Arwen Smit is the founder of MintBit, a boutique consulting boutique and DOVU, a tokenized startup for the mobility industry.
The following is an exclusive contribution for the 2018 year of CoinDesk under consideration.
From the offer of security tokens to winter crypts, much happened in 2018.
Beyond the flashy titles, however, larger trends are appearing. I believe that three areas of conflict, among six "incompatible truths", are slowly taking shape and that 2019 will see them unleashed in full force.
1. Ideology with respect to the product market
Risk capital financing is dead, so they say.
With the crowdfunding token creation events in advance, blockchain startups have taken a different path to the market than the unicorns we know today. Web 2.0 start-ups collected in tranches. Web 3.0 startups get up early, in bulk. Web 2.0 startups have written a ridiculous evaluation around their Series D startups. Web 3.0 to get a ridiculous evaluation on the first day.
Both start-ups look for a market-friendly product, but the biggest difference between the two is that Web 3.0 companies need and support their ideology as a final product on the first day. From the ideology everything else follows. The ideology is the principle of coordination between all the parties participating in the ecosystem.
Amazon has decided to use Internet protocols to turn the purchase of books into a faster, easier and more pleasant shopping experience. Although Google has maintained its mission of "organizing global information and making it universally accessible and useful" for over 14 years, its interpretation of the statement has changed dramatically.
Such a change is relatively easy to achieve in a centrally organized society. Now imagine that when a change of direction is proposed, Amazon and Google need buy-ins from all of their stakeholders. Would they still be where they are today? Perhaps, but probably not. Aligning and evolving ideology on a scale is tremendously complex.
In 2019, we will see a change. Open source initiatives will continue to be funded from the garage stage onwards, but Web 3.0 companies with a profit function will wait until they demonstrate their early adaptation to the product market, typical for an A-round.
In short, 2019 will be the return of the VCs.
2. Market capitalization with respect to adoption
Consider two numbers: 131,000,000,000 and 10,000.
The first is the total capitalization of the crypted dollar market, which is spread over 2,000 crypto-assets. This is the total user base of ethereum. Now let's look at the adoption.
Nearly 14,000 locations around the world accept bitcoins. Look at all that impressive red. Until you realize that only in the United States there are 47.881 people named John Smith. "But wait", you say. "The main feature of Crypto is a currency!" Reality hits again. The most popular decentralized ethereum exchange (DEX) has just over 700 daily active users (DAUs).
We could only argue a subsection of those active inside the cryptic space that frequents DEX daily. However, the games, which encourage the DAU as a metric, are not going much better.
In 2019, we will realize that the assessment metrics we use as a sector are broken.
The metric of multiplying the coins circulating with the price is ridiculous. Together with the exponential adoption of generalized accounting (DLT) technologies and cryptographic resources alike, we will see industry mature in the way we evaluate these new models of value creation.
3. Believers vs unbelievers
Whenever a Jamie Dimon or Nouriel Roubini gets a platform, a tweet storm to clarify the facts is not very far.
Between the field "crypto bros" and "bitcoin-is-a-scam" springs a screaming match, doing little for mutual understanding or empathy. Historically, every major change required a solid base of support. Evangelists who continue to challenge, challenge and challenge the status quo, to the bruises. The DLT community has a very high tenacity.
Now he needs a new narrative.
The market is moving at thousands of different steps. We have seen teams that have completed a successful token creation event, but have been swallowed by their communities. Those who hold their heads down, build and deliver (shout to 0x). Guilds that have their lips tightened on their position on DLT, but they are working like maniacs behind the scenes. The Fortune 500 companies are engaged in a brilliant innovation theater, but without the real intention of bringing those PoCs home.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, understood:
"There are new and evolving requirements for money, as well as essential public policy objectives.While the case for the digital currency is not universal, we should investigate it further, seriously, carefully and creatively."
I would like to echo these feelings for the broader promise of the DLT, because we have not yet arrived. But we could get there in 2019.
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