The title of this article might very well be the only reason why you are here. You may not know me, nor have read any of my previous articles, and you may be wondering who I am to even have an opinion in this space which is already so filled with every ‘blockchain expert’ and ‘experienced crypto trader’s’ opinions already.
Chances are, you’re reading this either thinking this will be a breath of fresh air, as I flame all the crypto shiller’s out there, or you are fuming as you are expecting this to be packed full of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt).
Now, down to the core of this post, what do I mean and why will cryptocurrencies die? When I say ‘cryptocurrencies will die’, I’m not saying the $100 billion dollar industry is going to disappear and we are all going to lose our money. I mean, I’m just as invested in this industry as the next guy, I even left my safe full time job to work this industry full time. No, what I am saying is that the cryptocurrency market, industry and environment that we have seen in the past is going to cease and be replaced with a new system and framework. Within the existing environment and understanding of this industry there are many misconceptions and poorly constructed ideologies grown through ill-educated individuals and groups. I’m not here to address each misconception or argue against certain ideologies, but rather I’m here to enlighten your eyes to a new world which we are stepping into.
What have we built
Whenever people ask me what I do for work, I always think, ‘Now how do I explain it to you?’. If I say I work in the blockchain industry, there are two main responses: either ‘Huh? What’s that?’ & ‘Oh, you mean bitcoin?’. Either response clearly means I need to do some more explaining before I even come to describing my exact role. Essentially, the mainstream media’s image that they are portraying of our industry is still revolving around the concept of cryptocurrency as a sole purpose and goal. I would argue that this is in part due to the last 24 months where we had the incredible price increases and conception of hundreds of new altcoins/new projects and many scams, followed by ‘the great depression’ where ‘everyone lost their life savings’. At least this is what most people think of when they look back over the last 2 years. In reality, it wasn’t ‘the great depression’ but rather a massive and much needed correction. I mean, Jan 2017 to Jan 2019, and we are still up almost 1000% in Gobal marketcap.
There is already a great misconception about cryptocurrencies in general, and a large portion of the blockchain community has had a part to play in this misconception with the focus that has been placed on cryptocurrencies, trading and price speculation, instead of blockchain technology. This view has started to change in many of the serious projects, but needs to continue. Because there was such strong focus on cryptocurrencies, any price fluctuation was promoted or condemned far out of proportion. As I alluded to above, the common views held were, if there was a price rise, then everyone is going to be millionaires through the sacrifice of the lesser knowledgeable public trying to enter the industry. If there was a price dump, then this has just confirmed the unsustainable and scammy view that is associated with cryptocurrencies — It is only good for criminals and scam groups, which are criminals anyway.
It’s all about the money
There is another idealogy that, as an industry, many of the individuals have developed. That is, blockchain technology is here to support cryptocurrencies. At the end of the day, the success of blockchain technology will come down to how well we can provide a use case for cryptocurrencies. This has stemmed from the drive of many of the projects and individuals who are here to make money without understanding the fundamentals of blockchain technology.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with making money (or wanting to make money), that is a key driver for a large percentage of businesses all over the world. The problem is when you want to make money without understanding the industry of which you are getting involved in. This is what happened in 2017 and as a result we now sit with an ICO graveyard where the figures vary between 50–80% of ICO’s having died out one year later.
So, now what?
I have just described to a large degree, the environment we have been living in over the last 24 months, when the first wave of blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies flowed throughout the world in a global way. But I believe we have now turned a corner, we have survived the reckoning, we have made it through the refining fire. A large majority of projects who were destined to fail have already done so, and now we are left with a refined (albeit, smaller) range of blockchain related projects who have now proven a few key points. Yes, there will still be projects that fail, but these are of a much lower percentage and are often not from lack of trying, knowledge or planning; but simply due to the fact that creating a start-up is a highly challenging task.
What have we proven?
Blockchain projects are emerging from the ashes
So, what exactly have the surviving projects proven by not only surviving but thriving in this tough environment? Firstly, it has now been proven that there are serious people in this industry, serious people with real, trustworthy and clear intentions. I don’t think many people would realise just how tough you need to be to push through the last 12 months. Aside from the fact that creating any startup is a highly challenging task, regardless of the industry; but doing this when more projects than not are failing around you, you see your token/coin value fluctuate greatly (if you have one), and seeing the negative views from many sources, both within and without the industry, can bring even strong men to their knees if they don’t have the right support and strategies in place. All those that have survived are of a certain character which you need when driving adoption of a new industry. I have the strongest respect for these people and this is what leaders from other industries will look for.
“…creating any startup is a highly challenging task… doing this when more projects than not are failing around you… can bring even strong men to their knees if they don’t have the right support and strategies in place.”
The next thing that has been proven is that the projects are set up with clear business strategies, safety-nets, funding, and purposes. I would suggest it goes hand in hand, you need solid and purposefully driven people as well as well developed and sustainable business strategies and goals.
The last thing that I suggest has been proven in the last 12 months, are real use cases for blockchain technology, not cryptocurrencies. The stigma is still largely revolving around the finance industry and that we are here to disrupt it and replace centralized institutes and banks. The facts say different. Last year I created a list of banks and financial institutes that are looking into or already implementing blockchain research projects. I came up with a list of over 220 institutes from around the world. Many of these use cases are using blockchain technology but not even touching the concept of cryptocurrency. And when they do use cryptocurrencies, they are used as a support component, not the fundamental driver to the system.
We will start to see stronger adoption in this new year as the focus shifts from blockchain supporting cryptocurrencies, to cryptocurrencies supporting blockchain. It will be harder to fool the public as many fake projects have been washed away. Not only that, but many of the get rich quick investors have also fallen off the crypto bandwagon. What we will see die off is the concept of cryptocurrencies for the sake of cryptocurrencies. There will no longer be room in this industry for fake or poorly developed projects (cryptocurrencies). This isn’t a step back because we have taken the wrong path, but rather it will be stepping forward, out of the refining fire into the polishing factory. We will soon be ready to start spreading in a serious manner throughout mainstream industries.
In the first half of this year, we will start to see the launch of a few well developed projects. We’ll also start to see an increase in the partnerships or collaborations between existing enterprise giants and the blockchain industry. There will be a push for dapps (decentralized applications) to appear like normal apps running on windows, OS, and android with user-friendly interfaces.This integration will blur the line between dapps and apps, allowing users to utilise the benefits of blockchain without realising it.
So what I mean, is the current paradigm or ideology regarding cryptocurrencies will die, the ability to create scams and get away with it will die (slowly), the understanding of cryptocurrencies as the primary development of the blockchain industry will die. And there is a high chance a few more cryptocurrencies will die too. But in this death, there will be something new and exciting born, we are in the dying days of the age of ‘cryptocurrencies for the sake of cryptocurrencies’.
Welcome to the age of blockchain!
Cryptocurrencies will die in 2019 (But blockchain won’t) was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.