As Blockchain has become one of the most intriguing topics in the technology industry, we have interviewed a Blockchain specialist Alex Mashinsky, Israeli-American tech entrepreneur who is also the Founder of the Celsius Network.
1. As a blockchain expert could you share insights of how blockchain is changing the world today?
Alex: In the last few years we have seen the largest transfer of wealth in modern human history. More and more people are becoming interested in the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
That said, it’s estimated only about 40 million people globally currently own cryptocurrency, so we’re talking 0.5% of the world’s population. It will take a few more years of rapid adoption to start really having an impact on the world stage.
2: ICO is often associated with the use of blockchain technology, how it can be implemented?
Alex: Internet Coin Offerings (or ICOs) are a new way for companies to raise money without going through traditional financial instruments like banks or Venture Capital firms. ICO’s enable trading for coins and tokens outside traditional stock exchanges, which, for the first time, enables the 99% to be ahead of the 1% accessing new wealth creation.
3: More and more startups are joining the ICO world. It looks like there is this major shift happening in the startup world. There are already tons of cryptocurrencies launched. Do you think that the ICO world will get as crowded as the App Store? What is your opinion about it?
Alex: Today, it’s hard to know which projects will do well and which will fail. As the market matures we will see broader adoption of these companies and probably the collapse of over 90% of all other projects. The rate and expansion of ICOs continues to grow exponentially. It’s not inconceivable to see how we could go from thousands of ICOs today to millions of companies using this method of funding in the future. Even in the current ICO ecosystem we see a similar pattern to the app store where a few apps dominate the market in terms of adoption and use.
4: How do you see blockchain technology evolving in the next five years from now?
Alex: The current issues of speed and costs will be resolved with the evolution of proof of stake and proof of assets. This will solve many of the scaling issues we see today around transaction times. We also expect many private blockchains to thrive by solving specific industry issues for a limited set of participants.
5: What is the benefit of having many different cryptocurrencies? Can these cryptocurrencies somehow overcome the existing world currencies and most importantly can millennials fully adapt to cryptocurrency usage?
Alex: Cryptocurrencies built on Ethereum’s ERC-20 token are able to employ smart contracts which allow them to perform certain advanced functions. This, in turn, allows companies to focus on particular problems with a new way of solving them at a much lower costs than traditional centralised systems. Some newly formed tokens are trying to solve issues around cloud storage, computer processing, security and borrowing and lending. More cryptocurrencies allow for natural competition with the same benefits we see now by not allowing monopolies to control specific industries.
The internet completely disrupted many industries but did little to dismantle the banking monopoly. Cryptocurrency will do what the internet failed to do by finally breaking up traditional Finance’s hold on the world’s economic system. Cryptocurrencies are not necessarily trying to compete with existing fiat currencies controlled by individual governments. Cryptocurrencies are built to be decentralised, meaning no one individual controls the code or the record of transactions.
Millenials will probably be the first age demographic to really show mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. That said, a survey in Forbes this week showed that only 42% of Millennials had heard of bitcoin.
6: Some say that blockchain is the freedom of financial transactions, but how secure it is? Should we feel safe about it or is there something that might damage us?
Alex: Cryptocurrencies themselves and crypto wallets are quite secure. To date, neither has been breached via hacks. Bitcoin has a market capitalisation of over $300 billion, you can be sure hackers are trying everyday to figure out a way to get access to this wealth, in it’s 9 year history, that has yet to happen.
Exchanges, on the other hand, are centralised systems owned by a company where the opportunity for someone to hack in is much easier and that structure needs to be revisited with decentralised, peer-to-peer type exchanges coming to the forefront.
7: ICOs are becoming a huge thing right now. What is your opinion on crypto currency’s future? Are we seriously looking to replace our known currencies into cryptocurrencies?
Alex: The battle is for a new mechanism representing a store of value. Traditionally we saw people use fiat currencies or commodities to store value. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, represents a true alternative. They’re not controlled by any government and can’t be diluted by simply printing more of it.
8: Where do you see Bitcoin price going in 2018?
Alex: It will have few corrections but should end the year between $20-30k as more and more capital is trying to find its way in and fewer coins are available for sale.
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