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Will Bitcoin’s true value prevail in 2023? 

As crypto investors move towards self-custody following FTX’s collapse, Brian Paik wonders whether it could teach people the true value of Bitcoin, beyond hype and price speculation.

Welcome to Forkast Forecasts 2023. In this series, leaders, innovators, and visionaries in blockchain share their predictions for the year ahead.

Brian HoonJong Paik

Brian is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Sandbank, a crypto asset-based investment platform. He is also the author of the “Web 3.0 Handbook.” Previously, Brian worked as a business development manager for the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinone and as an assistant manager at Sae-A Trading.

Predictions for 2023

Investors will acknowledge the real value of Bitcoin

“The Lightning Network and the usage of Bitcoin in developing nations are growing faster, and the Korean people are acknowledging that as the reason why Bitcoin price can go up faster. It’s not just because of its deflationary trait, but also the usage of it. The demand for Bitcoin is going outside of Korea throughout the whole globe. So people have realized that securing their assets in their own hands, using hardware, wallets or personal wallets is very important. They know the true value of Bitcoin, they are learning about it [and] they are studying it. The fiat currencies and all these altcoins issued out of thin air, it’s going to burst at one point. Maybe Bitcoin or a few other major altcoins are the ones that can survive the next ten years.”

Crypto investors move towards self-custody

“There are not that many long-term [crypto] holders [in South Korea]… I haven’t seen that many people using hardware wallets or personal wallets, even if it’s a software form. But ever since the FTX cascade, there has been an increasing number of people using and purchasing hardware wallets.”

“I haven’t seen this kind of reaction from Korean investors for the last four or five years. There hasn’t been anything like this when the Terra-Luna [crash] happened. So, yeah, people are very cautious about safeguarding their assets. They are taking out their assets from exchanges and using these hardware wallets to securely keep their assets in their hands.”

2023 may bring more versatile blockchain applications, beyond financial innovation

“I see many startups that are still interested in the future of blockchain technology. They want to use either the Bitcoin or Ethereum network to build a new type of business that can help innovate people’s daily lives, not just in a financial manner…I still expect there would be innovations made by these startup CEOs. And when the market is booming again, they will be there. There would be more focus on these people and what they are doing to innovate the whole crypto industry. I don’t know if it’s going to take one or two years, but maybe when the Fed decreases interest rates again next year.”