Over the past week, Cointelegraph has participated in Virtual Blockchain Week — a pandemic-proof crypto conference that invited participants from all over the world to join talks with some of Blockchain’s greatest luminaries.
At the start of the week, famed venture capitalist, Tim Draper, doubled down on his prediction that Bitcoin (BTC) will reach $250K per coin by 2023. “That's my prediction. Sticking with it. I'm very confident that that is going to happen.” said Draper, when pressed on the topic. He believes that massive commercial adoption around the world will send Bitcoin’s price into the stratosphere.
This gels well with insights shared by crypto analyst, Mati Greenspan, who noted that Bitcoin’s correlation with the S&P 500 is currently at an all-time-high. Greenspan did note, however, that “nothing has emerged that’s said ‘crypto is going to be our savior.’”, while also pointing out that Bitcoin is still considered a risk asset.
Taking a more technical approach, GIVE Nation CEO, Alyze Sam, explained why stablecoins are the “gateway to decentralization” for companies like Facebook and JP Morgan. She believes that major corporations adopting stablecoins will ultimately lead to the acceptance of Bitcoin and other blockchain assets.
Meanwhile, Caitlin Long — the founder of the first crypto-native bank, Avanti — is seeking greater transparency across the industry. She opined that “there is really very little disclosure about how much indebtedness the various exchanges and custodians have provided.” Long is reasonably bullish on Bitcoin, which she believes is a safe haven asset
Roger Ver, Bitcoin Cash advocate and CEO of Bitcoin.com, used his platform at Virtual Blockchain Week to call for an immediate end to the Coronavirus lockdown. “It's absolutely related not just to economic freedom, but to personal freedom in general.” Ver argued. He went on to define economic freedom as “a measure of how easy it is for members of a society to participate in the economy”.
Vesa Kivinen, the creator of Art For Crypto, feels strongly that crypto art is as valuable as any digital asset. He stated firmly that “[Digital art] has many similarities to, let’s say, the very, very early Bitcoin.” All of Kivinen’s art pieces sell for a pegged rate of 1 BTC each, and he believes the value of each painting has “the potential of going parabolic”.
Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of popular crypto exchange, Binance, made the argument that crypto adoption can be driven by stablecoins and strong charity initiatives. “That type of adoption is a positive first-contact for a lot of people.” he explained. On the topic of Binance’s rapidly increasing power in the space, Zhao scoffed at the idea that his exchange was growing too large. “We are quite big, but the reason we're growing is not because we are abusing a monopolistic power.” he stated, adding “The competition is very fierce.”
Charlie Shrem, founder of early Bitcoin-for-cash platform, Bitinstant, underlined his bullishness with regards to Bitcoin’s upcoming block halving, but notes that he doesn’t see a 2017-esque bull run occuring in the short term. “It looks like around last halving it wasn't that the price doubled instantly” said Shrem, elaborating that the price really didn’t go wild until “a year and a half later.” Charlie also gave us an update on a mysterious letter he received back in 2014, emphasizing that “this letter was odd, it was weird”.
Justin Sun, the oft controversial founder of Tron, recounted his side of the recent Steem/Hive hard fork. He referred to his role in Steemit Inc as more of a “partnership” than an acquisition, while still noting that “Steemit Inc definitely has some influence on the Steem blockchain.”
Towards the end of the conference, an AK-47 wielding John McAfee discussed a plethora of topics, from UFOs to illegal taxation. McAfee is an eccentrically vocal crypto advocate who is best known for the anti-virus software which bears his name. He openly admitted that he is 99% certain he knows the identity of Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Though he claims that he promised to never let the name escape his lips, he paid the white paper author a compliment, referring to him as a “Very smart motherf*****”.
The event’s closing keynote came from acclaimed author, Don Tapscott, who believes that blockchain has enabled person-to-person trust for the first time in history. His bullish position included the belief that Blockchain will underpin “the second era of the digital age.” Closing on the challenges still left to our nascent industry, Tapscott stated “Just because it's decentralized, doesn’t mean it has to be disorganized.”
Check out the audio recap here: