Another year, another Crypto Christmas special for our team at NewsBTC. In the coming week, we’ll be unpacking 2023, its downs and ups, to reveal what the next months could bring for crypto and DeFi investors.
Related Reading: A Crypto Christmas Special With Jlabs Digital: Past, Present, And Future
Like last year, we paid homage to Charles Dicke’s classic “A Christmas Carol” and gathered a group of experts to discuss the crypto market’s past, present, and future. In that way, our readers might discover clues that will allow them to transverse 2024 and its potential trends.
Crypto Christmas With STORM: Bitcoin ETF Should Be Out Of Your Wishlist?
For today’s issue, our team got to chat with Sheraz Ahmed, Managing Partner at blockchain solutions provider STORM and founder of Decentral House. Ahmed has been present at some of the most important crypto events in 2023 and is constantly speaking with founders, organizations, and relevant actors within and outside the nascent sector.
Thus, Ahmed has a unique perspective on the industry, its blindspots, and possible catalyzers. During the interview, we talked about the downside of approving a Bitcoin spot Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in the United States and why the space might be unprepared for a new bull cycle. This is what he told us.
Q: Our team has coincided with you in several crypto events this year; where do you think most of these events coincide? And what do you believe has been overlooked during 2023, a narrative, a project, something people missed as the industry enters another cycle?
Switzerland, Europe, Dubai, Singapore, and Rio (de Janeiro). I do believe that we are too early for the next cycle. The broken models of the last bull run are yet to be rebuilt. Infrastructure has improved, custody, wallets, exchanges, and stablecoins, but the business models for Dapps (Decentralized Applications) have not evolved.
I fear that we enter into another vaporware cycle and, at best have to wait 4 more years for real use cases/adoption or risk burning ourselves completely with shitcoins and scams.
Q: As Crypto enters a new cycle, what’s different about the industry when you compare it to early 2021 and 2017? Where can investors see the growth? Is it in the players joining the industry, the financial products, or in its community?
There is a bit more maturity, although that sometimes just feels like the veterans are just numb to the pain this industry can self-inflict. We do see genuine interest from large institutional players in the financial, consumer, and impact fields. But can we convert those ideas into adoption?
Investment in utility and payment tokens is an oxymoron. They are not meant to be investment products and are not regulated as such. An investor could look into an infrastructure play, although I believe that is quite saturated today at approx. $700M. My bet would be early-stage protocol ecosystem funds (equity-based), with a portion of that taken in tokens for the utility of governance, etc., that might be attached.
Q: The upcoming approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the US seems like the perfect indicator that crypto has made it to the mainstream, but what’s the next frontier? Where does the industry go from here?
I don’t agree. For me, it just sounds like the bankers finally believe they can make money off our industry. Now, does that mean it’ll be good for prices in the short term and more eyeballs? Yes. But be careful what you wish for, as when the heavy artillery comes in, they crush everything/everyone in their path.
In 2023, we founded Decentral House. An innovation centre focused on blockchain-based application that provide the infrastructure to spark ideas to life. I believe that by having the right tools in your arsenal, you can navigate the Web3 space to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Without the right guidance, WANGMI (We Are Not Gonna Make It). Let’s work together to create an industry of trust we can all be proud of!
Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview