2018 turned out to be a hellish year for cryptocurrencies, as more than $500 billion in market cap disappeared from over 2,000 cryptocurrencies throughout the year. However, Union Square Ventures co-founder and veteran crypto investor Fred Wilson says good things are on the horizon in his annual prediction for the upcoming year. Per Wilson:
"I think we are in the process of finding the bottom on the large, liquid, and lasting crypto-tokens. But I think that process could take much of 2019 to play out. I expect we will see some bullish runs, followed by selling pressures taking us back to retest the lows. I think this bottoming out process will end sometime in 2019 and we will slowly enter a new bullish phase in crypto."
Wilson's bullish prediction is based on his belief that a number of promises made in 2017 will start to come true in 2019. For one, Wilson says, “I think we will see a number of 'next gen' smart contract platforms ship and challenge Ethereum for leadership in this super important area of the crypto sector. I also expect the Ethereum open source community to ship a number of important improvements to its system in 2019 and defend their leadership in the smart contract space.”
Wilson also expects stablecoins to see continued growth. Moreover, Wilson hopes to see considerable development and adoption of NFT/cryptoassets/cryptogaming, as well as earn/spending opportunities. These benefits and use cases should start to see more adoption in the developing world, he says.
Despite the optimism, Wilson still sees risks on the horizon:
There will also be pressure on the crypto sector in 2019. The area I am most concerned about are actions brought by misguided regulators who will take aim at high quality projects and harm them. And we will continue to see all sorts of failures, from scams, hacks, failed projects, and losing investments be a drag on the sector. But that is always the case with a new emerging technology that allows anyone to set up shop and get going. Permissionless innovation produces the greatest gains over time but also comes with the inevitable bad actors and actions.
Like many others, Wilson believes that 2019 will be a year of promises fulfilled, increasing stability and a cleansing of low quality projects in the crypto ecosystem.