What a ride this year has been.
Looking in the rear-view mirror of 2018 not only offers us a moment of reflection, but shows us what’s plausible for the year ahead. As 2018 comes to a close, we've asked some friends of TD to do a little armchair fortune telling for next year. Considering what we’ve already seen in industry trends and patterns, here's a compilation of what some of us expect in 2019.
Jill Carlson, Advisor
What happens to crypto in 2019 will be more a result of the macro economy than a result of any single product or team, so keep an eye on world politics, on the stock market, and on the news in general.
Murad Mahmudov, Investor
Bitcoin will be <$2500, many funds will close down, we will see very weak and underperfoming launches of any previously-privately-presold projects with no visible usage, there will be a long crypto winter throughout 2019, there will be a subsequent realization that SoV is the only narrative that matters, a cycle will begin anew, and we'll see more "concentrated" returns moving forward. But general realization this entire movement will take 20 years.
Spencer Bogart, Blockchain Capital
The "next-generation" smart contract platforms (like Hashgraph and Telegram) will launch and find there's little to no demand for what they've built.
Connie Yang, Coinbase
2019 will be the year of crypto education. The first year where designers can truly innovate. A year where how we talk to people about crypto will make or break the industry.
Joey Krug, Pantera Capital
Wyre will launch easy, cheap, and quick fiat onramps for Dai and Eth for easy dapp onboarding. And a solution like Bloxroute, Arbitrum, or Thunder will launch enabling faster transactions compatible with Solidity smart contracts.
Lily Liu, Earn
I think 2019 is going to be like 2015. Tax season is going to be particularly bleak. Bitcoin may bottom around $1200 or $1500.
Matt Corallo, Chaincode Labs
Maturation. My prediction is maturation.
Tess Rinearson, Interstellar
Less a prediction and more of a wish-upon-a-star, but I hope to see a real use case for consumers catch on (other than speculation). Also, I'm optimistic that that might be what emerges from this bear market.
Saifedean Ammous, Author
Bitcoin will confirm a new block of transactions roughly every ten minutes. Around 650,000 new bitcoins will be minted. If this comes true, it will be the tenth year of flawlessly predictable operation by bitcoin, which would go a long way in helping it gain more credibility, particularly in contrast to what promises to be a spectacularly unpredictable circus of conceited central planners managing their currencies and capital markets in 2019.
Nic Carter, Castle Island Ventures
At least 2 of Dfinity, Hashgraph, Algorand, TON, Filecoin either fail to launch or delay their launches another year. ETH remains at least partially reliant on PoW throughout 2019. And at least 3 of the 10 most liquid exchanges close down through regulatory action or insolvency.
Arianna Simpson, Autonomous Partners
2019 is going to be a year of building and consolidation. Projects, companies, and funds are cutting budgets, and some are shuttering, but important development work is being done. This is setting the stage for the next cycle, but we may not see that until 2020 or beyond.
Ari Nazir, Neural Capital
Total market cap moves below $100b, major crypto mining ops shut down, at least one mega-fund shuts down due to redemptions/LP lawsuits/failed ICOs (like Hashgraph), and Roubini & co issue eulogies for bitcoin. As public stock market valuations decline, so will private market valuations. This will hurt startups, particularly those that are cash flow negative (i.e. most of these "blockchains") and you'll see bitcoin price continually pushed down as investors continue risk-off mode. Eventually some major hedgies will step in to buy bitcoin but not before more blood.
Linda Xie, Scalar Capital
I think we'll see major improvements to user experience which will lead to greater adoption in 2019.
Tony Sheng, Decentraland
Facebook will launch a stablecoin.
Elena Nadolinski, Beanstalk
Crypto can only survive if there’s an actual use case and we have to face with the fact that it might have to be exactly what got bitcoin popular: markets with questionable morals. Maybe drugs, maybe porn, maybe tax evasion. The ship on cute cryptokitties has sailed. Grin is having some MASSIVE hype right now. Dan Boneh will attend their GrinconUS conference, there’s 1M GPUs ready to go to mine it, so the start of 2019 will be very strong for privacy coins from that perspective, but on the larger scale, I think that privacy coins will come into the picture to act as what Bitcoin should have been – an anonymous payment system. With companies like ChainAnalysis raising 16M from Benchmark (led by Sarah Tavel I think) you can’t say it’s anonymous anymore so if crypto is going to be used for the original use cases that Bitcoin was popular for years ago, it has to be private.
In 2019, instances of deplatforming will rise and bring more attention to crypto. In turn, social network fragmentation will increase along with alternative platform growth.
