Speaking At Token2049, Coingecko COO and co-founder Bobby Ong offered his thoughts on crypto’s future and how crypto adoption fared in 2021.
Token2049, a forward-looking crypto conference that attracts the likes of Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, and FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, picked the brain of Bobby Ong, one of the co-founders of crypto data aggregator Coingecko, on Sep. 29, 2022. Having a bird’s-eye view of trading volumes, prices, and exchanges, Ong weighed in on where he sees crypto markets going in the next five to ten years.
“We’ll see millions of tokens, both fungible and non-fungible tokens. Blockchain is eating the world,” Ong said, borrowing a famous mantra, “software is eating the world,” from a16z venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. Long-term, Ong says that crypto will have its Airbnb and Uber moments to catalyze mass adoption, ushering in tens or hundreds of millions of users.
Stated simply, just follow the money. And the money is going to be in decentralized finance and NFTs, considering recent capital investment in the space.
According to Ong, it will be one successful GameFi application that will catalyze mass adoption. GameFi is a niche in the DeFi ecosystem that brings monetization frameworks to blockchain-based games and often incorporates NFT elements.
“Ninety-nine of them will fail. But maybe just one, and all we need is just one. Like the PUBG of crypto, for example, or Fortnite of crypto, everybody plays it.”
Ong founded Coingecko with CEO TM Lee in 2014 to “democratize the access of crypto data and empower users with actionable insights,” according to the company’s website.
Where is the new adoption going to come from?
According to Ong, future crypto adoption will likely come from countries with weak currencies like Turkey, Vietnam, and Venezuela.
“The people work hard for savings, but they have no way to store their wealth safely. And they are looking for a way to kind of have an intertemporal store of value. And they store value either through crypto like Bitcoin or Ethereum, or just pure stable coin like DAI, USDC, USDT instead of holding the national currency,” Ong observes.
And the data seems to back up Ong’s theory. In 2021, Coingecko saw a spike in traffic on Axie Infinity’s SLP token page, originating from players in countries like the Philippines. These gamers turned to playing Axie Infinity to earn more than the “$1 or $2” per day, Ong said.
Ong weighs in on personal investing strategy
According to Ong, the increased institutional adoption of crypto has led it to take on the properties of a risk-on asset like a tech stock, a trend that is unlikely to stop during this current bear market cycle.
Regarding his personal investment strategy, Ong believes in the long game.
“So I’m definitely a bag holder,” he joked. He has spent most of the bear market researching rather than investing.
He advises investing 1-10% of an investment portfolio in bitcoin and ether for five to ten years to outlast the current five-year market cycle. If crypto goes higher, that number could go to 30% or 40%, but bearing in mind that crypto is risky and could fall to zero.
“And I tell people, like, if you can’t sleep at night, and you keep thinking of your crypto holdings and your crypto portfolio, you probably have too large of exposure,” he said.
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