(This article is the second part of a two-part interview. To read the first part, click here)
“We’re in the midst of an industrial revolution. We are redefining money as we know it, and there’s no way back.” The man who made this bold statement is none other than eToro’s CEO and co-founder, Yoni Assia. The Israeli based entrepreneur has a very elaborate and comprehensive vision for the future of the cryptocurrency industry and the world, and he is keen to share it.
We sat down with him for an exclusive interview, hoping to summarize cryptocurrency’s wildest year so far and to discuss what 2018 will bring for this ever-changing industry.
$100K by 2028
Assia looks back at last year’s crypto-hype and offers his remarks: “It’s amazing. There are more people who bought BTC than any of the large stocks combined. In December, people gained hundreds of millions of dollars in a matter of days.”
In his point of view, the key influence on the market are early adopters. “The price is the equilibrium point of fear vs. greed. Most downfalls are due to big hodlers selling part of their assets. The FUD pushes them to sell, but they are still invested in crypto and hence still in the game. They are also the first to buy when the market turns bullish.”
He also dares to predict what the future holds for the market: “The number of true believers keeps on growing and once you’re converted – you will probably not go back. I believe there will be another positive cycle this year. We are now at the calm before the storm. There’s a lot of liquid money that sits and waits for opportunities. Once the market will start climbing, no one will want to stay out.”
In the long run, he believes that BTC will survive and grow even bigger, despite regulatory difficulties and FUD: “In ten years, Bitcoin will still be here. I believe it will cost $100,000.”
A Perfect Storm of ICOs
The introduction of ICOs as a fundraising tool is very good news, according to Assia: “It’s crowdfunding on steroids. IPOs have been here for some 150 years and this is the next step. You’re basically selling the future profit of the company from point zero and allowing them to cash in later. We are only now beginning to see the potential of this tool, when the companies start to release their products.”
Assia adds that the dramatic nature of this mechanism cannot be exaggerated. “We’re in [the] midst of a perfect storm of extremely talented, intelligent and creative people who share a similar vision about the future. The difference is that now there is a crowdfunding channel that provides them the means to further these ideas.”
Having said that, he also acknowledges that this new method of raising funds has also become a tool for wrongdoing. “Some ICOs were pure frauds, no doubt about it. But it still shouldn’t affect the entire industry.”
A Matter of Civil Rights
Much has been said and written about the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto and the people or institutions behind the invention of cryptocurrency.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s some government, or more specifically the NSA. Government agencies know to a large extent who hold [sic] BTC and how much. This money is traceable, hence there’s an interest,” remarked Assia. “Bitcoin Core’s founding fathers are a group of people who are very interconnected and probably someone was behind it. And no wonder Kleiman and Wright’s company was called W&K Info Defense Research,” he noted.
This claim was recently debunked by non-other than John Mcafee. The former anti-virus developer and current ultra-colorful crypto entrepreneur said in an interview to Bad Crypto Podcast that Nakamoto is probably a real person, not an entity. But, then again – nobody probably knows for sure.
Regardless of the question of the US National Security Agency (NSA)’s intervention in Bitcoin’s creation, it seems that the almighty intelligence body is very interested in cryptocurrency. A recently published document based on the information provided by Edward J. Snowden, showed that the agency targeted bitcoin users through a secret surveillance program.
Assia also addressed rumors and speculation about the possibility of governments outlawing cryptocurrency. He said: “This is a question of civil rights. Central banks are a new thing. There was a time when there was true private money. Once this right becomes a technological feature, the genie is out of the bottle.”
And what about the future? Assia believes that after the blockchain revolution and the AI revolution, the next big thing will be an intersection between the two. In Germany, there are giant companies that are non-profits, so-called decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO). Assia thinks that DAOs that are interconnected with AIs will be the next big thing to impact our day-to-day lives.
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