What to Expect in 2019 and Beyond, According to 14 Crypto Luminaries

In BREAKER’s first (not even full) year of operation, we conducted dozens of Q&As with some of the biggest names in blockchain and cryptocurrency. As you might imagine, the subject of the future came up quite a bit. Here’s a sampling of what those tech luminaries predicted for 2019 and beyond:

“I’m assuming within the next year or so, we’re going to make it so that everyone can just, with their cell phone, buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin.”
Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates

“We just have to work much harder on helping [people] understand where ConsenSys came from and what it is, philosophically. It keeps evolving. It’s been several different ConsenSyses since the start…. We have to up our game and compete. It no longer is sufficient to show up and do something cool; now we have to do something excellent.”
Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys

“I think we’ve gone through this orgy of unfettered capitalism. And [the space] has become very tone deaf. It’s become very illogical, and frankly, it’s become unproductive. We’re throwing good money after bad. I’m excited about a period of depressed prices where we can focus on really building. Now we need to bring some rationality, pragmatism, and risk management to the crypto asset space.”
Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares

“Do I think I’ll be found guilty of embezzlement and data manipulation? I still think so, yes. I declared at the beginning of the trial I am innocent of the charges brought against me. But the fact is I’m fighting an uphill battle because in Japan there’s a lot of cases like this ending with conviction. Something like 99 percent.”
Mark Karpelès, former CEO of Mt. Gox

“If the [Ethereum] community does continue to rely on me, then I think that would definitely be a problem. The whole point of decentralization is that you can make a system where you don’t need to know which specific people are involved in it and that they’re trustworthy in order to be able to participate in it. So if the de facto assumption for Ethereum’s continued existence is that I do certain specific things, then that’s a big risk to anyone in the Ethereum ecosystem—and obviously a large loss of freedom for myself.”
Vitalik Buterin, cofounder of Ethereum

“Whether Ethereum is able to get to the levels of scaling that are needed, I think, is yet to be seen. [But] once the scaling problems are solved, once governance issues are solved, I think it’s going to take off and we’re going to see the next evolution of things. It’s very early days.”
Anthony Di Iorio, cofounder of Ethereum

“If I win the [2020 presidential] nomination, I’m going to start on a rant about the marginalization of third parties—and when I go on a fucking rant, the world listens.”
John McAfee, antivirus-software pioneer and cryptocurrency evangelist

“Maybe [seven] years from now, when I’m 35, I’ll try to become the president. I have a lot of learning to do, a lot of people to learn from. I have to learn how to build a company, how to build relationships. I’m going back to school—not physical school. But I’m going back to learning, which is what I’m doing here with my partners and my company.”
Charlie Shrem, founder of Crypto.IQ

“Blockchains haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of their biggest use case, which is digital money. That’s huge, and there’s a lot to chew on before you get into any of the other, exotic use cases for medical records or whatever. It’s really hard to do digital cash, so I think people have been like, ‘What if we try to do something else instead?’ And I think that’s not a very pragmatic route, actually.”
Kathleen Breitman, cofounder of Tezos

“There’s a whole chunk of the American dream wrapped up in this idea that you just need a laptop and a great idea to build a billion-dollar company and win because people love it. That’s something worth fighting for, and something we’ll keep fighting for. I think we’ll win, but it’s been a bad year [with the repeal of net neutrality] for sure.”
Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of Reddit

“In the next 10 years? I think that there will be more real-world use cases for blockchain and cryptocurrency. They’ll be more obvious than innovative…. I just made [more obvious than innovative] up today. The first time I’ve ever used it was in this interview. We’ll see.”
Tammy Camp, CEO and cofounder of Stronghold

“In 30 years, [bitcoin] will become mainstream. We will see bitcoin as plumbing…. Basically, it will get to be the underlying value network of the world.”
Craig Wright, chief scientist at nChain

“Do I have a bleak view about the future? The rosier scenario has never actually existed…. And I used to say, about people who are worried about collapse in the U.S. and U.K., that collapse just means living in the same conditions as the people who grow your coffee. The privileged first-world bubble shatters, and you end up being dumped into the real world where everybody else lives.”
Vinay Gupta, CEO of Mattereum

“I’m an eternal optimist. I think we’re going to get there. But the universe loves drama, and if all of this were a movie, you’d want to take it right to the brink. And then the day is saved at the very end. Of course, the universe wouldn’t just make it smooth and simple. It’s gonna have suspense.”
Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation