On February 14, ICONOMI hosted an event in Vienna bringing together four of our DAA managers — Columbus Capital, CARUS-AR, Pecun.io, and Solidum Capital — with ICONOMI supporters and potential clients for a day of keynote talks and interactive panel discussions with a focus on learning and building relationships in the emerging cryptocurrency world.
Gregor Zupanc, Solidum Prime
The event started with a presentation by Gregor Zupanc of Solidum Prime, who presented an overview of the market in 2017. He analyzed different investment strategies and their performance in 2017 and made some bold predictions for 2018. Most attendees found it very interesting when he said he expects Bitcoin to lose its position of dominance later this year. Furthermore, he backed up his words with data and demonstrated how Bitcoin is losing dominance while Ethereum continues to gain traction.
Menno Pietersen, CARUS-AR
After a nice market overview and some predictions for 2018, Menno Pietersen of CARUS-AR took over and shared his views on the crypto market. He talked about a wide variety of subjects, including tulip mania, the dotcom bubble, stock prices, crypto hype, the recent market correction, and many others. One interesting statistic he pointed out was that the average investor in the Netherlands has invested less than 1,000 euro in crypto. Another interesting fact was that in January 2018, more people entered the crypto-economy than in the entire year of 2016. Last but not least, Mr. Pietersen agreed with Mr. Zupanc that Bitcoin will continue losing its dominance this year and Ethereum will take over.
Mr. Pietersen wrote his own overview of this event on the CARUS-AR blog.
Reinhard Berger, PECUN.IO
Surprisingly, it was no different with our next speaker, Reinhard Berger, who pointed out the same thing. The main topic of his presentation, however, concerned the emergence of asset-backed tokens. Defining tokenization as “the process of putting ‘real world assets’ onto a blockchain,” Mr. Berger pointed out that examples of asset-backed tokens, or ABTs, already exist, mostly backed by fiat currencies or by commodities, especially gold. Despite this, the ABT segment of the blockchain space comprises less than 1% of the overall market cap. Mr. Berger believes that once the major obstacles to tokenization are overcome — especially the lack of a functional legal framework and the need to gain trust from the general public — ABTs will explode to become the “next big thing” in the crypto-economy.
Levi Meade, Columbus Capital
The last speaker before the networking break was Levi Meade, who discussed slightly more advanced topics in the crypto ecosystem. First, he gave an overview of token valuation and explained how Columbus Capital evaluates projects. Furthermore, he presented and discussed trends such as atomic swaps and blockchain interoperability, which most of the attendees found extremely interesting. After his presentation, there was a scheduled networking break before the final presentation and panel discussion.
Mr. Meade published a detailed overview of his presentation here on Medium.
Matej Tomazin, ICONOMI COO
After the break, Matej Tomazin, ICONOMI COO, gave a presentation on the emerging tokenization economy. He predicted three trends for 2018 that will bring tokenization to the forefront: 1. A regulated environment for crypto-assets and tokens that will result in the definition of a new asset class; 2. The continuing adoption of the platform business model that is changing industries; and 3. The emergence of a robust tokenization economy. He summed up the importance of tokenization with this quote from Jason English: “…tokenization aligns incentives for decentralized organizations to build customer-oriented solutions in a more engaged way, thereby making winners out of all participants, rather than focusing on growth at all costs, shareholder value, or exit strategies.”
The panel discussion began with a continuation of a common theme throughout the event: the potential dominance of Ethereum over Bitcoin in 2018. Most of the panel agreed that this shift in dominance will take place, thanks to Ethereum’s lower transaction fees, faster block time, use as an ICO platform, and other factors. An important discussion point was trading pairs; while ether has a large number of trading pairs available, bitcoin remains the leader in this category, granting it significantly higher liquidity.. The general consensus was that emerging trading innovations, such as atomic swaps, will eventually render trading pairs as we know them obsolete, paving the way for Ethereum to emerge as the dominant network.
From there, the discussion turned to centralized vs. decentralized exchanges. One perspective was that both types of exchanges will coexist, with decentralized exchanges with lower trading fees used primarily by everyday investors and regulated centralized exchanges used by institutional investors.
Other topics ranged from regulation to ICN utility.
Our first Meet the Managers provided everyone a great opportunity for gaining new insights and for networking with others involved in the crypto-economy. We will be hosting another Meet the Managers event in London at the end of March. We hope to see you there.
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