 12–18 months, I doubt bitcoin prices will make new all-time-highs in 2019 (95% confidence) and think there’s a strong chance we don’t break $8k BTC (60% confidence).
I think it’s unlikely that BTC will be a crisis alpha in the next recession the way many people are hoping (I’ve also noted my own signs of late-cycle behavior). That said, the flight-to-quality to bitcoin and other “blue chip” cryptocurrencies will likely continue into 2019.
Either way, I’ll be here studying, investing, and sharing my learnings. Whatever small role I can play in the experiments around non-sovereign money is among the most important projects I’ll work on in my lifetime.
“Every day that goes by and Bitcoin hasn’t collapsed due to legal or technical problems, that brings new information to the market. It increases the chance of Bitcoin’s eventual success and justifies a higher price.” — Hal Finney
Perhaps we can use some of Hal’s ambition going into 2019.