Fifteen dead cryptocurrency predictions, twelve months on

Nic Carter
22 min readJan 1, 2019
Chess with the grim reaper, Walter Appleton Clark 1906

Precisely one year ago, on the first of January 2018, I surveyed the state of the cryptocurrency market and felt profoundly unsettled. We were near the peak of the eye-watering run-up. The pre-alpha IOUs for Cardano were worth eighteen billion dollars. As exciting as the rise in the value of my personal stash was, I had been through the cycle before, and I was dreading the inevitable hangover. And boy, what a comedown it would prove to be.

So, one year ago, trying to grapple with the carnage that I was certain was imminent, I issued this futile lament:

I added that I felt that there were at most half a dozen alternatives to Bitcoin that were differentiated and viable (I still feel this way today). When challenged, I took the extra step of selecting 15 coins from the set of top 100 that I felt would fail in the next twelve months.

What I did was create a prediction, hash it, and timestamp it on Twitter. I probably should have inserted it into Bitcoin with the OP_RETURN or opentimestamps. That database is a lot more reliable than Twitter’s.

The idea was simple: make a prediction and hold myself accountable by revealing the commitment a year later. I didn’t want to name the coins because I wanted the outcome to be exogenous from the prediction; that is, I didn’t want the prediction to inform the outcome. I know, my tweets don’t exactly move the market. But you can’t be too careful. Of course, you could easily game this methodology by making tons of predictions, and then selectively revealing only the good ones. You’ll just have to take me at my word that I only made one such prediction.

Before I reveal the commitment, let’s briefly revisit the criteria. At first I said “cease to exist,” but as we all know…