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What Experts Are Predicting for 2017 in Bitcoin and Blockchain Tech

As the year kicks off with an all-time high market cap for Bitcoin on its eighth birthday, 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Bitcoin, digital currency and blockchain technology in general.

In this first week of the new year, Bitcoin Magazine reached out to a variety of thought leaders and stakeholders in the industry, to offer a look ahead.

Roger Ver, Bitcoin Evangelist and Investor

“2017 is likely to be the best year yet for Bitcoin. We are already seeing all-time new highs in terms of market cap. All-time new highs in terms of price per bitcoin are likely just around the corner as well. Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come, and clearly the separation of money and state is happening right before our eyes. And with the former CEO of Barclays bank being appointed to the board of Blockchain.info, I think 2017 will be the year we see traditional banks becoming deeply involved in Bitcoin, too.”

Eric Lombrozo, Bitcoin Core Developer and Co-CEO of Ciphrex

“2017 will continue to see further modularization and layering of network architectures. We will also see tremendous breakthroughs in privacy-enhancing crypto, practical demonstrations of trustless — or minimal trust — off-chain protocols with the promise of economically viable instant microtransactions, and general improvements to bootstrapping mechanisms for extending blockchain networks with less social friction.”

Kathleen Breitman, CEO of Tezos

“I think one of the most remarkable things about the space to date is how receptive regulators have been to learning about use cases for both private and public blockchains. With respect to public blockchains, I think we will see regulators continue their ‘wait and see’ approach, putting emphasis on financial control at the exchanges but keeping a light touch on the technology itself.”

Alejandro De La Torre, Business Development at BTC.com

“If the demonetization as we’ve seen in countries like India and Venezuela continues, I expect to see a blossoming of Bitcoin interest. Another trend I see emerging is Bitcoin security. Many users are realizing that their bitcoins are not safe in exchanges and are switching to wallets that have beefier security or using cold storage.”

Stephen Pair, Co-Founder, President and CEO of BitPay

“I believe we'll see a renewed focus on the Bitcoin blockchain. We'll see a few new applications of the Bitcoin blockchain that do surprisingly simple, yet very powerful, things. People will begin to see Bitcoin in an entirely new light.”

Aaron Voisine, Co-Founder and CEO of Breadwallet

“I predict that 2017 will see bitcoin become recognized as a legitimate ‘uncorrelated asset’ for a large number of money managers and financial advisors. Holding a diversified portfolio of assets is of course what any prudent financial advisor will recommend. This however doesn’t do you much good if those assets’ value all move in the same direction at the same time. In order to achieve diversification, you need to hold some assets that increase in value when the others go down. Bitcoin is a perfect example of an asset that has shown to increase in value in times of fear and economic turmoil, and one that I think many money managers will begin to see as a prudent addition to their portfolios.”

Anthony Di Iorio, CEO and Founder of Decentral and Jaxx

"I'm predicting new well-led projects emerging that provide improvements and enhancements on Bitcoin and Ethereum infrastructures. Two projects I have my eye on in 2017 are Rootstock out of Argentina and Qtum out of China. I'm also quite optimistic about Zcash, Monero, and Dash."

Manfred Karrer, Developer and Founder of Bitsquare

“I expect three things. One, regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges will come. Two, the war on cash, gold and cryptocurrencies will accelerate. And three, privacy-protecting technologies like Monero and Zcash will elevate in importance.”

Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, Founder of BitNation

“I find smart contracts applied in the dispute-resolution realm most exciting, because it holds the promise to decentralize some of the most important parts of society: Governance, Law and Security. In an era when only 3% of Americans feel that they can always trust their elected officials, according to a Pew Research Centre report, this development is timely. Several initiatives are already emerging, including DAMN, Decentralized Court, Crowdjury and, of course, BitNation’s Pangea platform.”

Max Kordek, CEO of Lisk

“I believe that VCs will discover the value of cryptocurrencies or so-called ‘App Coins,’ and will begin to massively invest in this area of the industry. Secondly, projects like Lisk and Ethereum will be ready to let developers dive into blockchain development, which will become a ‘trend’ just as iOS development became a trend and a vast industry. Lastly, user experience will become a much more important focus point for blockchain projects. Their respective leaders will realize that creating elegant user experience is a necessity to gather mainstream adoption.”

Trace Mayer, Host of the Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast

“Bitcoin’s network effects will get further entrenched during 2017. One trend I think we’ll see will be in scalability via Segregated Witness, which will lay the foundation for millions of daily users. Also, many current and new use cases and financialization will appear with ETFs, which I believe will pave the way for massive amounts of investment capital to come into the industry.”

Joey Krug, Co-Founder of Augur

“I think the biggest trend in 2017 will be the first wave of decentralized applications going live on Ethereum. Bitcoin allows us to send money around trustlessly, but Ethereum allows us to do things with the money trustlessly, like controlling when and when it cannot be sent programmatically, to a finer degree than Bitcoin’s script allows for. This is a big deal because it means we’ll finally start seeing some fun and practical consumer-focused applications of Blockchain tech. Think decentralized prediction markets, decentralized poker and more.”

Alex Tapscott, Co-Author of the Book “Blockchain Revolution”

“One, a major central bank will live test a digital fiat currency and it will work very well, leading to broader adoption. Additionally, large banks will begin shifting large amounts of OTC [over-the-counter] transactions to real-time settlement on private distributed ledgers. Look for JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Santander to lead the charge. And companies large and small and in every industry will begin developing a blockchain strategy, hiring key IT talent and launching pilots. I’m talking insurers, healthcare providers, music labels, defense contractors, you name it. And finally, bitcoin will hit $2000!”

Michael Scott

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