Barely a decade after the last global economic crisis of 2008, economic pessimists continue to predict another impending crash on a global scale, brought on by the persisting inequalities in financial systems around the world.
Bitcoin News caught up with prominent cryptocurrency advisor, investor, and author George Samman to explore how a move towards full decentralization in the blockchain sector would be possible, why things may be looking better for the market in 2019, and why algorithmic stablecoins may be the real future of money.
George Samman has a versatile role in the blockchain industry and is currently running a proof of concept with the development team and holds the role of technical advisor for a project that is currently still in stealth mode. He is also working on a tokenomics and government model with another project, alongside his continued role as an advisor to blockchain companies. Samman often co-authors cryptocurrency reports and writes on his blog, with most of his work focusing on market trends and strategy as well as collaborating with teams on blockchain architecture and design.
Moving towards full decentralization
As increasing numbers of institutional investors enter into digital currency, centralized exchanges like Coinbase and Binance are scooping up more traders through the promise of convenience. But many in the cryptocurrency community are concerned that centralized forces are beginning to play a major role. Samman firmly believes, however, that the future of cryptocurrency is bound to be more decentralized. This can not happen all at once though he said, pointing out that decentralization needs to be staged and it is not something you can start off with fully.
On the journey to total decentralization, Samman explained that there are trade-offs and in order to have real use cases and adoption emerge most systems will be- and are being designed to- gradually get to fully decentralized systems.
But the author had another note to add, linking the failings of the current global political system to the cause in the rise in popularity of decentralized models:
”I think the era of centralized systems is coming to an end. I don’t think it matters whether institutions come or not, the long arc of history is veering towards decentralization and I believe people are waking up to this now. Global inequality has reached levels where alternative financial systems are desperately needed. Riots and populism are the beginning of the end of centralized forms of governance as they have existed and centralized forms of money.”
The shadow of 2018’s bad market year is still at the forefront of many investors’ minds, with nothing that looks too promising on the horizon for 2019. Samman explained what he believes went so wrong last year, pinning it down to overzealous investors and initial coin offerings.
”For me, the bull markets time ran out which ended with an irrational exuberance and market caps reaching unrealistic levels. Too much money was raised at crazy valuations and one of the functions of bear markets is to always punish that and purge out the good projects from the bad and that’s where we are now.”
He has hopes that these negative factors have largely passed, saying the ”downside [this year] is limited”. Lots of poor projects are failing and real use cases and projects that have been working hard are going live; he pointed to these as encouraging signs. Breaking down what to expect in 2019 further, he continued: ”You also have some signs of institutional money coming in, ie Fidelity Custody and Bakkt launching. I think we can expect a long drawn out year of boring price action where lots of things are happening under the surface. Volumes have dried up and stealth accumulation is happening.”
Samman advised investors to look out for interoperability solutions like Cosmos (a decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains)and Polkadot (a heterogeneous multi‑chain technology), saying they will ”be big deal and bring crypto to the next level”. And watch out for Bitcoin’s trading volume starting to rise again, as it could be one of the first telltale signs of the next bull market.
But for 2019, Samman really hopes to see big, solution-finding projects work and benefit from some type of adoption. As for what industry blockchain will conquer next, ”what hasn’t it conquered already?” he jokes.
The future of money
Samman’s hopes for decentralized currency are high and he has faith in their ability to replace fiat currency. He explained, ”I think the future is money systems which are not government owned, these will take many shapes and forms as we move through a giant experimentation phase but ultimately I believe some will emerge as the decentralized central banks for the internet.” The vision is for digitally native internet technologies to power the decentralized web.
But centralized currency is here to stay for a while, at least until algorithmic and cryptocurrency backed stablecoins prove they can remain stable to their namesake while maintaining the demand side. There is also the possibility that if a new bull market emerges, a lot of these stablecoins will lose value as traders and speculators use them to purchase cryptocurrency and don’t want to be “locked-up”.
That may not be a bad thing, however, as Samman explained: ”This actually would be a best-case scenario as it would be like Quantitative Easing for the crypto markets as there are billions of dollars locked up in stablecoins which could move the market much much higher.”
He recently worked as the lead author on the State of Stablecoins 2019 Report in which he explored in more depth why he believes stablecoins will evolve past the asset-backed subcategory dominant today, to be replaced by crypto-collateralized and algorithmic stable coins. Primarily, it goes back to his lack of faith in fiat currencies and his belief that an alternative form of currency will prevail.
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Image Courtesy: George Samman, Bitcoin News