Ripple Executives Predict What’s Coming for Crypto in 2021

Members of Ripple’s senior management team are unveiling a set of crypto predictions for the year ahead.

In a new blog post, the executives offer their forecast on what’s next for crypto regulation, decentralized finance (DeFi), central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and how issues of scalability and sustainability will play out in the space.

Ripple’s general counsel, Stu Alderoty, believes the growth of crypto in the US hinges on friendly crypto regulation as the sector continues to mature.

Alderoty predicts that President Joe Biden’s administration will prioritize crypto regulation, hoping that “intelligent, well thought-out regulations” can help “unleash innovation and further mainstream adoption” of cryptocurrencies in the US.

Alderoty does not directly address the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s allegations that Ripple illegally sold XRP as an unregistered security, though he recently said the company will soon issue a formal response.

As for the fate of CBDCs, Ripple’s vice president of central bank engagements James Wallis believes the trend of digital currencies being pegged to fiat currencies will continue to evolve.

“Over the course of 2021, I expect to see greater evolution of cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and CBDCs with each firm establishing their place in finance and payments through more defined use cases.”

In the DeFi space, Ripple’s head of DeFi, Michael Zochowski, anticipates that the “truly useful” projects will grow their userbase as early projects consolidate, get acquired or shut down. Zochowski further predicts that Ethereum’s market share in the DeFi space will fall this year.

“I believe at least 25% of the value deployed in DeFi by the end of 2021 will be on networks other than Ethereum.”

Asheesh Birla, the general manager of Ripple’s institutional payment-providers network RippleNet, predicts that the status quo that traditional financial institutions enjoy will continue to face a growing threat from financial technology and cryptocurrency firms.

“The tide is turning. It’s possible that we could even see a fintech or cryptocurrency company acquire a traditional financial institution this coming year.”

Concerning scalability and sustainability, Ripple’s chief technology officer David Schwartz foresees a move away from the Proof-of-Work technologies.

“The fact of the matter is that PoW systems consume a lot of resources and energy. They also feature an inevitable bend towards centralization over time as the miners with the cheapest power become key stakeholders. 2021 will see technical innovations continue to improve blockchains…”

In looking ahead at the potential impact of crypto on society, the general manager of Ripple’s developer platform RippleX, Monica Long, envisages that 2021 will be the year the initial goal of crypto will be realized.

“In 2021 we’ll see crypto make good on its original promise to remake finance as more accessible and equitable for the world’s underserved.” 

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