By Jim Kharouf
Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in physics, famously said “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” But that never stops panel moderators from asking the question and panelists being put on the spot and having to deliver.
Last week at the Executives Club of Chicago event, Bitcoin Boom: Defining Chicago’s role in the Digital Currency Movement event, three panelists were asked for their predictions about the crypto space. Here are their responses and why some just might be right.
Sunil Cutinho, President, CME Clearing said, “The cryptocurrency space will have just a few survivors – two or three.” Plus, he added, “And with new underlying technology, we will stop using the term blockchain.”
Today’s Market Cap for The Top 100 Cryptocurrencies is $327.2 billion, led by Bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, Bitcoin cash and EOS, which account for $235 billion of that, according to Coinmarketcap.com. Markets gravitate to liquidity and perhaps only three of them will be dominant by then.
As for blockchain’s name, the rise of digital ledger technologies, some of which are based on blockchain, and some of which are based on new technologies, could very well have people saying “What was the name of that old digital ledger technology? Blockchain? Yeah, that was so 2018!”
Mike Unetich, Vice President of Cryptocurrencies at Trading Technologies, said, “The token asset world could revolutionize the venture capital space.”
This is happening now. Last week, Overstock.com’s, distributed ledger group tZero, announced a deal with BOX Digital Markets, a sister company to BOX Options Exchange to create an SEC regulated market that lists and trades security tokens. That partnership could dramatically change how capital is raised across multiple asset classes. Executives at Overstock have said it could upend the venture capital model in a regulated space. And the growth of the initial coin offering sector shows just how much demand there is for unregulated capital raising and crowdfunding.
Peter Johnson, Vice President, Jump Capital said, “There will be huge amount of M&A activity in crypto, with crypto companies becoming so large, they will be the ones acquiring others.”
We are on our way. Coinbase, for example, has had several rounds of funding pushing its market cap to more than $1.6 billion. Other exchanges inside and outside the United States may ultimately be worth more. Those exchanges have already purchased other crypto companies and exchanges. If we move into a regulated environment, they may want to buy more traditional capital market companies and exchanges to bolster their growth or comply with regulations.
We may look back in three years and laugh, or we may be surprised at how quickly such predictions came true.
Jim Kharouf is Director of Content Development at Gate 39 Media. He has been a journalist, editor and media specialist in the global derivatives markets since 1996.