Following my distinctly mediocre attempt at predicting what would happen over the course of 2019 within the blockchain and digital asset space, I thought I’d have go at doing the same for 2020 – despite annoying/upsetting a fair few people when I do. But such is life.
1) The SEC
Security regulators around the world continue to tighten the net on dubious projects and their fund raises. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the crypto bit between its teeth now and is wising up to where the bodies lie. We may even see some criminal convictions from the dodgy ICO period of 2017 – that’s if the scammers haven’t already legged it to a place where no extradition treaty exists.
2) Bitcoin halving
The Bitcoin halving passes without much change to the price until several months later. The halving is an important event, but I think that block 630,000 will be mined and not much will change over that 10-minute period. However, come Q4 2020, my belief is that we will start to see the new scarcity being felt by the market. I wouldn’t be surprised if we flirted with a new all-time high around Christmas time.
3) Corporates wise up
Enterprise blockchain falters, and layoffs are announced across the IBM, Dell, and Oracle-type corporates as interest for DLT solutions dries up. Enterprise (private and permissioned) blockchain has now been around for at least five years, and what has been created? We still trot out the same examples, namely Tradelens and IBM Food Trust.
Corporates are wising up to this, and realise that blockchain isn’t a magical dust one can sprinkle over a problem and solve it. This will result in layoffs and backtracking from these businesses that have been part of hyping DLT.
4) Government crackdown
Governments look to crack down on privacy coins. There is no way on earth that governments are going to simply lie down and accept financial opacity from coins such as Monero or Zcash.
If there’s a way that governments can shut them down or at least heavily curtail access to them, then 2020 is the year we will see this start to happen. Crypto isn’t going away, but that doesn’t mean that all will be allowed to survive unchecked by governmental control.
5) Libra bullied out
Libra doesn’t launch. Libra isn’t a bad idea, it just got bullied because it was Facebook that took the lead and Facebook is still suffering from the Cambridge Analytica fallout. It was never really a crypto anyway.
6) Digitising currencies
Governments try to implement blockchain projects, but only small-scale releases. This is pretty much a given seeing how China has pretty much already announced it. But we will see other countries giving blockchain projects a go, especially around the area of digitising their own currencies.
A crypto exchange files an IPO. Big one this… either Coinbase or Binance would be my guess. Let’s see just how much financial transparency they are willing to disclose.
The Bitcoin community faces a split over the challenges of privacy. This could be big. A lot of the original Bitcoin cypherpunk/two-fingers-to-the-man type of people want privacy and see financial privacy as the greatest expression of freedom. And then we have most others who recognise the need for smart regulation and aren’t concerned about government encroachment.
9) Big names
Another tech titan announces their own corporate coin. Amazon, Google, or Microsoft are the top contenders. Could one of these behemoths navigate government scrutiny better than Facebook? We might just find out in 2020.
10) Bitcoin adoption
Bitcoin adoption grows in authoritarian regimes/developing nations. There is a far greater need for Bitcoin in countries with oppressive regimes with a taste for coercing the population through surveillance and violence. We will see clear signs that these countries’ populations are adopting Bitcoin far quicker in 2020 than in the US or UK.
So, there you have it, ten predictions on blockchain, DLT, and cryptocurrency for the year ahead. Feel free to tweet me @walshjonwalsh if you have any more that you believe should be added to this list.
Blockchain, Digital Assets, and Adtech professional
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