December 23, 2020 — Every person you ask will say the same thing: 2020 is unlike any other year.
The cryptocurrency industry felt the full brunt of the pandemic, as evidenced by the March 2020 crash. Nine months, one Bitcoin halving and a couple of institutions later, the industry sees a resurgence in interest brought about by Bitcoin hitting and breaking the psychological all-time high at $20,000 and reaching a new one.
What is the 2020 Year in Review?
BitPinas sought the opinion of key crypto and blockchain leaders/influencers in the Philippines and abroad on what they think about 2020 in general and what they look forward to in 2021.
Miguel Cuneta is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of SCI Ventures, a pioneer Bitcoin company in the Philippines. Miguel is regularly invited to share his insights about blockchain and cryptocurrency on TV and in conferences around the world.
2020 is a year like no other in life and in Bitcoin:
Needless to say, it has been a crazy year, and that’s a huge understatement. The pandemic crisis is an unprecedented challenge that we have yet to overcome, with resurgences rising globally. We have no way of knowing the full economic effects to businesses and individuals alike. Staying healthy and having a business/job is a luxury nowadays, so I am thankful for that.
There is one highlight and that is the amazing anti-fragility of the Bitcoin network that has shone through this crisis. We are now in the early stages of a new bull market, and it has become a beacon of hope and optimism in such a bleak environment for both businesses and individuals involved in this industry.
On Bitcoin breaking all expectations:
From a global industry perspective, I would say that it has to be how Bitcoin is breaking all expectations and explosively recovering from the pandemic crisis lows in March, reinforcing its resiliency and anti-fragility, as well as its store-of-value use case. It is another big test that this network and technology has passed with flying colors, paving the way for the likes of Microstrategy, Square, and many other publicly listed companies to start seriously considering allocating treasury reserves to this asset class, as well as large hedge funds and investment firms from all over the world to consider Bitcoin as a serious contender to the gold market.
Another big development is the entry of Paypal into Bitcoin/crypto, which opens up 300 million users to easy access to this asset class, and for use in payments and transfers. Others will follow.
On how the pandemic changed the way we work:
Discovering remote work and how effective it can be has been an eye-opener, I believe for many organizations, not just ours.
Predictions for 2021:
Globally, Bitcoin will likely enter its 4th bull cycle in 2021. With the halving creating a supply crunch alongside the massive demand from institutions like Paypal, Square, Microstrategy, Fidelity, Grayscale, and many others, other big institutions and tech companies who have seen the Bitcoin revenue of Cashapp/Square skyrocket in 2020 will follow them and Paypal in offering bitcoin/cryptocurrency to customers.
Bitcoin-based “Banking” services like lending, borrowing, savings with interest, custody, etc will also grow quickly as many companies race for market share and holders look for yield on their growing asset holdings.
Bitcoin will become a necessary allocation in most investment portfolios as customers demand exposure from their investment firms moving forward towards 2024. A trillion dollar Bitcoin/Crypto market cap by the end of 2021 is a realistic probability.
Facebook will enter the space with Libra/Diem, which will be a net positive for the industry as a whole, but also due to this, pushback from governments and regulatory bodies will be stronger in a push to regulate decentralized Bitcoin/crypto networks (not just companies) the same as financial institutions. However, it will eventually prove futile and many will adjust to the reality that there’s no realistic way to enforce the old rules in these new paradigms. It will be like how similar institutions and governments vilified the open internet and pushed for websites and internet services to be regulated the same as the telecommunications industry in the early 90s, but ultimately failed.
Crypto Philippines in 2021:
Locally, I see even more consolidation between local players, with bigger players like Binance entering the space and starting to eat up a big share in what is already a small market. Binance choosing someone like Colin Goltra to take the helm here surely elevates the status of the available services in the local market and forces everyone else to step up their game.
The pandemic crisis has affected people’s purchasing power and risk appetite, so I don’t expect the retail market to be as involved as in 2017-2018. Hopefully, local institutions will warm up to the idea of considering Bitcoin as a real asset class, similar to what’s happening in the rest of the world, and will consider offering it to their customers. Regulations will expand and tighten on VC companies based on new global developments, hopefully not stifling innovation, but we’ll have to wait and see on that front.
More use-cases, NFTs, gaming, crypto art, and Bitcoin as digital gold:
Personally looking forward to seeing this industry exceed expectations on all fronts while continuing to play even a small part in making it grow. Also looking forward to seeing more use-cases validated by the market. Excited to see the local developments on other fast-growing fronts such as NFT crypto art and gaming. Most of all, looking forward to Bitcoin solidifying its position as the digital gold of our networked age and becoming the internet’s primary native monetary network for generations to come.
Our organization hopes to be able to overcome the challenges of 2020 and continue providing services that cater to the growing needs of the industry with new partners for 2021 and beyond.
This article is published on BitPinas: Miguel Cuneta | SCI Ventures | 2020 Year in Review