Legendary Venture Capitalist: “We’re Close to a Crypto Nuclear Winter”
It’s no secret that 2018 has proven to be a rough year for the cryptocurrency markets, which have seen their market capitalization plummet from highs of over $800 million in January of 2018 to recently established yearly lows of under $120 billion.
The poor market performance, which can be attributed to little more than a boom-and-bust market cycle, has left many investors wondering when the markets will recover, and looking towards upcoming platforms and products being offered by major players in the world of finance, including an institutional investment platform from Fidelity, and a Bitcoin product from the ICE-backed company, Bakkt.
Despite there being positive developments occuring, one legendary investor warns that the cryptocurrency markets may be entering into a “nuclear winter,” while also noting that the technology is exciting and that it does have an exciting future.
The comments were made by Jim Breyer, a billionaire investor who has board seats in notable companies, including Dell, Blackstone, and Walmart, during Fortune’s 2018 Global Tech Forum in Guangzhou, China.
During the final keynote session of the event, Breyer, who is vocal about his bullishness on blockchain technology, said that he continues to be “very interested” in cryptocurrency and DLT-based companies, but further added that “we are close to a nuclear winter right now with cryptocurrency.”
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is currently nearing its recently established 2018 lows of $3,600 and is currently trading down 80% from its late-2017 highs of nearly $20,000. Bitcoin’s poor market performance has led the altcoins markets into a downwards spiral that has sent many of their prices into territories not seen since early-to-mid 2017.
Related Reading: Mike Novogratz Expects Crypto Market Turnaround, Adoption in 2019
Not the First Cryptocurrency Winter
Breyer importantly added that the current crypto slump isn’t unprecedented, and these type of cyclical pricing patterns are seen in most emerging tech markets, including the artificial intelligence (AI) industry and the internet, which saw a major bubble form and burst in the late 90s and early-2000s
Breyer made a huge portion of his wealth by investing in nascent markets, as he placed a massive, and risky, bet on Facebook in 2005 when the company was in its infancy. Ultimately, this bet was worth billions of dollars and allowed Breyer to form his own investment firm, aptly named Breyer Capital, in 2013.
While speaking about the predictability of boom and bust cycles in nascent industries, Breyer noted that “these cycles keep happening every decade or so,” and further added that this type of seasonality is “inevitable.”
Furthermore, he also said that blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies, is being investigated and implemented by some of the biggest names in technology, with some of the best and brightest computer science minds devoting their knowledge and skill to advancing the technology.
“So many of the very best computer scientists and deep learning PhD students and post-docs are working on blockchain because they have so much fundamental interest in what blockchain can mean… You don’t want to bet against the best and brightest in the world.”
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