It’s a sign of the times that Alex Tapscott, co-author of Blockchain Revolution and co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), best known for his expertise on blockchain technology, has switched his focus from blockchain technology at large to cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin.
Tapscott is co-authoring a new report from BRI to be published in fall 2019 that will offer a futuristic look at the world of cryptocurrencies in 2030.
The report speculates that the U.S. and China will have their own cryptocurrencies by then, bitcoin will be considered the new gold and corporate cryptocurrencies will be in wide use, destabilizing smaller governments who lose their power to corporate federations.
“The banks, digital conglomerates like bitcoin, Facebook and, of course, governments are all heading inexorably for a collision of historic proportions,” Tapscott explained in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine. “The impact will be cataclysmic. Buckle up.”
“[During the hearings,] North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry said, ‘The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin white paper, envisioned is an unstoppable force. We should not attempt to deter this innovation … those who have tried have already failed,’” Tapscott said. “He’s right. To those who have been in this industry since the early days, this is a remarkable admission and demonstrates how fast things have evolved. We welcome the position that this is an innovation worth fostering.”
Bitcoin Is the Mother of All Cryptocurrencies
Will Bitcoin survive and prosper in a sea of rivals? Tapscott is sure that it will.
“Bitcoin remains the most consequential computer science invention in a generation,” he said. “It laid the rails for a new internet of value that could do for assets what the internet did for information industries. This unstoppable force is on a collision course with the heretofore immovable object of global finance.”
And, despite his interest in blockchain technology at large and belief that the world’s largest governments will soon operate their own digital currencies, Tapscott emphasizes that everything started with bitcoin.
“Bitcoin is the mother of all cryptocurrencies,” he said. “Bitcoin is unique as a cryptocurrency — it is orders of magnitude bigger than any other and has proven to be a good store of value. It has also shown great resilience and anti-fragility, strengthening itself with every attack … Recent volatility and instability in global currency markets has exposed Bitcoin’s value to a much broader investor audience. Bitcoin dominance is currently sitting at around 70 percent. That should tell you how the market feels about its value now and longer term.”
Facebook’s Libra Launch “Is a Watershed Moment”
Tapscott believes that the introduction of Facebook’s new digital currency, libra, marked a watershed moment and, in his view, could prove to be the best on-ramp to bring billions into the digital financial industry.
In the coming months and years, Tapscott thinks it likely that many big technology companies will launch their own cryptocurrencies. In an interview for his upcoming Blockchain Research Institute report, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, co-founders of Gemini, told him that they “expect within 24 months that all the FANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) will have their own cryptocurrency.”
Altcoins Will Come and Go But Ether Will Stay
“I think the vast majority of so-called altcoins will not succeed,” Tapscott said. “That shouldn’t be controversial or surprising. This is an emerging market with a lot of new ventures experimenting and pushing the envelope.”
That being said, Tapscott did emphasize that at least one altcoin will make a lasting impact on the same level as bitcoin.
“I believe Ethereum is here to stay,” he said. “Many of the most innovative ideas and projects in DeFi [decentralized finance] are being implemented on Ethereum. They have a large, creative and motivated community. Ethereum today is the dominant DeFi platform and I think it can preserve that lead.”
Disclosure: Alex Tapscott owns bitcoin, ether, cosmos (ATOMs), zcash and Facebook stock.
Jessie Willms is a planet earth based former government and political researcher and communications officer helping to document the FinTech revolution and its impact on traditional institutions and governments. You can follow Jessie on Twitter at @WILLMS_.