PwC Crypto Lead: 2018 cleared the noise, 2019 will bring in the big players
The cryptocurrency world was always pegged for a correction year after the 2017-high which saw the collective market cap balloon to over $800 billion. Since then the market cap has fallen by more than 80 percent, several top-cryptos are now looking at record lows and miners are hastily exiting the market.
Despite these growing concerns, Henri Arslanian, the fintech and crypto lead at PwC’s China and Hong Kong division, stated, that “there’s a lot of exciting things that the crypto ecosystem is looking forward to in 2019,” in an interview with Bloomberg.
Arslanian pegged that 2019 will be a huge year for the virtual currency world due to the increased interest from institutional investors. Some large financial institutions, he added, will look to launch their own solutions, citing Fidelity’s Digital Asset Service which is looking to launch a crypto-custody solution.
Others might like to partner up with cryptocurrency companies, referencing the recent tie-up between Nomura and Ledger. He added that investment by financial giants shows their inherent support for decentralized currency, mentioning Goldman Sachs’ investment in BitGo.
Looking ahead to 2019, which Arslanian pegs will be a big year for the cryptocurrency world, he stated that less regulatory uncertainty will help the “less nimble countries” to attract institutional clients. He mentioned the case of France, which is regulating the operations of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the recent bi-partisan legislative push in the U.S. to define digital tokens.
When asked about the recent November cryptocurrency debacle, which saw over $100 billion get knocked off the collective market cap in one year, Arslanian said the recent crash, “cleared a lot of noise in the sector.”
“A lot of the ICOs earlier in the year, raised their assets in cryptocurrencies, Ether especially, and the price of Ether dropped over 90 percent over the last couple of months, and this put the companies in a very difficult position, because they need to build what they promised to build,” said the PwC crypto-lead.
Arslanian highlighted the rise of “security tokens” and “stablecoins” and urged people to “watch out for” them in 2019. The aforementioned cryptocurrency innovations are meant to ease the discomfort of risk-averse traders by allowing them a ‘safety net’ for their virtual currency investment while providing higher liquidity.
The following year will also see the January launch of Bakkt, the digital assets platform backed by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq’s Bitcoin futures will be launched in mid-2019 and the Bitcoin ETF decision will be tabled before the SEC in February.
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