Industry Experts Discuss Future of Bitcoin and Blockchain

With bitcoin soaring in recent weeks the term and others associated with the cryptocurrency are becoming more common in everyday conversations.

As the world becomes more digital, the viability for a digital currency becomes slightly more realistic. Experts believe the price of bitcoin may hit $20,000 before the end of 2017. Bitcoin has no centralized authority controlling it and is all made possible by the blockchain, which is a public ledger that tracks the movement of bitcoin. As with anything, there are two sides to every argument and bitcoin has its share of opponents and proponents.

However this increasing growth of the cryptocurrency’s value is living up to the expectations and predictions of panelists at a recent NY Alternative Investment Roundtable event. Among the bitcoin enthusiasts and industry leaders who participated as panelists were Kirill Gourov, portfolio manager and head of research at Full Node Capital, Larry Lanzilli, CEO of Transact Block, Reggie Middleton, founder and CEO of Veritasium and the creator of UltraCoin, and Sebastian Vanderzeil,  director and global thematic analyst, Cornerstone Capital Group.

During the hour-and-a-half long discussion, followed by a Q&A with the crowd, the panelists covered everything from answering the questions of “what is bitcoin and blockchain?”, to the security and volatility of bitcoin, as well as the future of the industry (which is yet to be determined).

Naturally, all four panelists are optimistic about the future of bitcoin and blockchain and see it as a “paradigm shift” in the way business is conducted.The panelists agreed that one of the biggest proponents of bitcoin and the blockchain is the near impossibility to hack it.

“Theoretically, you would have to have hack one million computers, wherever they are in the world, at the same nano-second, to truly disrupt the blockchain,” said Lanzilli.

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Copyright: pogorelovaolga / 123RF Stock Photo

However, many are still speculative of the cryptocurrency and see the recent rises in price to be no more than a bubble. Veritasium CEO Reggie Middleton (and the other panelists) disagreed.

“It doesn’t matter how volatile it is, if you don’t measure the reward that you get from volatility,” Middleton stated.

There are currently 120 hedge funds devoted to entirely focusing on bitcoin and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). However, not all members of The New York Alternative Investment Roundtable are as optimistic. In a recent survey of its members, the organization found that “11% of respondents currently have 25% or less of their portfolio in cryptocurrency, while 89% have yet to invest in cryptocurrency” as many believe it to be highly speculative. On the other hand, 87% of respondents do believe that “blockchain tech solutions will benefit the buyside and sell side.”

While it still may be too early to determine the future of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, it’s no question that it’s all still a work in progress. Guorov follows this by adding that “risk and analytics tools are just starting to get built today,” saying it’s a process that is being built “from the bottom up.”