Pia Mancini, Open Collective
In 2019 we'll see core infrastructure development specifically in governance and usability and growth in crypto applications that manage the collapse in previously trusted institutions (bank, government, justice system, and media).
Parker Thompson, Investor
A few thoughts. "Centralized" services leveraging crypto technology for distribution (e.g. centralized stable coins) are going to emerge to support some real consumer use cases. Performant networks will attract more developer interest (despite perceived flaws) because non-performant networks aren’t usable outside of the e-gold use case. New “projects” (aka companies) will get funded like boring old VC-backed companies and we’ll see fewer SAFTs, ICOs, etc both as a function of crappy token markets, regulatory uncertainty, and because equity gives investors optionality in the case companies create valuable networks without driving speculative appreciation of tokens.
Jeremy Rubin, Investor
Ethereum delays difficulty bomb. Blockchain.info files ipo. Coinbase refocuses on Bitcoin. Bitcoin ABC forks again.
Meltem Demirors, CoinShares
STO issuers will find themselves disappointed to find they, too, are drowning in tokens. Bitcoin will be cool again - so many amazing projects launching and coming to market. Long live maximalism!
James Prestwich, Summa
I'm looking forward to a long bear market and a lot of dead projects.
Todd Goldberg, CryptoGoods
With prices and hype significantly deflated, I anticipate 2019 to be a year of building. I think we'll also see a general clean up and consolidation of the space - more SEC enforcements, projects being abandoned, funds shutting down, and M&A. Both are net positive in my opinion.
Avichal Garg, Electric Capital
2019 is the year of the launch -- Coda, Near, Dfinity, Thunder, Grin, Anchorage, Bakkt, Ethereum updates, etc. It will take time for developers and users to figure out how to use these new platforms so it is probably in 2020 that we see meaningful new adoption.
Elizabeth Stark, Lightning Labs
More building, less hype.
John Backus, Bloom
Legal action will shake up the space, depressing in the short term and providing overdue strategic clarity in the long term. By end of 2019 we'll see more promising legally-positioning: DEX re-engineering, evolution of prediction markets, and other killer apps playing with legal boundaries.
Situations like the USA OFAC versus the Iranian money-changer will happen more and more, undermining the narrative of Bitcoin as a borderless fungible money.
Yin Wu, DIRT
High profile teams that raised on little more than a promise in 2018 will shut down. On the flip side, talent and distributed computing are at a discount when prices crash. The best projects will roll up talent and be ready to scale in 2019.
Jeremy Welch, Casa
In 2019, the best developers will ignore price fluctuations and keep building. Same as they did in 2018 and every year before.
Dovey Wan, Primitive Ventures
These violent delights will have violent ends, but all greatness grows from meager land. 2019 will be a year to manage our expectations and keep our bankroll tight.
Matt Condon, OpenZeppelin
We're finally over the blockchain+anything hype-cycle, so I expect to see more innovative ("oh yeah, that wasn't actually possible/reasonable before") ideas/projects come out. The hype around TCRs will be replaced by some other simplistic governance mechanism that also fails to account for human behavior. We'll finally have a good term for NFTs that doesn't reference non-fungibility. More digital ownership events, especially re: artistry and creativity. Ethereum might face real competition from some of the smart contract platforms that have been sleeping behind closed doors. Mimblewimble will continue its slow but steady approach into the minds of every Bitcoiner.There will be 365 more Song a Day songs. We'll see a rebound trend of apps forsaking decentralization in order to curate the user experience (hosted wallets, password-based login, etc). We'll see futher strides on MetaTx/Bouncer'd services, plus more projects building on the xDai chain.
Arjun Balaji, Shomei Capital
2019 will see true flushing out of all the zombie crypto projects people see in the market now. There are a lot of projects that exist strictly as zombies. They will be gone for real.
Hasu, Cryptocurrency Researcher
Bitcoin will continue to get more private: LN and sidechains offer full fungibility if you accept certain tradeoffs of trust and security. Dandelion will add more privacy on the p2p network layer. My fingers are crossed for Schnorr signatures in 2019 - that would be a huge deal in combination with Coinjoin. Private transactions by default would be encouraged, because it's cheaper to share a signature (the biggest/costliest part of a bitcoin transaction) with others.
Su Zhu, Three Arrows Capital
Bram Cohen, Chia
It's difficult to make predictions especially about the future. In all seriousness, I expect to see the SEC taking some real actions against many of the ICOs, almost none of whom will ship a real product. But I think they're only going to get through part of the list in 2019, there are a whole lot of them to go after and the SEC is going to start with the ones who raised the most money who are most incapable of actually building something.