Crypto Growth Will be Driven by Institutional Investors, Better Things to Come in 2019
2018 is almost over and many are already pinning their hopes on the coming year. The founder and CEO of Binance exchange, Changpeng Zhao says that this year has been a hell of a year but there are better things to come in 2019. A high-ranking PricewaterhouseCoopers official says that institutional investors are going to drive the growth of the crypto industry. In sharp contrast to Joseph Lubin last week statements, Anthony Pompliano says that Bitcoin will sink below $3,000.
There is too much red across the board as the market continues to bleed. On Christmas Eve, the total market cap was $146 billion but has fallen to $122 billion at the time of writing. The top 10 digital assets with exception of Tether have all registered price declines.
Bitcoin will fall to less than $3,000 – Anthony Pompliano
The drama that has characterized the better part of 2018 continued over the weekend as Bitcoin and other digital assets recorded losses.
In an interview with CNBC on Dec. 26, Anthony Pompliano, the founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets said the price of Bitcoin will fall below $3,000. On Christmas Day, Bitcoin was trading above $4,000 but has fallen to $3,796 at the time of writing.
Pompliano’s latest comments may mean something considering that the social commentator predicted in early November that Bitcoin’s price would fall to $3,000. This actually happened as Bitcoin’s price traded below $3,200 on Dec. 15.
At the beginning of November, the price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency was trading in the region of $6,300 and held on for two weeks before the decline began.
Pompliano denied any correlation between the price of Bitcoin and the stocks of major tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Netflix.
“I definitely agree there are some psychological components at play as the stock market pulls down. BTC correlation with the S&P 500 was ‘zero’ and ‘near zero’ with the dollar index,” said Pompliano.
On Dec. 21, Joseph Lubin, the co-creator of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys said the market had reached its bottom.
“I am calling the crypto bottom of 2018,” tweeted Lubin.
Institutional investors will drive crypto growth – PwC executive
The 2017 crypto journey to the moon was largely driven by speculation and retail investors – some of them left the game as the bear market dominated the whole of 2018.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the largest accounting and professional firms says that institutional investors have a major role to play in driving the adoption of digital currencies.
In an interview, Henri Arslanian, the “fintech and crypto leader” at PwC Asia explained that 2019 will be a big year for cryptocurrencies.
“I think there is a lot of exciting things that the crypto ecosystem is looking forward [to] in 2019. One of them, I think, is really the entry of institutional players,” said Arslanian.
He added that 2018 saw a large number of institutional investors entering the space and he expects even more to join the young industry.
“I think in 2018 we saw a lot of the big banks enter the space and in 2019 I expect many more to enter the space as well, in different ways. Some of them may decide to launch their own solutions [as] Fidelity did here in the US by setting up a new company,” he said.
He also said that a lot of things are changing especially regulatory clarity. The crypto space has existed in a legal vacuum and over the past year, authorities all over the world have been trying to figure out how to regulate the market.
He took a contrarian view when he said that the crypto industry is better off without the hype that led to Bitcoin reaching $20,000 in late 2017.
“In other industries, there’s booms and busts, I think some of the positive news of the crypto fall was it actually cleared a lot of noise in the crypto sector,” explained Arslanian.
Changpeng Zhao: 2018 was a hell of a year
There is no universal interpretation of how 2018 went down and different experts have their own views on how the year was.
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder and CEO of Binance called 2018 a ‘hell of a year’ in his end-of-year letter addressed to the Binance community.
“2018 has been a hell of a year, definitely not the easiest of years, but looking back, real progress has been made,” he wrote.
He began by addressing the elephant in the room – market prices. According to CZ, the possible factors that contributed to the price slump are:
- ICO projects failed to deliver
- Security incidents at a number of exchanges
- Regulatory uncertainty
- A fragmented young industry – people were fighting and there were unnecessary forks that led to price drops.
Binance had a good year as it expanded to Uganda and obtained multiple Security Token Exchange licenses in several locations. The licenses will come in handy in 2019 as the exchange expands in other territories. The exchange launched its own investment fund that has already funded 23 projects.
Binance Academy, an educational portal was also launched during the year. The Binance team traveled to at least 21 countries including Malta, Bermuda, Taiwan, Vietnam, Germany, etc.
The exchange also celebrated “being the first crypto company to be welcomed by a Head of State on Twitter to their country.”
With regards to 2019, he said, “I am not very skilled with the crystal ball. But looking forward, I know this much: blockchain will stay, crypto will stay, Binance will stay. And our industry will grow stronger than ever!”
He also mentioned that there is more to come in 2019 as he expects more partnerships with industry leaders.
Huobi lays off staff … but for different reasons
Many heads have rolled because of the bear market – and the next heads to roll will likely be those of Huobi’s underperforming staff.
Bitmain, one of the largest companies in the crypto sector declared early this month that it is letting go half of its staff because it is running out of money. Huobi is the next major crypto firm to lay its staff but it claims that it is doing so for different reasons.
Huobi Group has over 1,000 employees and will only fire its underperforming staff while it continues to hire new staff to take the company’s business needs in the desired direction.
Zcash CEO defends the Brave team
The crypto market is still growing, and more times than necessary, the leaders in the space are at loggerheads with each other – something that CZ has attributed as a contributing factor to the ongoing bad market conditions.
It, therefore, came as a relief when Zooko Wilcox, the CEO of Zcash stuck up for the Brave team after its ecosystem came under fire on social media.
It may be argued that Wilcox stood up for Brave because he is an advisor to the team but it is the kind of spirit the market should be in.
“The Brave team are pros, and they’re fighting for the side of good. I’m proud to serve as an advisor to them,” tweeted Wilcox.
The recent Bitcoin Cash fork caused so much havoc that resulted in a massive sell-off followed by huge price drops. It goes without saying that the industry needs to be unified and work together in building better technology and foster adoption so that bear market can be a thing of the past.
Analyst – Constantinople upgrade can potentially lift ETH price
Ethereum had a terrible year considering that it has lost more than 90 percent of its all-time high value. While the year may have been a bad one, the third largest cryptocurrency has a chance at redemption through the Constantinople fork scheduled for January next year, at least according to Alex Kruger, a well-known cryptocurrency expert.
“Ethereum’s Constantinople fork is coming on block 7080000, around January 16, 2019. Constantinople will reduce the block rewards from 3 to 2, decreasing new $ETH supply accordingly. On the long run, this is decidedly bullish,” tweeted Kruger.
Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX believes the price of ETH will be on the recovery path if initial coin offerings (ICOs) emerge again because they are dead at the moment.
“The use case for Ether is primarily ICOs. That market is dead right now. Once there are new issues, then Ether will rebound aggressively. When the ICO market returns, Ether will quickly test $200. The timing of the ICO rebirth is 12 to 18 months out,” he said.