If there’s one thing I have learned after two years in the crypo world, it’s that it can humble anybody. So I may as well join in and throw some ideas off the wall.
In 2018, I predict that the following things will happen:
1. The “Privacy Wars” will begin
As people recognize the difference between pseudonymity and anonymity in cryptocurrency, the competition will intensify for adoption of a “privacy” coin. Frontrunners include Zcash (disclosure: client); Monero, which will likely have a government target on its back due to its popularity on the Dark Web; Dash, which has amazing marketing but possible legal implications; and PIVX, which can integrate with Slack.
I predict that one or two of these coins will be recognized as the “next Bitcoin” within the mainstream media. There are a lot of factors here, but I think it will come down to whose security mentality is superior. We’ll only know that after a few big attacks. No matter what, privacy within digital currency is going to hit mainstream awareness.
2. There will be more decentralized AI start-ups
After the success of SingularityNet, whose ICO raised $36 million in 60 seconds, there will be more like it. Since money attracts money, we will see a lot of people leave high-paying AI jobs at big tech firms like Google and Facebook in pursuit of billion dollar paydays for the next crypto-AI protocol. We will probably see 10 decentralized AI ICOs that raise at least $50 million.
3. Regulation won’t kill innovation
I’m cautiously optimistic that US authorities will be relatively lenient so as not to impede innovation. But egregious ones will get shut down. ICOs using KYC/AML (know your customer and anti-money laundering, respectively) will be a given and solutions will have to scale. This is why I like PeerMountain (disclosure: advisor), which has potential to make blockchain work with existing enterprise systems.
We’ll also have an update of the Blockchain Marketing Technology Landscape. We also hope to pilot at BlockchainMarTech Index on Prism and/or Melonport so you can track the projects in one place.
4. There will be more “Crypto Valley” events
I lead a quarterly trip to “Crypto Valley” in Zug, Switzerland, as part of the Crypto Explorers Association. Over the last few months, we’ve been approached by governments in places like Oman that have studied how Zug has driven innovation and job creation, and they want to do that themselves.
That tells me that governments in “tier 2” or “tier 3” locations see blockchain as a way to do a leapfrog. SImilar to the way that Estonia became a digital-first country in the 1990s, they are going to try to become blockchain-first locations. I think we will see two or three legitimate Crypto Valleys, but not in Dubai, Singapore or Tel Aviv. They’ll be in places like Bratislava, Panama City and Muscat.
5. You will meet the decentralized marketing all-star team
The world will witness the launch of the next installment in the series on the intersection of marketing and blockchain. Key players in the crypto-marketing space include Amanda Johnson from Dash, Jeremy Gardner from Augur and Adam Evers at Tierion, among others.
May I present my debut contribution to @gigaom:
Does Survival of Cryptocurrency Technology Depend on Human Emotion?https://t.co/26lIxCHlyK
— Amanda B. Johnson (@AmandaB_Johnson) December 28, 2017
We are basically going to explore how the blockchain affects marketing. We’re going to take it further and look into how the very structure of marketing itself could be decentralized to improve agility, responsiveness, and ability to deliver customer value.
This collaborative isn’t about promoting a given project. It’s about making everyone in the industry better, so we can all increase the odds of bringing the decentralized future we all want and envision to the present as quickly as possible.
After all, that is why we are doing this, right?
You thought 2017 was crazy? This blockchain thing is just getting started. More crypto-fueled upheaval is going to come.