Why the Dive in the Cryptocurrency Marketplace Is Good: ‘Gets Rid of a Lot of The Fat’

The Grill 2018: “This is going to allow the next wave of this revolution to actually start to become institutionalized,” says BANKEX’s Syed Hussain

When 2018 began, the Bitcoin bubble had yet to burst. The cryptocurrency leader’s value was riding high in December, peaking at almost $19,000 before that market took a swift downturn.

But for those knee-deep in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, that downturn may have been a much-needed market correction.

“I’m thrilled that market has taken a little bit of a dive, because it gets rid of a lot of the fat,” Lauren Selig, a film producer and co-founder of Shake and Bake Productions, said during a panel on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology on Monday.

The panel, which focused in part on blockchain technology in the entertainment industry, took place at TheWrap’s TheGrill conference at SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills.

“I guarantee you most of the people that were trying to set up wallets or invest in tokens or ICOs or bitcoin in general had no idea what they were investing,” she added. “They were just winging it.”

ICOs, or “Initial Coin Offerings” are the cryptocurrency marketplace’s version of an IPO, or initial public offering.

Syed Hussain, chief commercial officer at the blockchain platform BANKEX, noted how different the cryptocurrency market was a year ago. “Almost everyone that wanted to get into this habit, had access to get into it, and now they’re sitting back and crying over everything they lost out on it,” he said.

Hussain agreed with Selig that the downturn in the market could end up being good in the long-term, because it may allow the entire industry to mature.

Hussain said movies may eventually be funded using cryptocurrency, which could be an advantage — because blockchain is easier to track than traditional investments.

“Once you put something onto a blockchain, it’s there forever,” he said.

Evan Vandenberg, senior manager at OPSkins, said in the gaming realm, crypto actually grew as it fell elsewhere. The first game in the market — Cryptokitties — launched in December, right before the bitcoin bubble began to burst.

“Twenty million dollars of cryptokitties were purchased. For us, simultaneous to this fall, we were seeing this huge spike in blockchain gaming,” he said. “I would say it’s still alive and well and growing and fast in our industry.”

The cryptocurrency market looks much different to those who are actually creating the technology, said Jonathan Manzi, CEO and co-founder of Beyond Protocol. The company wants to develop a new internet based on inter-device communication — which is also the idea behind blockchain technology.

“They’re completely agnostic to the market conditions. A lot of them aren’t even participating,” Manzi said. “For them right now, its kind of trivial [to be] participating in something where the innovation hasn’t picked up yet.”

But he said technologists are incredibly bullish on blockchain technology. “It’s the stuff of an industrial revolution,” he said.