To complete the year, we asked our Block Explorer writers to tell us what they are most excited about for blockchain and crypto in 2019. In this piece, Ana Balashova looks to startups hoping to take mainstream crypto, as well as tokenization of next generation blockchain activities and projects.
This year was not all cuddly and frothy for the crypt. The terrible bear entered the market and trampled everyone's dreams of becoming billionaires in a couple of months. And even if incidents are not new to cryptography, this year things are a bit different: many more people are involved and bigger mainstream brands are accepting digital money as payment.
Banks, governments and regulators are accepting the fact that Bitcoin is here to stay. All of this makes me seriously excited about crypto in 2019. Here is the list of things I will keep an eye on:
Universal Crypto Solutions
Although Coinbase has more than 20 million users and Blockchain.com has over 31 million registered portfolios, cryptography is still far from mass adoption. And the convenience of using it is still appreciated only by the most technological part of the population.
Real life example: if my mother wants to buy bitcoins, she should always ask me to do it. And he is perfectly capable of using traditional plastic cards or other financial services like transferring money via a mobile app on his phone.
So, there is still room to improve the creation of those universal solutions, both for consumers and for businesses. One that will work internationally and will allow transactions without interruption from encryption to fiat and back. One that boasts an intuitive interface and intuitive functionality. That's why I'm quite curious to follow Abra, Blockchain, Purse, Bread, Ethos, EOS Lynx, STK, Metal, PundiX, Request Network, Monetha and all the numerous projects in the field.
Securitization and legal clarity
The authorities of various countries are cooking all kinds of encrypted frameworks. The choice of crypto-compatible countries is growing (Malta, Gibraltar, Finland?), Which makes the cryptocurrencies much more convincing.
Even without proper rules, up to $ 22 billion was raised in Initial Coin Offerings in 2018 according to Bloomberg numbers.
There are many question marks on those projects. However, the development of the legal side of the story will most likely have a positive impact on the industry. Not to mention all the new infrastructural solutions that need to be evolved to make it work: appropriately regulated cryptographic exchanges, platforms for legal security token offerings, the entire portfolio of portfolios for securitized assets, etc.
For now, experienced entrepreneurs with successful records in the business world join the bubbling startups in cryptographic space or collaborating on those. Like Overstock.com (OSTK at Nasdaq, with a market capitalization of over $ 420 million at the time of writing) and its founder Patrick Byrne, who is planning to sell the Overstock retail to finance an encrypted platform, tZERO.
Some real start-ups are also evaluating new cryptocurrency funding opportunities, such as Spin, a San Francisco-based electric scooter startup. During this summer, the team plans to launch a security token offering, although they eventually sold their operations to Ford for around $ 100 million.
All this contributes to bring to reality digital currencies from the world of fairies of teeth and elves.
Make big Blockchain again
Despite all the beauty of distributed registry technologies, there is always someone complaining about it. Bitcoin blockchain transactions are becoming too expensive, or Ethereum has been blocked again due to a sale of tokens, criptokitti, decentralized trade vulnerabilities, and so on.
So all the tools and projects that should improve what we have so far and to solve all the related problems are something that I am personally very interested in.
And, just to clarify, when I mention "problems", I'm talking about things like scalability, interoperability, transaction costs, blockchain developer training, etc. Some of the exciting projects that work on these issues are EOS, Aion, Wanchain, Ethereum, POA network, Zilliqa and others).
Tokenization of assets
As we know, one of the first applications of blockchain technology was digital money. And the fact that it created so much practicality, transparency and speed of effective ownership has made "tokenization" a viable technology for other resources.
We could see the tokens with gold (like OneGram, Goldmint, etc.), the token of natural resources (for example Petro, the controversial cryptocurrency of Venezuela supported by oil), and much more.
With the further development of crypto-related regulations and taxes, more projects will appear that develop real estate, art pieces, rare cars, parts of Silicon Valley startups, etc.
And the fun has already begun. In October, Forbes announced the first real estate project tokenised in New York, managed by Propellr, the platform for the management of digital resources and Fluidity, the solution for trading and tokenization.
It is already possible to purchase a share of off-campus housing for students at the University of South Carolina. The cost per share is $ 21,000. Currently, these are sold by Harbor, the startup blockchain that raised $ 28 million in venture capital in a 'security token offering fully compliant at the start of this year.
And if you're looking for more affordable property options, there's something interesting offered by Brickblock. The project under development is a residential property of 50 units in the United Kingdom. The team is raising £ 3.35 million selling tokenized shares worth £ 34 for each pop.
There are also some moves in the art world. The ownership of 31.5% of Andy Warhol's "14 small electric chairs" was recently sold at the auction this summer by blockchain conductor Maecenas. The total value of the tokens sold was $ 1.7 million with the estimated total value of the $ 5.6 million art work.
Tokenization of Real Estate on Mars?
I trust that the most bizarre things will find their way to a fully compatible blockchain existence. And we may be able to buy frozen brain cells and other vital organs, square meters and milliseconds in cryogenic cameras, a fraction of space travel tickets (or perhaps the partial property of a cozy industrial loft on Mars), and the list could to continue. I can not wait!
And what excites you the most? Go ahead and share it in the comments section below.
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