Crypto Winter? Luno CEO Looks at the Future of Bitcoin and Mobile Payments

January 16, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

We heard quite a few predictions with 2019’s arrival, and with 2018’s departure. For a while there, it seemed like every day, we were hearing something new from somebody. Now, with 2019’s first month looking at its downward slope, a new set of predictions were sent our way from Luno CEO Marcus Swanepole.

Luno, for those not familiar, is a cryptocurrency exchange that focuses on bitcoin and Ethereum, even offering a mobile wallet system for those who want to keep their cryptos safe and ready for use. That puts its CEO in a good position to prognosticate on crypto’s futures, and the biggest thing Swanepole posited was that the dark rumors of a “crypto winter” ahead shouldn’t frighten users. In fact, Swanepole is looking forward to an “exciting year ahead,” the reports noted, featuring a lot of new developments.

One major point is regulation; regulators are increasingly providing clarity on how exchanges and similar crypto firms should work, a move which will likely go a long way toward removing the “wild west” perception of cryptocurrency. It’s not just for money launderers and drug dealers any more, and from institutional operations to everyday people, crypto will move toward becoming as mainstream as cash.

Institutions won’t go whole hog on crypto in 2019, Swanepole notes, likely dashing a few hopes, but there will be some early movement on this front. Smaller fintech operations, however, will likely throw a little more weight behind crypto, which should help maintain and hike values. Plus, “real use cases” will also be on the rise; no more pointing at Overstock.com and not having much of a follow-up involved.

However, Swanepole also suggests that no one “expect miracles.” No “killer apps” will emerge as crypto itself is the killer app.

This last is likely no comfort to those who took out second mortgages on their homes to buy bitcoin back when it was up around $18,000. That particular investment has lost about 5/6 of its value in the interim. So, from the look of it, your odds of finding “the next bitcoin” have fallen to catastrophic levels—a coin going from hundredths of a cent to thousands of dollars now seems about as likely as a dog running to the moon—but there’s still potential here for some recovery. When institutional money gets involved in cryptocurrency, all bets are off as far as market tops go.

So for those who still HODL even in this market, take heart; your resilience may well pay off in a few years.