In his forecast, Stepan Gershuni, Product Manager at BitFury, lists four necessary elements for steady development of the cryptoeconomy in the upcoming year.

Reflecting on the progress of two main blockchain ecosystems in 2016, Gershuni points out that bitcoin has made another step towards mass adoption as a fiat money substitute. The general public is finally acquiring a taste for the cryptocurrency as a convenient tool to store value, hedge savings and transfer funds. This results in the recent price surge.

Ethereum, on the other hand, is still in the research phase. Whereas the platform shows a great potential with its concept of decentralised applications, so far “we haven’t seen any useful and usable dapps for anyone outside the crypto space.” According to the analyst, it may take another 2-3 years to convince the public of its value. It is a long enough time for anything to happen in the volatile crypto world.

Despite the overall excitement about the blockchain technology in 2016, some even labelling it the “year of blockchain”, most of the media fuss was about private blockchain projects. And even there, it was little more than “pilots, memorandums and tons of talking.” As such, private blockchains can hardly inspire people due to their conservative, conventional and “plain old boring” nature. What the public would really appreciate is the revolutionary concept of trustlessness and freedom of censorship – the features of a truly decentralised network.

Yet, Gershuni believes that in the year to come, all present elements of the cryptoeconomy, however contradictory, can work towards the common goal:

• Strong and stable anonymous cryptocurrency with market cap north of $20bn (e.g. Bitcoin)

• Innovative and research-heavy platform for DAOs and dapps (e.g. Ethereum)

• Large community of developers interested and knowledgeable in blockchain and crypto technology (Private blockchain ecosystems and Dapps builders)

• Fundraising and ownership means for the decentralized age (ICO)

Stepan Gershuni is Product Manager at BitFury Group, one of the largest bitcoin miners and private blockchain infrastructure providers. The company develops and distributes software and hardware necessary for businesses, governments, organisations and individuals to securely move their assets to the blockchain.