Under the pseudonym CryptoRobby, Robert "Robby" Schwertner analyses current topics on blockchain, NFTs and Metaverse on the well-known blog www.cryptorobby.com and on LinkedIn. We had the opportunity for an in-depth interview:
Krypto-Monitor: What the heck is going on in the crypto exchanges right now? Do you have an interpretation?
CryptoRobby: The crash was predictable, it was clear that after a run phase now a correction has to come. Anyone who says that last year was great and this year is falling into depression is misjudging the situation. The crypto market is young, volatile and always good for surprises. A look at the bitcoin price shows: last year, too, the bitcoin purchase price fell from USD 50,000 to USD 25,000. That means: big swings are to be expected. It is clear that with this drop in the price of Bitcoin & Co and the total crash of Terra/LUNA, nerves are on edge. And yes, we are in the middle of a crypto winter, with no end in sight at the moment. On the contrary: it will continue to be bumpy, with one or two difficult years ahead for cryptocurrencies.
Krypto-Monitor: Why this pessimistic forecast?
CryptoRobby: Firstly, last week's interest rate hike by the US Fed heralds a turning point. Now inflation is being actively fought by the world's most important central bank. Critics claim Bitcoin offers no hedge against inflation. Exactly the opposite is noticeable. If inflation is being tackled - i.e. if states take measures - this puts pressure on the Bitcoin price. Incidentally, the "safe haven" gold also went down in a big way!
CryptoRobby: Secondly, in 2021, many tech-savvy people newly entered crypto markets using crypto exchanges that offer cryptocurrencies in addition to tech stocks. Tech stocks in particular came under heavy pressure because of Covid and the Ukraine war. The crash of tech stocks dragged cryptocurrencies with it. And the turmoil in equity markets remains.
Third, there is a big cycle in Bitcoin that affects all cryptocurrencies: Every four years there is a "halving", the halving of the miners' payment, and with it Bitcoin gets new momentum, but the next halving is not until 2024, which is why a bullish market would be downright illogical right now.
Krypto-Monitor: Your tip for crypto fans in the crypto winter?
In such phases I try to keep a calm head: there is great news from the crypto sector that is hardly reflected in prices at the moment: Spotify is interested in crypto, Instagram plans to integrate Ethereum, Solana, Polygon and Flow NFTs. The vision of a Web3 and the metaverse offers opportunities for new business models, brands like Nike, Adidas but also NGOs are already using the possibilities of blockchain and NFTs. When market participants are full of fear, positive news goes down, a sign of a young volatile market: either totally overheated and pumped up by influencers, or - as now - oversold, despite excellent long-term prospects and good news. By the way, crypto whales and big investors are buying very selectively right now, coin picking can pay off. You have to ask yourself which projects will remain. For example, I am currently looking closely at smart-contract blockchains, because they are helping to build Web3, which will be implemented in 3-5 years.
Krypto-Monitor: What is your medium-term perspective for the crypto market - in relation to "classic" cryptocurrencies?
CryptoRobby: In the medium term, i.e. in 2-5 years, I see strong recovery in Bitcoin and Ethereum. And protocols with their own ecosystems such as Polkadot, Solana, possibly also Cardano and many other projects with real technical innovations have a good chance of making a comeback. For thematic protocols that focus on data storage, for example, or on energy or mobility, things will be tight. This is because ecosystem protocols, which provide the technological basis for many different, sometimes competing thematic projects, can also do this.
CryptoRobby: Crypto Monitor: You do advise a number of start-ups. Where do you see the most exciting dynamics at the moment?
Robby Schwertner: I advise start-ups in the crypto sector, where the focus is on the extent to which tokens really make sense for the business model. However, I advise many more start-ups that do not use blockchains. And here we deal with the question: Are there competitors who offer similar products but also already use blockchain, or at least have developed proof of concepts for it? By the way, I recommend this to all companies: look at where other companies in the same industry are already working on blockchain solutions. Often these are small news reports. Then you should pay attention, because it is possible that we will live in a more "tokenised" world in the future and then the companies that have already built systems for tokenisation, that may have failed with their first models at the beginning, but that have learned from it and developed further, will have an advantage.
For example, I find it crass that traditional companies and start-ups alike overlook the fact that DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations, note) can be new market participants and act as competitors. An example: I support a start-up in the field of novel hair growth technology. And of course we look closely at what is happening on blockchain and see that HairDAO is also involved in this, we keep an eye on that and learn from it!
Krypto-Monitor: Why is Austria so active in the crypto sector?
CryptoRobby: Phew, I don't know, not because we're particularly eloquent and innovative, maybe it's easier in this country to convince politicians that good legal framework conditions are needed for startups, that Vienna - where by far the most crypto startups are located - is a liveable city. And yes, the fact is that Austria has about 200 companies and organisations that deal with blockchain, cryptos and NFTs. We have compiled this in the Austrian Blockchain Landscape.
We also researched Germany, where there are only about 500 companies that are blockchain-savvy. In terms of the size of the country, Austria, which is 10 times smaller than Germany in terms of GDP and population, is well ahead. However, Switzerland with its Crypto Valley Zug is certainly top in the world and particularly attractive for crypto start-ups.
Krypto-Monitor: How close or how far are you from a "market-ready" Metaverse?
CryptoRobby: We are far away from a Metaverse that is really cool, a virtual world where you really want to work and maybe even spend a holiday. The No. 1 Metaverse blockchain project at the moment is Decentraland, which still needs a lot of memory, laptops run hot as soon as you move around in it, and the graphics quality reminds of 2010, even SecondLive from 2000 was better. There's a lot of catching up to do on the hardware side, introduction of 6G and fast wifi, lots of new jobs and also lots of new ideas about what to do in the metaverse. At the moment, only events are well attended in Decentraland and virtual casinos where poker is played, there is room for improvement.
Krypto-Monitor: Are NFTs here to stay?
CryptoRobby: Oh yes, NFTs for art objects are only the beginning. Because the opportunity with NFTs is, for example, to bring supply chains onto blockchain, to provide more sustainable materials with certification of origin, which then remain traceable to the end product and also to the waste and recycling plant. Or NFTs for Proof Of Attendance (PoA) for courses, training, universities, which will then be stored in CVs that will no longer be Word Docs, but in student wallets where the PoAs are stored and can be shown to employers.
Krypto-Monitor: Your most optimistic crypto vision for the future?
CryptoRobby : I am very optimistic: Blockchain technology offers many opportunities to make the world a bit better. The important thing is to make sure that the innovations create added value for people, for society, a #ReturnOnSociety, that's what I call it, it's an initiative I started with which we support projects that actually enable social innovations. Whether it's easier access to a bank account, or easier tax returns, cheaper transfer payments, better opportunities for participation, new systems for elections and so on.
Crypto Monitor: Thank you, Robby!
Thank you Sascha!
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We need more #ReturnOnSociety 🦋