Some blockchain business booming despite crypto winter

Katie McDonaldJanuary 17, 2019
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The crypto winter that’s seen major digital assets crash by as much as 90 percent hasn’t been bad for all of the firms building infrastructure or investors looking to pick up equity in projects that dropped appreciably.

“This is the most productive phase we’ve ever been in,” said Konstantin Richter, chief executive officer of Blockdaemon, a firm that creates and hosts the computer nodes that make up blockchain networks.

That’s because various efforts in the space need to deliver on their ambitions and are turning to firms like Blockdaemon for help.

“Projects now need to show their colours. The time is up of raising a lot of money and talking a lot of talk,” Richter said at a panel discussion hosted at the Los Angeles bureau of Bloomberg News.

After seeing cryptocurrency prices soar to records in late 2017 and early 2018 — Bitcoin peaked near $20,000 and Ether traded over $1,300 — the market had a disastrous time last year. Bitcoin is down about 80 percent with Ether having dropped about 90 percent. Investors and the public appear to have major concerns about what blockchain technology can actually deliver in the real world after hearing promises of its transformational potential.

“The skepticism is warranted in many ways because this technology is nascent and untested at an industrial scale,” said Adam Jiwan, CEO of Spring Labs, which is using blockchain technology to build a decentralized credit-reporting system. He said the shakeout has been good for picking up employees who have seen their funding dry up or been cut loose from development firms. “Our hope is this presents us with a great opportunity to recruit talent,” he said during the discussion.

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