Thought For The Week

The Year Ahead

In this issue I’ve tried to collect some of the better 2015 review articles and 2016 prediction pieces (don’t worry, there is still a bunch of news from the week also contained below). I’ve also taken the liberty of looking into my crystal ball and doing some prognosticating about what 2016 holds for Bitcoin and blockchain tech.

So here we go.

  • As I noted last week, I think many banks (and more broadly financial services players) will struggle to actually get a blockchain product live. Having said this, there will be some very notable exceptions that keep the blockchain as a backend dream alive in the B2B space.
  • Blockchain consortiums will grow in 2016. However, they’ll make little to no progress. The basic issue: large entities won’t be able to come to agreement on anything meaningful enough to get the technology working in a way that adds value to the consortium members.
  • Bitcoin will continue its price rise through 2016. This will bring people back to Bitcoin, which will in turn generate momentum for some forgotten Bitcoin centric startups.
  • The scaling Bitcoin questions will be answered with a short term solution that will see a modest increase in block size. This small increase will be by way of soft fork and will be more effective than people think.
  • This will be the year of Bitcoin/blockchain and IoT. Leading the way will be 21.co with the release of a more polished hardware product - likely with a big name partner.
  • The issue of regulation will fall into the background with further slow progress in a variety of jurisdictions.
  • A Bitcoin/blockchain unicorn will emerge in 2016. It'll likely be either Coinbase or 21.co (or maybe even both).
  • The buzz word of 2016 will be Merkle Tree.
  • VC and strategic investments will still be substantial (expect around the $500m - $750m mark) - it just won’t increase by an order of magnitude as it has in previous years.

Overall, I’m optimistic about the future of the technology as a whole and Bitcoin specifically - I think may will be surprised by Bitcoin’s comeback in 2016.

On another note, thanks again for being a subscriber to my little newsletter. I really appreciate you letting me into your inbox every week. Thank-you!

--- Alan Tsen, @alantsen

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