As a futurist I think a lot about the future of blockchain and how various projects impact the entire ecosystem in the launch of the token economy. With a global recession likely in the works for the next 18 months, here is what I think will happen.
The whitepaper of Facebook’s stablecoin, i.e. Project Libra Networks will boost Bitcoin’s demand, pushing its price above the 10,000 mark. So I basically agree with what many analysts are already hinting at. ThinkMarkets Chief Market Analyst Naeem Aslam also believes this to be the case.
Bitcoin could easily reach above $10k in June and possibly higher this summer. Bitcoin rose the most in May, 2019 when the stock market had a negative few weeks. Now Bitcoin is down to around USD $8,000 and is showing greater volatility recently.
Facebook has registered the name of ‘Libra Networks’ in Geneva, Switzerland. Facebook is the stakeholder of the company which aims to provide financial and technology services and develop related hardware and software, according to Reuters findings.
We sort of know already what this project is going to be about, though with the whitepaper launch of June 18th, 2019 we should find out a whole lot more. Facebook’s taking on of blockchain and a digital currency tethered to the fiat of different countries means it wants WhatsApp to become a bit like WeChat and monetize crypto for its own profitability, whereas at present it makes its money almost exclusively from digital and mobile advertising.
As the token economy launches and matures, we will be curious to see how Bitcoin and more decentralized cryptocurrencies and the market go. I believe it will actually make Bitcoin legitimate in the popular culture and mainstream, making the Lightning Network a new kind of cash for an era of public blockchain and stablecoins in walled gardens.
As Facebook negotiates regulatory hurdles the SEC will continue to go after ICOs that it feels were unregistered securities. Facebook in that process might acquire many crypto startups such as Coinbase and, in particular, other Silicon Valley blockchain startups with talent in scalability. Those people are less likely to be true to the values of real crypto and more likely to be entrepreneurs that would be comfortable to sell out to Facebook’s attempt to disrupt payments with a blockchain product.
I’m not sure Libra Networks can even be called a crypto with a good conscience. It’s just a mechanism to monetize WhatsApp further and the stablecoin would be a highly centralized currency operating in a hybrid manner with fiat and cross-border payments.
Facebook with over 2.38 billion monthly active users will likely influence a lot more people to enter into a crypto era and this will stimulate even more interest and investment in Bitcoin, which is after all only normal. Blockchain is still a rather recent technology that scales over time in the span of decades, not years.
Bitcoin has itself had a rather fortunate 2019 thus far, gaining approximately 62.25%. Project Libra is not what people expected from Facebook, and it shows another level of sophistication compared with most crypto projects.
Project Libra has the potential to intersect stablecoins and mainstream transactions in such a way that Facebook immediately can become like a full payments network (rather than just remittances). This means they will have been in discussions with payment networks Visa and MasterCard, payments processors such as giant First Data as well as large e-commerce merchants to support the launch. They will be able to milk both a B2B play here and consumers (e.g. ATMs).
Facebook wants to become like a blockchian bank in a way. Centralize its encrypted chat and then create utility where digital currencies become far more ubiquitous. This is why owning Coinbase could be so useful for Facebook’s Project Libra. In early 2020, Coinbase could be acquired for around $10–12 Billion. Eating up scalability startups like Zilliqa and Harmony Protocol would make sense too.
The bottom line? The launch of a token economy will make Bitcoin worth more, not less.
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