LeapRate Exclusive… Blockchain investment fund NEO Global Capital (NGC) has teamed up with the Samsung-backed startup partner AERGO one month ago. Roger Lim, Founding Partner at NGC, joins us today to discuss what the future may look like for the world of crypto and blockchain.
LR: Where the industry stands a year on from Bitcoin’s all-time high?
Roger: Bitcoin’s skyrocketing price in 2017 thrust the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry into the limelight, solidifying the industry’s presence as more than a mere passing fad and although it may stem from anti-establishment roots an influx of enterprise and institutional interest has added a credibility to crypto among traditional sectors.
LR: Whether last year’s bear market has dampened the industry’s potential and what the future may look like for the world of crypto and blockchain?
Roger: Though last year’s bear market and scepticism surrounding ICOs may have led businesses and consumers to question the industry’s long-term viability, I believe it also propelled the industry towards greater stability. Gone were the weaker projects and bad actors who merely sought quick wins in the hopes of cashing in on the rise in crypto. Instead, we saw and will continue to see, the emergence of projects with a strong and sustainable proposition, experienced teams, and projects grounded in the development of real-world and compelling use cases.
Likewise, this downturn allowed investors to make decisions rooted in research with a real understanding of the technology or industry vertical they are looking to invest in. Whereas when the markets were on the rise, some investors would make decisions on a whim from a fear of missing out.
Beyond that, 2018 saw regulatory clarity from major jurisdictions such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Switzerland, where pivotal steps were made towards developing regulatory frameworks to better guide and determine the direction of the industry’s growth.
LR: How global regulatory developments and the increased participation of institutional investors will shape the legitimacy of the industry in the coming year?
Roger: Balancing regulation and innovation is a delicate move that requires regulators to proactively manage the relationship between the public and private sphere. Countries such as the US, UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong have introduced regulatory sandbox environments that provide a supportive and legal environment for blockchain and crypto projects to grow. Understanding the need for forward-thinking and reflexive policies will lead countries ahead in the race to champion blockchain-related innovation.
Stronger and clearer regulations coupled with the participation of financial institutions and exchanges like Fidelity, Nasdaq, and Goldman Sachs, will further cement crypto as a legitimate digital asset. It will also boost institutional interest from venture capital firms and family offices, and overall, their entrance will equally set a more professional tone for the industry. Although 10 years on, the crypto industry is still in its nascency and these investors will continue to play a pivotal role. In light of new investment models such as crypto Exchange-Traded Funds, along with the adoption of long-standing investment practices from traditional financial fields, this will ultimately accelerate the rapidly moving industry towards a more mature state.
LR: Do you expect a crypto bull run this year?
Roger: 2019 already seems to be a promising year for blockchain technology. With projects increasingly moving away from a “blockchain-for-everything” approach to implementation, we are beginning to see a more sophisticated industry emerge — one that has tremendous potential, both jointly and autonomously, for cryptocurrency and its underlying technology.
As stronger projects with experienced leadership teams, technical excellence, and compelling use cases continue to emerge, I believe that 2019 will be a year of tremendous growth for the market and the industry as a whole.