Welcome to Forkast Forecasts 2021. In this new series, leaders, innovators and visionaries in blockchain-related fields tell Forkast.News what they see as the most noteworthy developments for this industry in 2020 and their predictions for the year ahead.
Stefan Rust is founder and CEO at Sonic Capital, a tokenized venture capital and impact investment fund. The fund invests in startups that leverage blockchain and tokens to provide commercial solutions to environmental, social and governance challenges, in particular the adoption and scale of the carbon credit markets.
See related article: Blockchain is now on the front line against climate change
Rust was formerly CEO of Bitcoin.com, chief technology officer at Energybox, founder of Exicon and head of mobile and internet 2.0 at Sun Microsystems.
Biggest developments in 2020
- A big roller coaster in crypto prices: “In January, the bitcoin price dropped down to about [US$6,000] and now we’re [over US$22,000]. I think that’s huge.”
- Decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) gaining momentum: “DeFi’s [growth has] been in the making for four years, but in the summer this year, it really got traction with Uniswap, doing about US$500million in daily trading volume. Minuscule in contrast to the overall finance market, but still a big, significant step. I love the DAO market. A lot of companies are now setting up as DAOs, decentralized autonomous organizations, and bringing out governance models associated with DAOs.”
- Enterprises investing in cryptocurrencies: “Enterprises are beginning to realize that there is an alternative to holding all of [their] balance sheets in fiat currencies and moving that across into bitcoin. And that is going to bring us into other [cryptocurrencies] that they will want to learn about.”
Predictions for 2021
- A “Cambrian Explosion” for tokens: “We’re going to see many different types of tokens emerge that are going to tie communities together from governance tokens, to social tokens, utility tokens, security tokens, et cetera.”
- “DeFi becomes defy”: “There’s going to be a big sort of defiance between the regulators and governance and the incumbents, e.g. the banks, and the crypto world. Crypto is becoming more and more important. How do they play in an existing established environment? That’s going to be a big tussle and we’re going to see a lot of roller coasting around that. There’s going to be ups and there are going to be downs… And underlying that, there’s going to be a big move towards decentralization, not only in a DeFi perspective, but also at an infrastructure level.”
- Can Wall Street keep up with DeFi innovations? “You’re already seeing big partnerships across the crypto community, you’re seeing aggregation of some of DeFi players from Yearn – Yearn.finance to Cream, to Akropolis, merging together or building a sort of consortium, if you will, of DeFi players. The other thing you’re going to see is treasury services. So as these enterprises enter into the whole crypto market, how do I now begin to earn yield on my currencies? Where do I go? And can Wall Street keep up with the pace of innovation in this environment? And do they have the depth to be able to come in and really provide the services in a trustworthy manner that gives people the relationship to their funds?”
See related article: Why DeFi’s exponential growth is not a bubble and will ‘keep soaring’