01 Apr Will Tech Giants Ever Take A Major Gamble On Crypto?
A little while ago, particularly in 2017, the crypto space experienced the level of exposure that temporarily erased the doubts surrounding its viability. Everyone wanted a piece of the action, financial powerhouses kicked off various crypto related projects in order to stay ahead of the pack and governments began to take crypto seriously by introducing regulations.
What we are experiencing today is the total opposite of that bull run. Apparently, crypto investors are no more interested in funding crypto projects since the prices of digital assets have fallen 80% from what they used to sell for. Basically, crypto is no longer attractive and only those who are fascinated by the technology itself are seemingly the only ones left driving the adoption movement.
However, the downtrend of the crypto market is not all that bad: it is merely a correction period which has already started separating viable crypto projects from the unconvincing ones. As a matter of fact, this is the best time for investors to enter the space particularly, the so-called tech giants. It is periods like this that these entities can acquire some of the most promising projects or companies and technically sound crypto development teams for next to nothing.
Nonetheless, the question is not if they have the capacity to take advantage of this period, because we know they do, instead, our concern is: will these enterprises go all out to dominate the crypto space?
What have the tech giants contributed to the crypto space so far?
FAGMA (Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon) are five names that have consistently featured at the top of the technology food chain. They control so many resources and funds that it is almost impossible for startups in this space to say no to them. However, their relationship with crypto and its underlying technology (blockchain), so far, suggest that they are cautious of its viability.
Interestingly enough, they all have one or more project relating to blockchain technology, but none of these projects reflect the level of authority they command when it comes to their expertise in other technologies. Having said that, it is important to note that blockchain and crypto is quite the opposite of what these companies stand for. On one hand, crypto offers users autonomous control while on the other hand, these enterprises built their colossal reputation on the centralized structure that presently governs the internet.
As such, they are more comfortable going all out for technologies, like AI and IoT that would help them maintain their grip on the reins of power. Nonetheless, they are aware of the possibility that blockchain and its accompanying technologies could replace conventional systems. As a result, they have set up various projects that would keep them in tune with the growth of this technology. However, the level of commitment from these companies over the years is nothing compared to the competitive spirit witnessed in the other tech markets, which have improved their growth exponentially.
In a way, this situation is similar to the events at the beginning of the internet age when companies that had one time ruled the technology industry found themselves by the sideline because they failed to fine-tune their businesses to include internet-based initiatives. This historical shift of power stands as the major motivator compelling these companies to set up projects that would keep them in the game. Nevertheless, we are yet to see any of them make a move that would put them ahead of the game.
It is totally unfair to judge the commitment of tech corporations to crypto without mentioning the regulatory debacle that has partially crippled the growth of this market. Regulations remain a murky subject, so also is the lack of global standards. Very few countries have painstakingly gone ahead to introduce comprehensive regulatory frameworks that would govern the activities of crypto-related companies within their territory.
Whereas, countries like the US have a complicated legislative approach to digital assets and this has impeded the growth of the crypto space in this region. We have always noted that the emergence of clear-cut legislation relating to crypto would go a long way to attract institutional investors. The same is true for tech companies. One could argue that regulatory irregularities are the major factor mitigating against the influx of the activities from household tech companies in the crypto space.
Should We Expect More Decisive Moves From The Tech Giants In 2019?
Already, we have seen reports linking Facebook to the crypto space in a major way. Apparently, Bloomberg alleged that Facebook is looking to introduce a stable coin for its WhatsApp users. However, this is still speculative since the company has yet to decline or confirm this allegation. More importantly, Facebook recently acquired a UK-based crypto firm and many believe that this a move to expand its know-how in blockchain technology.
We expect that developments like this would become a norm in 2019 as regulators put to bed the controversy surrounding crypto and the rule of law.