Prominent news publication Business Insider recently interviewed Travis Scher, a leading investor who heads Digital Currency Group’s investment branch, a group that has made investments in successful blockchain startups Coinbase, Circle, and Ledger, to talk about his predictions for the crypto industry.
Scher revealed his expectations for a number of things, most notably the rise of crypto infrastructure for institutional investors, the birth and growth of blockchain-based gaming, and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) pushing blockchain adoption.
Wall Street and Institutions Will Foray Into Crypto in 2019
2018 saw the development and expansion of a number of consumer-based crypto products and services, such as exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance, as well as wallets like Abra, Blockchain, and Ledger. There have been many developments for the retail crypto space, but little for institutional investors on Wall Street.
According to Scher, this is going to change in 2019.
Per previous reports from IIB, one of the most anticipated Bitcoin trading platforms for institutional investors, Bakkt, is set to launch in early 2019. Bakkt is a multi-faceted digital asset platform offering institutional investors the trading of physically settled Bitcoin futures.
The platform is being launched by the NYSE parent company, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and is supported by big-name investors and companies including Microsoft, Galaxy Digital, Pantera Capital, Alan Howard, and many more who funded Bakkt $182.5 million.
Moreover, Bakkt recently acquired certain assets and employees of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) to better offer risk management, compliance, and other back-end solutions to their institutional clients.
Additional Bitcoin and crypto-related trading platforms coming to market in 2019 include Fidelity Digital Assets, Nasdaq Bitcoin Futures, CoinFLEX, and other institutional services, such as regulated crypto custody by Vontobel, Binance subsidiary accounts, Coinbase custody, and so much more.
Overall, 2019 will see the launch of a wide array of crypto-related services focused on onboarding and servicing institutional investors.
Blockchain Gaming and Non-Fungible Tokens
Another prediction made by the DCG executive was the arrival of blockchain-based gaming applications and non-fungible tokens. Scher noted that he expects 2019 to have a lot of experimentation in this subsector of blockchain technology, along with some big hits in blockchain gaming.
Speaking further on the matter, Scher said that venture capitalists have largely been ignoring the blockchain gaming sector due to games nature as a short-lived hit.
However, Scher believes investors should take a real look at the business beyond single games, stating:
“Venture capitalists should be paying attention to the ones that are building platforms and developer teams, companies that are not creating just one game but are building several developed business models that can succeed.”
To expand on the topic, Kyle Samani, the managing partner of Multicoin Capital, touted that the launch of a number of high-profile blockchain products in 2019 will attract mass amounts of customers, from both the retail and institutional realm.
Samani gave an example of an open-source venture called Tari, which will be able to facilitate the issuance and management of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Such markets could tap into include entertainment tickets, loyalty points, video game items, and more.
The rise of in-game items such as skins in League of Legends and Fortnite’s V Bucks have led many pundits to believe that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) could be a viable hit in the gaming world.
What do you think of Travis Scher’s predictions? What crypto-related predictions do you have for 2019? Let us know in the comment section below.