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Executive summary

We have expressed the conclusions step by step, but to write in a few sentences the main points to retain from this study:
Regulations fears have eased but will come back, especially as G20 will work on concrete proposals from July on. Especially, ICOs will obtain frameworks, and KYC issues will continue to focus on requirements from officials.
There is clear technical progress, especially in terms of governance, scalability, with competition in the nature of solutions; next months will be technically very interesting

Individuals may not be keen to pour more cash into cryptos at it shall first stabilize and recover; banks and funds look to be cautious towards cryptos, not taking the relay. Ultimately, the global economic situation as it may evolve on its own will probably be the parameter with the most impact on DLT tokens valuations.

Ultimately, from an investment perspective, the next 12-18 months may be expected to offer limited or disappointing growth in DLT tokens; we may witness ups and downs maybe even more severe than the ones already experienced in 2018 already, with occasional rallies.


Section 1: Blockchain Global Market Updates

In the last months, we witnessed what can be called a crash in DLT tokens prices. Global market cap of the sphere has been divided by 3,4; with typical prices of popular tokens falling as much as one fifth, one sixth or more of what they were worth early January 2018. If this is not a crash, then what would be? Even if three months later, a minimum point would seem to have been reached with a significant rebound during April.

Though, a couple hundred billion USD total size of the sphere is still small in the ocean of financial assets valuations. I like to compare it to the 10 trillion USD order of magnitude reached by internet bubble at its burst (and fiat money printed since would inflate this benchmark). Despite the fundamentally different natures of both phenomenons, the crypto sphere has therefore clearly the potential to climb higher than last January peak, especially if institutional investors start to ‘play’ with it (and we will need to deep dive into that carefully).

Read more in the full section on Global Market Updates.

Section 2: Update on crypto regulatory policies

Arguably the most important event of the last three months happened the second half of March when finance ministers meeting to prepare the G20 summit clearly stated that there was no reason to regulate Bitcoin and other DLT tokens as it did “not represent any threat for the world economic stability.” I have to admit that I have been a bit disappointed in this: clear legal views on cryptos would have paved the way for proper valuation of these assets, that are somehow still exotic and in the middle of nowhere due to this refusal by finance ministers to qualify them more than that.

Indeed, probably the number one concern and source of fear impacting the crypto market in the first months of 2018 has been the uncertainty of state regulations. Of course, knowing what comes first, either downtrend activating all opponents to claim their views or pessimistic information causing prices to curve is difficult. However, we can recognize that both happened at the same time in January, and regulation fears fading out can well have caused the rebound, whether you believe in tracing curves on graphs or not.

Read more in the full section on Update on regulatory policies.

Section 3: Review of blockchain industry players 

Miners get paid in cryptocurrencies and have to pay bills in fiat to their utilities, so they are a population that has a net offer impact on the market. Even if many miners may decide to hold their crypto-assets while paying a sort of investment in fiat out of their patrimony, it still is some money. If you count 50€/MWh, on in magnitude 100 TWh, and if we double the result to take into account the cost of infrastructure depreciation, we reach 10 Billion €. This is not still a few percents of the total market cap over the course of one year.

Read more in the full section on Review of blockchain industry players.

Section 4: Investment and use case by industry

After the craziness of December 2017, the hype has been calmed down during T1 2018. In 2017, the general public came to discover bitcoin and its blockchain technology in broad considerations. This is to say that now almost everybody knows that there are cryptocurrencies, that this thing is new and exciting, it has many potentials to change our lives as a “trust revolution,” and it is alternative money. Further than that, depending on the intellectual background and genuine tech interest of a person, he or she will have dig a bit deeper, but to a large extent, the general public still does not know what is behind and sees it as quite sophisticated technology.

Read more in the full section on Investment and use case by industry.

Section 5: Trend By Crypto-Assets Class

Generally speaking, the tokens that target a purely monetary outreach are the most difficult to project in near or further future. So many contradictory forecasts are published daily by supposedly experts, from value multiplication by 20 to a division by 10 in the course of the year, that it is difficult to judge for real what may be the deep feeling of actors and ultimate usage of the very tokens that aim by definition to replace fiat cash, or live in parallel to it.

Read more in the full section on Trend by crypto-asset class.

Section 6: Latest Advancement In DLT Technology

DLT pain-points topics are being actively researched. On most of the issues, especially on scalability, good progress has already been made in just the last three months. In general, we can be optimistic. However, clearly, we are not there yet. All the fresh cash that has been poured into the sector in 2017 is likely to foster further quick progress, jointly with the development of user-friendly interfaces applications. Real mainstream adoption by the general public could happen only then.

Read more in the full section on Latest advancement in DLT technology.

Section 7: Overview by country

Here is a country-by-country press-overview of what is happening (with special regulatory focus on what official authorities pretend to be doing).

Read more in the full section on Blockchain regulation overview by country.