Ethereum Co-Founder Puts to Rest Speculation of Crypto Armageddon

Blockchain pioneer Joseph Lubin, who is at the helm of blockchain startup ConsenSys, isn’t swayed by this year’s downturn in the crypto market. In fact, Lubin has been a voice of calm in the crypto space all year, emphasizing the development side of the equation while cryptocurrencies have been in the doldrums, not the least of which has been the currency of the project he co-founded, Ethereum (ETH). He told CNBC:

“Digital currencies are not on the edge of a collapse. We’ve seen lots of boom and busts in our ecosystem over the last nearly 10 years and our ecosystem has never been stronger.”

Lubins’ barometer for success in the crypto industry is the number of projects and people that have been drawn into this space, including entrepreneurs and developers. “It’s orders of magnitude bigger than it was and the foundational infrastructure is getting built out,” he noted.

That foundational infrastructure is exactly what is going to deliver the kind of scalability that networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum need to go from what an Andreessen Horowitz General Partner recently described as “dial-up” days to mainstream adoption. Meanwhile, Lubin recently pointed out that the amount of activity on the Ethereum blockchain today outpaces where it was a year ago when the market was approaching its peak.

Industry Regulation

While U.S. regulators have been dragging their feet to develop  a framework for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, they’ve been more keen to embrace the blockchain and according to Lubin “regulators are getting a very good understanding of the value of the technology.” When pressed, Lubin said he expects “lots of self-regulatory activity” in the crypto space” but he is quick to distinguish ether more as a crypto commodity or as a crypto fuel for the Ethereum network than a cryptocurrency, though it has some features of the latter.

Incidentally, while the broader cryptocurrency market is currently trading flat, one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies of late is Basic Attention Token (BAT), which is an Ethereum-based coin that is up approximately 50% in the last week amid speculation it will be Coinbase’s next listing.

And then there’s regulated crypto exchange Bakkt, whose parent company is the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Bakkt announced today that it will launch its bitcoin futures contract on Dec. 12, which is slightly behind the original plan for a November launch. In a nod to foundational infrastructure, it’s been about a year since the CME and CBOE launched the industry’s first bitcoin futures products.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Gerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.