21st January 2020

A Look Forward at 2020 in Blockchains with Zeth and Shaun

While last month I refused to give my 2020 predictions, which would invariably be wrong, and opted to be different by looking back at blockchains in 2019, even that was wrong as it seems that literally everyone did the same thing. So, I hit up Zeth Couceiro and Shaun Potts, the founders of Plexus –and very generous patrons of this blog– to see if they could offer more accurate, or at least a more entertaining forecast of things to come this year.

Colin (CP) – Hey guys, thanks for finally accepting my invitation to take time out of doing real work to join me and talk about blockchains. Can you give us your one-line intro?

Shaun (SP) – Hi, thanks for letting us come on our own blog. I’m Shaun Potts, co-founder of Plexus and the self-styled most cynical man in crypto.

CP – Cynics in this industry have a lot of competition Shaun, a lot of competition…

Zeth (ZC) – Zeth Couceiro, I got into blockchain in 2015, and have loved it ever since. I guess that I’m like a lot of people that got into this space relatively early, and am naturally forever optimistic about the future of crypto. I consider myself pretty lucky to do a job that I love in an industry that genuinely interests me.

CP – Well now that we have our intros out of the way, readers will know that you two will both take opposite sides of literally any bet in crypto and one of you will be right when we tally things up at the end of the year. But let’s set the scene, what surprised you most in this industry in 2019?

SP – I think the thing that surprised me most was, and is, the hype around DeFi. It’s gotten completely out of control. We have products and processes built by geeks and used exclusively by geeks. If we look at the real world there is no one actually using it, and few who even get it. I’m not sure that there is even a reason that they should try. I think that there is also a massive systemic risk that Ethereum dies and takes the entire ecosystem, as well as people’s money, with it.

ZC – Hard one to top there. We came out of 2018 in the depth of the doom and gloom cycle, and I personally expected 2019 to be the year that we started to gain a lot of traction amongst the larger protocols tokens, as well some of the Ethereum challengers. This didn’t really happen, however, and if anything, we’ve seen the interests start to move back to private and permissioned ledgers. The second thing is, despite all the talk about institutional money coming to crypto, we’ve not really seen anything meaningfully change.

CP – I can tell that this is going to be juicy already. Let’s dial it up, rapid fire some predictions for 2020 guys. Let’s start with our friends doing enterprise.

SP – Corda will take the main stage as the de facto industry standard for enterprise blockchain, and the others will be relegated to “also ran” status.

ZC – On enterprise, I think that we’re due for another cycle of “bitcoin bad, blockchain good”. 2020 could be the year that crypto and blockchain finally formally separate from each other.

CP – Nice. For the purposes of tracking this in December, Shaun is bullish on Corda, and Zeth is predicting that the bankers come back for a FUD session on Bitcoin. How about some thoughts on coins?

SP – I’m going to take this one. I’m putting my stake in the ground that Ethereum 2.0 won’t happen this year, and Bitcoin will hit an all-time high by the end of the year.

ZC – Just tally up Shaun’s points on this one.

CP – Ok, so sounds like Shaun is short ETHBTC. Zeth, give me some thoughts on the business trends you’re expecting around the space.

ZC – We’ve already started to see it happen, but I think that acquisitions will be a big story in 2020. More broadly on the talent side of things, engineering will always be a high priority for clients, but I think that we’ll start to see more growth in UX and Sales skills this year.

SP – I like those predictions.

CP – As do I, but they’re going to be a pain to monitor when I do a follow-up on this.

SP – Yeah, maybe don’t track them, as they’ll all be wrong.

ZC – Yeah, I’m 100% with Shaun on this, I don’t have a great track record on my predictions.

CP – Don’t care, I’m keeping score. How about a tangible and friendly bet at least?

SP – Short ETH, Long BTC!

ZC – Long everything….well….not everything. I think the market looks at crypto as BTC and ETH but I think in 2020 we will start to see the likes of Chainlink, Maker, Iexec and Basic Attention Token gaining notoriety. All of which seem to bridge the gap between the crypto world and the real world.

CP – Alright, I guess that I’ll take that. Shaun is on the Bitcoin maximalist trade, and Zeth is short the Bitcoin dominance metric. Loser buys me beers in 2021.

ZC – Colin, you know what? We should actually get other people in on this.

SP – Good idea, drop us a note on Twitter @PlexusRS or LinkedIn and let us know what you think.

CP – Love it, the winner gets to join the blog and share their victory! Thank you so much for joining us guys. I look forward to seeing these things play out.

SP – Thank you, it was fun.

ZC – Thanks and for those reading don’t forget to tell us what you think will happen!

As always, nothing here should be construed as financial advice, recommendation or endorsement of any project or cryptocurrency.