The end of 2018 was a difficult period for the blockchain community, with the decline in the encrypted markets closing the year on a note that makes us reflect. But we've turned the page into a new year, and it's an opportunity for change and new developments for blockchain and crypto alike. According to Raja Sharif, CEO of FarmaTrust, the future of the blockchain is brilliant.
Investments and partnerships
For one, we are about to see more institutional investments in blockchain ventures. Although the first wave of blockchain investors has characterized idealists and crowdfunding campaigns, we can expect new names and larger organizations to enter the space this year. "There seems to be a clear traditional acceptance of blockchain and its benefits from traditional investors," said Sharif. "Of course, there will be those who still dismiss it as a marginal concept that requires no attention … but the reality is that momentum is gaining for various blockchain initiatives."
In addition to investing, Sharif also expects that we will see stronger partnerships between traditional companies and blockchain projects. 2018 saw the rapid rise and steep decline of ICOs, and many blockchain companies faltered. But Sharif sees this as a kind of survival of the fittest. "Now that the ICO mania phase is almost over, the survivors will probably be the next Apple, Google and Amazons in the industry," he said. Companies that promote a single store or a real solid added value will attract the attention of large investors and potential partners. "Many companies will buy blockchain companies to prevent competition, and there will probably be consolidation in the sector, with companies offering complementary offers that come together to increase market share," said Sharif.
Greater competition for blockchain companies
On a global scale, Sharif expects that we will also be able to look forward to more and more countries that are competing to be the home of emerging blockchain companies. This means that we can expect a more progressive movement in the countries that are opening the way to blockchain businesses. "Although Dubai, Switzerland, Singapore, Malta and Gibraltar have moved quickly to attract this new wave of technology, I believe there will be increasing initiatives to bring common regulations, government support and tax incentives around blockchain projects," Sharif said. After all, technology giants like Microsoft have started small, and everyone wants to anticipate what the next giant in the industry is going to be. "These projects will move from marginal, prototype and PoC to well-established and functioning business solutions, after all," Sharif pointed out, "Which government would not want the next Uber, Google, Apple or Amazon in its constituency?"
And what about cryptography? There is hope there too. While it is true that almost all currencies have taken a big step forward towards 2018, Sharif foresaw the promise in many of the new innovative approaches to the alt coins. "Experiments on stable currencies, security tokens and sandboxes approved by regulations will bear fruit in the next year," said Sharif. Furthermore, we could see the migration from the traditional markets into the crypt. "With the increasing risk situation in traditional markets, investors may be looking for innovative high-growth companies to achieve greater returns."
Of course, not everyone has been as optimistic as Sharif when it comes to the future of the blockchain. Opponents have really come out in recent weeks, citing industry layoffs and a continued bear market. But perhaps for those companies that survive the storm, 2019 will bring sunnier days to blockchain than ever before.