Paraskevidekatriaphobia, or, as is our preference, friggatriskaidekaphobia (former Greek, latter Nordic), are breathless names given to the fear of Friday the 13th.
Upon writing, today is, as you probably know, Friday the 13th. In the Western world, the popular thought is that today is an extremely unlucky day.
But it wasn’t always seen in such black-and-white terms.
In the occult, 13 is connected to the Frigga (or Freya), goddess of Venus, the planet of both love and Hell. Which is part of the reason why, traditionally, 13 was seen as both an extremely lucky and a disastrously unlucky number.
Lucky or not, goes the belief, it’s going to be explosive. In its hold, one will either have a dramatic, thunderous, Black Swan-ish stroke of luck… or one will suffer a histrionic failure and burst into a spectacular array of flames and molten lava.
Which is, if we’re being honest, how we view bitcoin. The middle of the road, it seems, is very narrow and unwalkable for the digital doubloon.
Either it will break bread upon the mountaintop with Felicitas, the Greek goddess of Success, or it will climb the great skyscraper with her in grasp, only to get gunned down… like King Kong.
We tend to lean toward the former, hoping, perhaps irrationally, along with everyone else on Earth, we are the ones on the right side of history.
If you tuned in yesterday, you know we’re in Pedra Branca, Brazil, attending Exosphere Academy.
A good chunk of our time here at Exosphere will be spent learning about blockchain technology and how to use it effectively. (More on that to come.)
Fortunately for us, then, we’re far from the only ones who believe in bitcoin and the blockchain’s ability to disturb the Universe.
Today, as a special Friday the 13th episode, we present to you 13 expert predictions for bitcoin and the blockchain in 2017, courtesy of Bitcoin Magazine.
What’s in store, you ask? To name a few of the predictions: More all-time highs. Privacy enhancement. Decentralization of law and security. Government pushback. And much more.
Time will tell.
And we will see if, as the Chinese are apt to believe, living in interesting times is more often a curse.
As the year kicks off with an all-time high market cap for Bitcoin on its eighth birthday, 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Bitcoin, digital currency and blockchain technology in general.
In this first week of the new year, Bitcoin Magazine reached out to a variety of thought leaders and stakeholders in the industry, to offer a look ahead.
“2017 is likely to be the best year yet for Bitcoin. We are already seeing all-time new highs in terms of market cap. All-time new highs in terms of price per bitcoin are likely just around the corner as well. Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come, and clearly the separation of money and state is happening right before our eyes. And with the former CEO of Barclays bank being appointed to the board of Blockchain.info, I think 2017 will be the year we see traditional banks becoming deeply involved in Bitcoin, too.”
“2017 will continue to see further modularization and layering of network architectures. We will also see tremendous breakthroughs in privacy-enhancing crypto, practical demonstrations of trustless — or minimal trust — off-chain protocols with the promise of economically viable instant microtransactions, and general improvements to bootstrapping mechanisms for extending blockchain networks with less social friction.”
“I think one of the most remarkable things about the space to date is how receptive regulators have been to learning about use cases for both private and public blockchains. With respect to public blockchains, I think we will see regulators continue their ‘wait and see’ approach, putting emphasis on financial control at the exchanges but keeping a light touch on the technology itself.”
“If the demonetization as we’ve seen in countries like India and Venezuela continues, I expect to see a blossoming of Bitcoin interest. Another trend I see emerging is Bitcoin security. Many users are realizing that their bitcoins are not safe in exchanges and are switching to wallets that have beefier security or using cold storage.”
“I believe we’ll see a renewed focus on the Bitcoin blockchain. We’ll see a few new applications of the Bitcoin blockchain that do surprisingly simple, yet very powerful, things. People will begin to see Bitcoin in an entirely new light.”
“I predict that 2017 will see bitcoin become recognized as a legitimate ‘uncorrelated asset’ for a large number of money managers and financial advisors. Holding a diversified portfolio of assets is of course what any prudent financial advisor will recommend. This however doesn’t do you much good if those assets’ value all move in the same direction at the same time. In order to achieve diversification, you need to hold some assets that increase in value when the others go down. Bitcoin is a perfect example of an asset that has shown to increase in value in times of fear and economic turmoil, and one that I think many money managers will begin to see as a prudent addition to their portfolios.”
“I’m predicting new well-led projects emerging that provide improvements and enhancements on Bitcoin and Ethereum infrastructures. Two projects I have my eye on in 2017 are Rootstock out of Argentina and Qtum out of China. I’m also quite optimistic about Zcash, Monero, and Dash.”
“I expect three things. One, regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges will come. Two, the war on cash, gold and cryptocurrencies will accelerate. And three, privacy-protecting technologies like Monero and Zcash will elevate in importance.”
“I find smart contracts applied in the dispute-resolution realm most exciting, because it holds the promise to decentralize some of the most important parts of society: Governance, Law and Security. In an era when only 3% of Americans feel that they can always trust their elected officials, according to a Pew Research Centre report, this development is timely. Several initiatives are already emerging, including DAMN, Decentralized Court, Crowdjury and, of course, BitNation’s Pangea platform.”
“I believe that VCs will discover the value of cryptocurrencies or so-called ‘App Coins,’ and will begin to massively invest in this area of the industry. Secondly, projects like Lisk and Ethereum will be ready to let developers dive into blockchain development, which will become a ‘trend’ just as iOS development became a trend and a vast industry. Lastly, user experience will become a much more important focus point for blockchain projects. Their respective leaders will realize that creating elegant user experience is a necessity to gather mainstream adoption.”
“Bitcoin’s network effects will get further entrenched during 2017. One trend I think we’ll see will be in scalability via Segregated Witness, which will lay the foundation for millions of daily users. Also, many current and new use cases and financialization will appear with ETFs, which I believe will pave the way for massive amounts of investment capital to come into the industry.”
“I think the biggest trend in 2017 will be the first wave of decentralized applications going live on Ethereum. Bitcoin allows us to send money around trustlessly, but Ethereum allows us to do things with the money trustlessly, like controlling when and when it cannot be sent programmatically, to a finer degree than Bitcoin’s script allows for. This is a big deal because it means we’ll finally start seeing some fun and practical consumer-focused applications of Blockchain tech. Think decentralized prediction markets, decentralized poker and more.”
“One, a major central bank will live test a digital fiat currency and it will work very well, leading to broader adoption. Additionally, large banks will begin shifting large amounts of OTC [over-the-counter] transactions to real-time settlement on private distributed ledgers. Look for JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Santander to lead the charge. And companies large and small and in every industry will begin developing a blockchain strategy, hiring key IT talent and launching pilots. I’m talking insurers, healthcare providers, music labels, defense contractors, you name it. And finally, bitcoin will hit $2000!”
[Ed. note: This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine’s website at this link.]