With more and more institutional investors viewing Bitcoin as a store of value to hedge against the troubled global economy, 2021 might be the tipping point for crypto to gain mass adoption.
However, this distributed ledger technology is still new to many because blockchain and DeFi productions are still in the early stage of development. So, what will be hot in blockchain and crypto in 2021, and what will be the curveballs? Cointelegraph Global and Cointelegraph China brought the top industry leaders and thinkers on March 25 in Chengdu, China to share a clear vision and what’s happening within the space with the general public and institutional newcomers.
The summit was sponsored by Nova Capital and Bitget, and Near and Class ZZ were the gold sponsorship partners. Special support partners were Nest, Apron, Biki, Horizon Capital, Neo, Veracity, Darwin, Metis, Binance, FTX, Binance Chain, CoinMarketCap, Cobo, WePiggy, CyberVein, dYdX, Gelato, Liquidity, Aave, Quest Capital, Notional, Parsiq, Qilin, LBank, Konomi, Phala Network, CryptoArt.Ai, ForTube, Sovi, Crust, IBG Icon Capital, Rui Capital, Mass, Kaiyuan mining pool, Suterusu, FM Gallery, BTCST and Cloud Technology.
The event invited guests from nearly 40 investment institutions, project parties and exchanges in the industry, including Jeffrey Wernick, an early investor of Airbnb and Bitcoin; Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX; Josephine Lau, vice president of Bitget; Amos Zhang, head of Near Asia Pacific; Dr Z, architect of CZZ technology community; James Qu, chief technology officer of PlatON; Ren Zheng, founding partner of Consensus Lab; Kevin Shao, co-founder of Bisheng Capital; Zheng Yushan, partner of Waterdrip Capital; He Wei, co-founder of LBank; and Steven Guo, managing partner of P1X Capital.
Offline and online, the guest speakers shared their research experiences around industry trends, such as decentralized finance, Polkadot, crypto mining, Filecoin and nonfungible tokens.
Josephine, vice president of Bitget — one of the world’s largest derivatives trading platforms — said that the field of digital derivatives has become a key track for exchanges, especially with the entry of institutions this year.
She believes that establishing derivatives industry standards through professional product technology, real and transparent trading data, a compliance regulatory system, capital risk control and management, and fair treatment of users are crucial for onboarding institutional investors.
Dr Z, a technology community architect of Class ZZ, believes that DeFi will explode, leading to high Ethereum gas fees. At the same time, he has also seen the rise of some Ethereum-based competitors, such as Polkadot, Binance Smart Chain, Heco, etc. In the future, depending on layer two or EIP-1559, Ethereum’s gas fee problem may be solved to a certain extent, but the multi-chain era is unavoidable.
Tina Zhang, head of Nest Labs, stressed that price oracles would be another important aspect in the development of DeFi. Due to the lack of price mechanisms and that oracles are commercially not in line with the decentralized nature of blockchain, Nest Protocol has developed a decentralized price oracle network in v2.0.
Privacy and data ownership problems need to be addressed
According to Amos, the Asia Pacific region director of Near — an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized platforms — said that the internet has become an indispensable part of the global economic system. However, today’s internet applications are faced with limitations, such as the lack of high-value data transmission infrastructure, while the difficulty of centralized databases to meet the needs of higher-level use scenarios such as the Internet of Things.
Qu of PlatON, a private computing network and distributed economy infrastructure, also shared that data privacy is another crucial problem that needs to be addressed. According to him, PlatON is an open-source, community-based blockchain ecosystem designed to serve as an infrastructure for privacy-preserving computing networks and distributed economies. He added:
“PlatON plans to redefine the business model by protecting data privacy, which provides the infrastructure to solve key business problems related to data.”
NFTs continues to be the trend
For the recent upsurge of NFTs, Sam Bankman-Fried expressed his excitement on some new forms of combination of games and NFTs, providing an example:
“For the League of Heroes, the game has a lot of skins, and each skin is a good product, which is very suitable for NFTs. For the whole NFT ecosystem, the combination of video games and NFTs will greatly improve the whole ecological level and break the circle.”
However, he also pointed out that at present, DeFi has yet to be at its best. He believes that due to the slowed development of DeFi products and the lack of legal structure for institutional investors, there is still a long wait for DeFi to fully develop. He explained:
“Early investor in Uber, Airbnb and Bitcoin, Jeffrey Wernick believes that personal data information and human capital should be more valuable than any third-party platform company. NFTs can represent the value of human capital very precisely. He expects everyone to have an NFT that represents his or her own human capital in the near future. He stressed that a point-to-point network will be an important technology to reconstruct human society. In a point-to-point network, it will be an immutable fact that individuals have absolute voices.”