A year ago, Alex Tapscott (my co-author of Blockchain Revolution) and I made some predictions for 2017.
At the end of the year we compared those predictions to what had actually occurred. Overall they stood up well.
Notably we said: “Bitcoin will hit $2,000 (that’s right: one bitcoin will be worth $2,000)
. Ethereum will not collapse, post-DAO, but will become a dominant platform for new apps and new business models.”
We were ridiculed by some for forecasting that bitcoin would nearly triple in value.
“You guys are nuts,” was a popular tweet. Of course, only in the wild world of cryptocurrencies can you set a one-year price target implying a near 200% return, and miss the mark by a factor of nearly 10!
As for ethereum, the fork happened and ethereum kept on chugging away, became the de-facto platform for the ICO (initial coin offering) boom that launched a thousand dapps (distributed applications), from distributed file storage and prediction markets to collectible kittens.
2017 was a year when cryptocurrency markets dominated the public imagination.
While some of us grew excited by the explosion of new applications, platforms and technologies being launched, many others were simply happy to ride the wave of higher prices.
Indeed, the value of these assets grew from $15 billion to $500 billion, one of the great bull markets of our time.
Is this justified?
Valuations today reflect tomorrow’s value—and tomorrow’s value could be significant and revolutionary. So, taking the market as a whole as the best representation for the future value of blockchain technology, today’s value could be argued to be conservative.
However, it’s hard to look at the dizzying price escalation of virtually every cryptoasset, and the euphoria driving the market ever higher, and not feel some vertigo-inducing skepticism.
Consider that at the outset of 2016, only one cryptoasset (bitcoin) had a value of more than $1 billion.
Today, the number stands at 36. The number of newly minted Crypto-unicorns ought to make even the biggest bull blush. And it goes without saying that in all likelihood, many, if not most, of these new currencies, protocols and applications will fail.
But emerging from this Cambrian explosion of innovation will be the foundational technologies for the new internet of value.
Still, what truly has been achieved?
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