2020 Crypto Report Calls Bitcoin Forks ‘Write-Offs’, Expects ETH 2.0 Transition to Be ‘Chaotic’, Says XRP Has Surprising Staying Power
Ryan Selkis just dropped a 70-page report covering the cryptocurrency industry, from Bitcoin to Ethereum to the leaders who are building revolutionary companies designed to shake up the status quo.
The founder of Messari, a crypto research firm, and a former managing director at CoinDesk, Selkis says the report is primarily a collection of strong convictions for the decade ahead as opposed to objective analysis.
“It’s a mini-encyclopedia. Read it when you can, and when you want to learn something new.”
“The goal is to give you a solid foundation in approaching the next year (and decade) of crypto.”
The report kicks off with a who’s-who list of industry leaders, with Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao grabbing the top spot as the biggest influencer in the space.
“[CZ is] the most interesting man in crypto right now because he’s proven so adept at navigating the razor’s edge of compliance and “damn the torpedoes” growth. Whether that edge remains sustainable, or fades in 2020+ depends on the company’s successful regulatory engagement on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis.”
Rounding out the top 5 leaders in crypto
- Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of leading crypto exchange Binance
- Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO of Twitter and Square
- Brian Klein, financial tech attorney and partner at Baker Marquart
- Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares
- Brad Sherman, Chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets
Selkis calls “Hyperbitcoinization vs. Digital Gold” the leading narrative in the industry – and a dangerous one to parrot.
“It’s threatening and unnecessarily and prematurely hostile to the powers that be.”
The author highlights a number of other Bitcoin soundbites that have created a rallying call for supporters and revolutionaries who believe the world’s most popular cryptocurrency can deliver on its promise of creating an open financial system – “unbank the banked”; “long Bitcoin, short the bankers”; “stack sats and earn crypto”; “dissident tech”.
Monikers for the top three cryptos by market cap
- BTC: Digital Gold
- ETH: DeFi Reserve (vs. ICO Reserve)
- XRP: Too-Big-To-Jail Coin
Selkis also says he’s mystified by XRP and thinks Bitcoin forks are write-offs.
“XRP has tremendous and surprising staying power. I didn’t understand it when I realized it isn’t required to use Ripple’s software. I really don’t understand it in a future that includes institutional stablecoins and central bank digital currencies…The bitcoin forks are write-offs at this point, even if the IRS ends up walloping people during audit open season these next five years.”
The report lists several Bitcoin and Ethereum trends to look out for in 2020, along with developments across the entire industry, from the decentralized finance movement to stablecoin economics to scaling solutions to the growth of mining and the war on privacy.
“If you look at the pressure Zcash has faced in the first three years leading up to its first halving in Q4’2020, it’s impossible to get excited about Grin, where it will take twice as long for its inflation to drop to ZECs level.”
Ethereum’s update to ETH 2.0, designed to make the network faster and better, is expected to be a bumpy ride.
“Let’s reiterate, ETH 2.0 is a brand new blockchain. It’s going to be a chaotic and high-risk transition. In the meantime, the existing network needs to run existing applications (particularly financial settlements for DeFi transactions). More critical upgrades are needed in the current system.”
The battle for supremacy in the space goes to Coinbase versus Binance. While Coinbase is building the West’s dominant crypto company, Binance is the behemoth that has expanded across the globe, driving the industry’s quest to reimagine finance and the flow of value by spinning up fiat onramps, incubator programs and crypto education initiatives.
“The pace of growth at Binance is legendary. It has been one of the fastest growing companies – in any market – of all time, hitting a billion dollars in revenue within its first 18 months. And the company shows no signs of slowing down.”
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