I had a remarkably good year as an industry analyst – a term I prefer to “expert.” Almost no one in crypto is an expert, to be fair. So many things change every month.
Last October, after the end of a rather enjoyable and intense journey with ConsenSys, where I spent most of my time talking Ethereum to financial institutions, it was painfully obvious to me the future of blockchain technology wasn’t in private permissioned ledgers. On the positive side, it was also very clear the institutional fear and resistance to public permissionless networks and crypto was starting to fall apart. So I took a sharp left turn from so-called enterprise blockchain into crypto and ended up doing some very useful work on contract with crypto startups like CDG, and then Binance and Paxful – two of the world’s largest crypto firms.
This post is part of CoinDesk’s 2020 Year in Review – a collection of op-eds, essays and interviews about the year in crypto and beyond. Ajit Tripathi, a CoinDesk columnist, is the crypto co-host of the Breaking Banks Europe podcast. Previously, he served as a fintech partner at ConsenSys and was a co-founder of PwC’s U.K. Blockchain Practice.
It was a good call. Being at the intersection of “tradfi” and crypto and having worked deeply in both spaces has given me a rare perspective on the dialectic between the twin forces of cypherpunk revolution and Wall Street’s resistance. I will tell this story of megatrends with links to my articles that have proven particularly prescient this year and will likely stand the test of 2021 as well.
Long open internet, short consortium
Just before bitcoin and ethereum started a very sharp rise, I wrote an article challenging Chris Skinner, a close friend who is one of the world’s foremost fintech experts. I argued that even though crypto was still fringe, this fringe was now big enough to start a snowball. Chris and I eventually agreed this blockchain wasn’t the same “private DLT” that consultants (like me once) were pushing on banks and enterprise clients but a compelling technology and actual source of technological innovation in the internet. [FYI, if Chris calls something in fintech, that thing usually happens.]
Long India, short crypto ban
After ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin’s famous “one million devs” talk at last year’s Ethereum developer conference, I had tweet–asked how Ethereum would get to one million devs without India, which is one of the world’s largest pools of developers in any area of technology.
It turns out when all of us in the West were all worrying about India’s crypto ban, developers and entrepreneurs in India were building some really cool pieces of crypto technology exemplified by projects like Matic Network, Marlin Protocol, Instadapp and Razor Network (Disclosure: I have a small investment in Razor and Marlin and I hold a small amount of Matic). Meanwhile some of the best investors in the space including Arjun Balaji of…
Read more:Ajit Tripathi: Why I’m Long Crypto, Short DLT – CoinDesk