By Dave Hodgson, Director and Co-Founder of NEM Ventures
Reflecting on the first half of this year, we have witnessed significant movements in the blockchain and crypto space, which will undoubtedly cause a ripple effect in the latter part of 2019 and beyond. Overall, these sub-trends have primarily been in relation to increases in regulatory engagement, the institutional adoption of crypto, adoption by ‘traditional’ high tech companies, greater awareness by the mass retail market, proof of real world blockchain applications and increasing maturity in crypto investment proposals.
Over the last 6 months, multiple global regulators have begun engaging more actively with crypto and DLT in general. Although this has not always been met with positive sentiment, the increasing certainty and engagement is positive regardless. Crypto is now firmly on the radar of governments. Examples of this engagement include the FATF’s recommendations on crypto exchanges, the UK’s FCA approving its first hedge fund, various bodies publicly engaging with Facebook’s Libra project,the Japanese FSA beginning to issue licences this summer and Germany’s regulator approving its first digital Bond.
It’s important to note that there have been negative regulatory movements, such as the SEC threatening (and eventually closing) several crypto projects who were effectively operating in a regulatory void, through limited fault of their own. Regardless of the outcome of such cases, the fact that they are happening offline means regulators are being forced to ask themselves hard questions about their stance on various subjects, which is a positive step for the industry as a whole. It’s also important to consider that despite the negative commentary, it has had limited impact on prices.