Olaf Carlson-Wee is renowned for being Coinbase’s very first employee, among other accolades. And he’s set to catch even more attention now after boldly claiming Ethereum will pass bitcoin’s market cap in 2018.
David vs. Goliath: Olaf Carlson-Wee Thinks ETH Has a Chance
In being Coinbase’s first employee — taking his salary there entirely in cryptocurrency for three-and-a-half years — Carlson-Wee’s had his finger on the pulse of the crypto ecosystem for longer and more intimately than most of us.
Now, in running Polychain Capital — the space’s most dominant digital assets hedge fund to date — Carlson-Wee is fostering a unique macro perspective in recent months.
Why unique? Because Carlson-Wee’s personal vantage point has made him perhaps the first person to go so far as to project Ethereum overtaking Bitcoin’s position as the number one cryptocurrency by market cap in 2018.
Bold, to be sure. But Carlson-Wee has his reasons, as expressed in a new December 1st interview with Bloomberg:
“Last time I was on here I said Ethereum would pass bitcoin by the end of 2018. I would actually hold to that right now … I would. It’s because of the more advanced capabilities of the protocol, so the types of things we’re seeing built on Ethereum are almost a bit sci-fi.
“It’s beyond anything that you would reasonably think was possible. So, to me, a lot of what I’m interested in are the applications that will be natively enabled by this technology. Not an improvement in payment speed or an improvement in store of wealth, where there are many other services that offer those things. But like the internet, the most breakthrough things built on the internet were not possible in an analog world.
“[With] Facebook, say, there was not an offline version of Facebook. So what I’m looking for and what I’m excited about are those uses cases that are natively enabled by [Ethereum’s] technology.”
Carlson-Wee references his earlier remarks from Bloomberg in May 2017, wherein he first echoed his bold claim:
“What we’ve seen in Ethereum is a much richer, organic developer ecosystem develop very, very quickly, which is what has driven Ethereum’s price growth, which has actually been much more aggressive than Bitcoin.”
Below, the 8:00 minute mark is where Carlson-Wee makes his latest comments specifically.
Could ETH Really Beat BTC in 2018?
Even among the most dogmatic Ethereum ethusiasts, the most common projections for the so-called “flippening” are usually demarcated in decades — say 10 or 20 years — not mere months.
So, while Carlson-Wee is as knowledgeable in crypto-economics as anyone, his projection is unquestionably the most vanguard, aggressive prediction for ETH’s impending market performance.
Could the flippening be possible over the next 12 months? Sure. If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that the next five years will likely be wilder for the crypto space than anyone can possibly fathom yet.
There’s no question that it seems insane to bet against bitcoin right now after it’s powered through an astonishing, unprecedented series of price rallies in 2017.
That’s why if Carlson-Wee’s right, we’d presumably be in store for the most titanic shift the entire ecosystem has seen to date.
99 Percent Will Fail
When Bloomberg anchor Emily Chang asked Carlson-Wee to approximate how many cryptocurrency projects would end up dying off, the hedge fund innovator wasn’t charitable:
“I think easily 99 percent will fail. Many of the new tokens and protocols coming out. I think that’s not unique. Any new fast moving startup ecosystem, that’s basically what’s going to happen.”
Well, we can’t all be Bitcoin-killers, right.
Perhaps it’s not Bitcoin and Ethereum that are “bubbles,” then, but the sea of fluff that’s bubbling up around them in the blockchain startup boom.
Images via YouTube, Bloomberg