The past year brought many interesting developments overshadowed by the looming bear market. Many tapped out of the market without realizing the advancements in the Distributed Ledger Technology. Corporations like Cisco revealed they and other multinational corporations are beyond blockchain testing and ready to begin implementation. Major endowments funds, such as Yale, incorporating cryptocurrencies as a new asset investment class. These and many other advancements are signs that infrastructure build-out continues in the crypto space.
So, here are my incremental hopes for 2019 developments that have a great chance for visible success.
5. The gaming world incorporating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into their ecosystems.
Video gaming is a world unto itself and those of us on the outside can only grasp a fraction of the ecosystem.
The hope of ownership within gaming platforms is a desire from the crypto world for those who live, work and play in the gaming world. We did notice the effort and time dedicated acquiring unique items, skins, and weapons. We also noticed players did not truly own those items. Game programmers could change the rules, take away items, or manipulate the value metrics at any point. So, if we can rally demand from the grass roots to incorporate NFTs into gaming platforms and even allow items to exist outside the platform of origination, a cryptocurrency value explosion will occur.
I’m excited about WAX’s and Enjin’s advancements on this front, and Mythical Games raised over $16 Million in a series A round for game development on the EOS platform. Not only are NFTs strictly dedicated to gaming but also art. A close cousin to the gaming world are artists’ creations presented and sold as NFTs. A unique cryptographic hash can be added to visual or auditory compositions. An artist can be compensation for their one-of-a-kind, limited edition, or mass produced works. They can even earn royalties from each resell of their NFT items. Look for Piexeos to market lead in this area.
4. Use of crypto at society’s most critical base levels.
Distributed Ledger Technology adoption must have two components in order to gain mass adoption. First, it must be used by our major industrial markets. Second, the DLT technology used by industry must be accessible to the general public. The type of markets that are critical to civilization; commodities, precious metals, energy, staples and every business to business transaction that occur at raw materials base layer, need public blockchain implementation.
Transactions between industrial markets using a public blockchain utilized by the general public allows value to passed from the mine fields to retail checkout using a unified token system. The public ledger blockchain that wins must incorporate a layer of privacy so industry can protect itself from competition. Multi-national entities must also protect itself from unreasonable government enforcement until regulators capitulate to the inevitable advancements and advantages of using DLT systems. How can we measure success? Many articles that go unnoticed by most in the crypto space may provide the most important indicators. Articles about nations opening blockchain controlled ports, DLT powerplants, IOT projects utilizing blockchain, majors like Amazon and Alibaba integrations, farmers, ranchers, and miners implementations are all indicators. See my previous article, Mass Adoption? for more in-depth analysis.
3. Success of Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Maria was awful. Devastating the island and revealing many vulnerabilities of the infrastructure and government agencies. Many forget Puerto Rico’s economic struggles before Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico’s political elites mismanaged PR resources and aid for many years. After 1998’s Hurricane Georges roared through PR, much more aid and attention was given to PR for development and prosperity. However, after almost two decades, local agencies, who are on the front-lines and knows PR needs best for hurricane prep and relief, were caught flat-footed again as Maria wrote another chapter of death and devastation on the island. Although government at every level is needed for proper preparation and relief, empowering individuals in each community to protect themselves is better.
The cryptocurrency community who moved to the island, seek to rebuild and help Puerto Rican citizens prosper. This effort will enable the local citizenry to formulate their own plans in case of a major tropical storm. They will build stronger homes, create energy micro-grids, and have a stronger voice to petition their government for more drainage, clean water and shelter options. In addition, my hopes are for Puerto Ricans to establish their own diverse business base from new entrepreneurs. Keeping impediments out means, keeping low tax rates in place and removing entrenched legacy government-sponsored cronyism, from D.C. to San Juan. Success of Puerto Rico can model the success in places such as Venezuela, Haiti, Greece, underground China, Colombia, Turkey, Cambodia, underground Russia, Cuba and many sub-Sahara African countries.
2. Success of Changpeng Zhao (CZ)!
Or should I say “continued” success of the co-founder and CEO of Binance who does many things right. In addition to being a personified bridge between East and West cultures, CZ’s business acumen draws the best financial minds from all over the world. Binance is an ICO success story of a $15 million raise from July 2017 that only took 2 weeks. Since, CZ responsibly leveraged every dollar of the raise. Forget the 22,000 percent increase ($0.10 to $22) in token value in its first 6 months, Binance performed as the most secure, responsive and dynamic cryptocurrency exchange. With incentives from discount trading using the BNB token, to generous referral programs, and incubation for lifting other projects via Bianance Labs, CZ proves over and over again a deep knowledge of best practices in this new crypto environment. CZ’s savviness also proves valuable for what regulators will impose. He foresaw the China crypto crackdown and moved his headquarters from China to Japan. CZ also talks to crypto friendly nations like Malta about establishing an official office location, but he’s also smart enough to keep other servers and office locations secret around the world. Even more, CZ spoke of a decentralized bank and a decentralized exchange (DEX) version of Binance for over a year now. The final iteration of the DEX may occur in 2019 as “Binance Chain”. The DEX will build on Bianance’s own blockchain mainnet. With a healthy track record of other decentralized exchanges’ failures and successes, CZ can lead the charge for true censorship resistant free trade. If this DEX also include fiat onramps, even for U.S. citizens, it’s a distant 2nd as the best hope for every other exchange in the ecosystem.
1. The EOS platform blossoming.
Brendan Blumer (Block.one CEO) and Dan Larimer (Block.one CTO) blazed the path for the world’s first Distributed Ledger Technology platform that answers the trilemma question of fast(scalable), secure, and decentralized.
Well thought out benefits of the EOS platform are listed here. After going live and handing off the software to the EOS community in June 2018, it’s now platform investors who are responsible for continuous improvement of the resources, governance, user interface, speed, and Dapp development. Not only are improvements occurring rapidly, sister chains, utilizing EOS.io software, are complementing the EOS platform if the original code was deemed limited. Most importantly, the human element of blockchain governance is viewed as critical to EOS’s success. Code-is-Law maximalist may not view involvement of human wisdom to solve difficult situations as valuable. However, after thousands of years of human social development and cooperation, there are many political virtues we can gleam, and if we harness the best of judicial decision making to assist the mathematical code, a new elevated state of human affairs can be achieved.
In summary my vision is freedom for project leaders to openly identify themselves to their investors while having latitude to develop their platforms with their own rules and governance. If entities like the SEC get off the backs of our innovators from Elon Musk to Richard Ells (Electroneum), we could see massive developments in 2019.
At least it seems Elon won with the appointment of a far removed puppet chair (Robyn Denholm) and a strong Elon alter-ego Larry Ellison to the board. However, many execs in the crypto space were strong-armed in 2018 with threats and forced to implement info gathering tools such as KYC and other contrivances for governmental control over monetary activity.
The road to crypto-utopia looks a bit messy and credulous investors may lose some money along the way, however, we need the liberty to make our mistakes along the path to greater achievements.
2019 , may the prosperity games begin!