Business Insider recently sat down with Travis Scher, who heads Digital Currency Group’s investment branch, which has made investments into Coinbase, Circle, Ledger, and other preeminent blockchain startups, to talk about his Bitcoin industry predictions for 2019. Among other things, Scher revealed that he expects for Wall Street and institutions to foray into crypto in the coming 12 months.
Wall Street To Down The Bitcoin Pill
Speaking to Business Insider’s Madeline Shi, Scher, who has worked in the crypto sector since late-2015, laid out three predictions. First, Scher noted that he expects for 2019 to be a great year for the dichotomy between Wall Street hotshots and crypto assets,
He noted that while Wall Streeters have lagged behind the crypto trend for years on end, this will change in 2019.
Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Dollar Vigilante, Jeff Berwick, told BlockTV, a video-centric crypto media outlet, that he expects for institutional adoption to spark the next Bitcoin bull run. Berwick, an evident skeptic of the traditional fiat system, noted that once institutions see adequate platforms to transact on, cryptocurrency prices will explode en bloc, as there are presumed trillions waiting on the sidelines. In short, Berwick noted that Wall Street-friendly platforms, like the proposed Bitcoin ETFs, Nasdaq’s “crypto 2.0” futures, among others, will “change the game completely.”
And these quips aren’t baseless speculation. While Bakkt, a multi-faceted digital asset platform partnered with the NYSE parent Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) recently saw its launch get pushed back to “early-2019,” the innovators behind the upstart are poised to tackle institutional participation head on. Per our previous reports, Bakkt, headquartered in New York, acquired “certain assets” and employees of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) to expand its risk management, compliance, and other pertinent back-end departments.
The specifics of the deal weren’t divulged, but the up-and-coming platform, which has been deemed one of the crypto space’s most important developments of 2019, recently saw a $182.5 million cheque fly its way from sixteen investors, which included Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, ICE, Microsoft’s venture arm, and San Francisco-based Pantera Capital.
Moreover, the municipal government of New York City, purportedly Microsoft, and an array of other corporate partners recently launched the Blockchain Center in the Big Apple to improve crypto education, to subsequently improve adoption.
Blockchain Gaming, Non-Fungible Tokens To Mount
Another prediction Scher touted was the arrival of blockchain-based gaming applications and non-fungible tokens. The DCG executive noted that he expects experimentation, along with the adoption of “big hits” in this budding subsector throughout 2019. He added that for the most part, venture capitalists have been ignoring this sector, due to games’ “hit-driven” nature. So, Scher beckoned venture investors to take a real look at this business, stating:
Venture capitalists should be paying attention to the ones that are building platforms and developer teams, companies that are not creating just one game but are building several developed business models that can succeed
This recent quip comes nearly at the same time that Kyle Samani, the managing partner of Multicoin Capital, claimed that during 2019, he awaits the launch of a number of “high profile blockchain products,” which are likely to attract a mass of customers, from both the institutional and retail realm.
Giving an example, he brought up Tari, an open-source venture built on Monero and backed by Riccardo Spagni. With Monero-based code, Tari will be able to facilitate the issuance and management of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), like entertainment tickets, loyalty points, and video game items — colossal markets that crypto could tap.
Samani isn’t the only astute industry insider to think that NFTs will push blockchain adoption. With the rise of in-game items, like skins in League of Legends and Fortnite’s V-Bucks, many pundits have agreed blockchain-based NFTs could skyrocket to the top as a viable way to mediate gaming trades/transactions.
Less Funding For Crypto Startups, Funds
Lastly, Scher drew attention to his third and final forecast, which was harrowing unlike the first two. The DCG top brass member explained that he expects funding for crypto ventures, including startups, projects, and funds, to slow during the first half of 2019, especially as hype exits this industry en-masse.
Scher explained that venture funds will be hesitant to make significant capital allocations towards this industry, citing the spectacular collapse of Bitcoin-backed hedge funds throughout 2018.