How will people in the blockchain space remember the year 2018? In hindsight, there was a mirage in this industry definitely. There were premature expectations that a technology to overturn the world had appeared. The public was overconfident. There were few specialists and unfounded and assertive words were prevalent. Entrepreneurs in the early stages of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry had to undergo growing pains half reluctantly. Companies that have kept a close watch on the markets are following in the footsteps of trailblazers and look for new business opportunities.
Decenter conducted a survey of 60 industry experts in December, looking back on this year and preparing for the New Year. Companies that took part in the survey include Hillstone Partners, Coinhills, Coinplug, Chain Partners, Yozma Group, Bithumb and DongIn Law Group.
Guidelines on ICOs
There has been much talk over the last year. When it comes to regulations, it was even more so. The new fund-raising method , triggered by Ethereum ICOs (initial coin offerings), deviated from the regulatory framework and so many people involved in the industry waited for the government’s guidelines. But the Korean government has not put forth any guidelines to the last.
“The government’s plan for ICO guidelines” was the biggest lie of the year selected by 41.7% of the respondents. Of course, the government had not expressed any position on “when ICO guidelines would come out.” But many alleged to have connections with the government and the National Assembly brought word that guidelines would be announced sooner or later. This lie circulated like rumors and brought many people both expectations and disappointments.
The positive prospect for the Bitcoin price was the year’s second-biggest lie chosen by 30%. The Bitcoin price has been on a downturn after hitting a high in the first quarter of 2018. Some people who professed to be chart analysts predicted a rebound whenever the Bitcoin price hit a new low. However, the line of support was broken without fail.
Year‘s hottest issue: Bitcoin Cash hard fork
Nearly 30% of the respondents picked the Bitcoin Cash hard fork as the year’s hottest issue. This incident is seen as what triggered the cryptocurrency crash in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The government’s introduction of the real-name system for cryptocurrency accounts in January was selected as the second best issue. The real-name system prompted many investors to be resentful amid the then cryptocurrency rally but consequently reduced investors’ damage by putting a lid on speculative demand.
Ethereum still cherished
If you create a decentralized application (DApp), what platform would you choose? Of Korea’s 60 blockchain experts, 45% opted for Ethereum as the platform for their DApps. Ethereum was followed by EOS, which was often called the Ethereum killer; Ethereum and EOS are representative blockchain platforms on which DApps are mounted. Nine respondents picked Klaytn, Kakao’s public blockchain network.
What killer DApps?
From what fields would killer DApps show up to boost the blockchain industry? Thirty-two specialists - more than half of the respondents - selected games (gambling). That’s because games already exist in the digital world and so it’s easy to apply token economies; gamers are also used to the reward system and tend to endure difficulties in usability only if games are interesting.
Games were followed by social networks (16.7%), finance (15%) and distribution (6.7%). Social network service is drawing attention in that it could distribute profits monopolized by the platforms. A host of teams are conducting diverse projects in finance and distribution, setting sights on cutting costs and enhancing efficiency.
Will Bitcoin remain at the top?
The coupling between Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been conspicuous this year. Still, Bitcoin’s market capitalization accounts for more than 50% of the combined cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin’s percentage fell to 30% in the first quarter when Ethereum and other altcoins stole the spotlight, but the public appears to trust Bitcoin more than other altcoins in the bear market.
What would be blockchain experts’ views on this? Forty-seven of the polled 60 specialists believe that Bitcoin will remain at the top. Yet 13 experts don’t think so.
Bitcoin’s symbolic meaning in the cryptocurrency market was cited as the most important factor. Bitcoin appears to be based on “trust” as a financial asset. It also functions as a key currency and has maintained the network stably for the longest time. In fact, Bitcoin is used as the most important payment means in ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges.
But one needs to pay attention to answers by 13 experts who looked skeptically at Bitcoin. Some analysts raise the possibility that next-generation tokens might replace Bitcoin, Ethereum and EOS. This speculation is based on the assumption that new tokens that rectify shortcomings of first movers might overturn the cryptocurrency space in the end. /firstname.lastname@example.org
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