Bitcoin’s Institutionalization: Dates to Watch in 2019

It’s been over a year since the Cboe and CME listed the world’s first bitcoin futures contracts, the first ever bitcoin investment product to hit the legacy market. Both futures went live just before bitcoin peaked at its $20,000 all-time high. Out-the-gate trading for the derivatives reflected 2017’s market mania, and Cboe’s futures alone traded over 800 contracts (roughly $12,000,000 at the time) within the first two hours of their launch. With the creation of these markets, the euphoric anticipation of bitcoin’s debut on Wall Street conjured up delusions of…

The End of the First Crypto Decade

Massimo Morini is a veteran in investment banks and financial institutions including the World Bank. Some of his research on blockchain was reported here and here. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  The end of 2018 is not the end of a year. It is the end of a decade, a decade that changed the world of money and finance. I do not mean the decade since the release of the Satoshi paper that CoinDesk properly celebrated a couple of months ago. With the typical egotism of young, brilliant innovators, the…

Where the Future of Crypto Payments Is Being Built

Leah Callon-Butler is the co-founder of Intimate.io, a token project aiming to bring payments, privacy and reputation to the adult industry. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  “The stars have aligned,” he said, the room hanging on his every word. “In the same way that the industrial revolution created the economic prosperity that’s made the U.S. what it is today; in the same way that Africa leapfrogged wired telecommunications and went straight to wireless; the Philippines has the potential to be the biggest beneficiary of…

2018: A Record-Breaking Year for Crypto Exchange Hacks

Eric Larcheveque is the CEO of Ledger, a leader in security and infrastructure solutions for cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications since 2014. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  2018 was a record-breaking year. From the number of cryptocurrency exchange hacks, to the amount of assets that were stolen, to the largest exchange hack of all-time, crypto set a lot of records. Too bad they’re not the kind of records crypto innovators will be boasting about next year. Although cryptocurrency continues to become more mainstream, this goes…

2019: The Year We Might (Finally) See Better Blockchain UX?

Ouriel Ohayon is the CEO and co-founder of crypto wallet provider KZen. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  Look at the crypto services you regularly use. Admit it: you aren’t in love. Some of them are OK, most of them are terrible – you know it. I’m not referring to the cosmetic allure of those products, which most of the time feel like pre-dial up era, but about how they work, how the onboarding was presented, how they feel. This is the current state of…

Bitcoin’s Next Halving Rally: Coming Soon in 2019

Pascal Thellman is CMO at Bounty0x, a simple service for earning crypto, and an advisor at PolyGrowth, a crypto PR firm. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  2012 and 2016: What do they both have in common? Bitcoin underwent what is referred to as the “halving,” where the yearly bitcoin inflation was algorithmically reduced by 50 percent. This is part of bitcoin’s deflationary monetary policy and why Austrian economists refer to bitcoin as “hard money.” If you look at the bitcoin price chart, you will…

2018 Was the Reality Check. 2019 Starts the Crypto Comeback

Micah Winkelspecht is CEO and founder of Gem, a crypto portfolio app company based in Los Angeles. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  If 2017 was the year of irrational exuberance, 2018 became the year of reality checks when the market sputtered and crashed. I predict that this year will see a return back to first principles as we rethink many of our assumptions about how this is all supposed to go down. The truth is, we just don’t know yet. I also believe that…

Blockchain Gaming: Separating Signal from the Noise

Devin Finzer is the co-founder of OpenSea, a decentralized marketplace for crypto assets. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.  Games frequently serve as an experimental playground for new technology. Since the launch of CryptoKitties – a digital cat-breeding game built on ethereum – roughly a year ago, games have provided a digitally native playground for early adopters to experiment with the unique benefits of open protocols. Currently, most of the top dapps by transaction volume are games. While there’s a lot of early excitement in the…

$182 Million: ICE Exchange’s Bitcoin Startup Bakkt Announces Massive Fundraise

Bakkt has raised $182.5 million to build out its global digital assets platform and bitcoin futures product. The round, which is Bakkt’s first, included 12 partners, according to a Medium post by CEO Kelly Loeffler. The crypto startup is owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which is best known as the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Investors in the funding round included Boston Consulting Group, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, ICE, M12 (Microsoft’s VC fund), Pantera Capital and Protocol Ventures. Loeffler wrote: “We are focused on opportunities to provide new…

Security Researchers Reveal Wallet Vulnerabilities On Stage at 35C3

In a demonstration titled “Wallet.fail,” a team of security researchers hacked into the Trezor One, Ledger Blue and Ledger Nano S. Unfortunately, it appears as if their findings were first put on display at the 35th Chaos Communication Congress (35C3) in Leipzig, Germany, rather than through accepted Responsible Disclosure practices, which would have allowed the manufacturers to patch the vulnerabilities and protect their customers from any potential attack. Fortunately, the vulnerabilities appear to be very difficult for attackers to actually exploit. The team of experts included security researchers Dmitry Nedospasov,…