It’s no secret Ethereum was among the hardest hit coins during the crypto winter after a tough year of regulatory uncertainty surrounding security tokens and ICOs. If anyone should seem worried, it would be blockchain pioneer Joseph Lubin, whose company ConsenSys is an incubator for Ethereum projects. Yet, he couldn’t appear further from losing sleep. Lubin was featured as the Interactive Keynote speaker at SXSW 2019, where he shared his zen vibe with a live audience, saying:
“Ethereum is not going away. It’s not going to fail. It will remain very significant.” *
Are Ethereum Tokens Securities?
Increasingly, there are reasons to be optimistic about the Ethereum’s future. Most recently SEC Chairman Jay Clayton seemingly agreed that digital assets might not be securities based on the Howey framework. ConsenSys is “intimately associated with the Ethereum protocol.” It has 85 Ethereum blockchain protocol engineers busy building day in and day out.
“ConsenSys projects and tools are focused on Ethereum because it’s the only game in town, really,” said Lubin.
The way he sees the world, ConsenSys is more dependent on a decentralized ecosystem succeeding than it is any one project. “We’d probably give up if…a decentralized World Wide Web never materialized,” said Lubin, pointing to decentralized bandwidth, identity, and lots of other interoperating decentralized protocols.
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Of course, the elephant in the room was the ETH price, which since plummeting has been stuck in a rut and unable to break out of a pretty narrow range. Lubin, however, was with Vitalik Buterin from almost the beginning and has seen market cycles come and go. He is playing the long game.
“Since the start of the ecosystem and since 2009, we’ve seen many incredible rises in the price of these tokens followed by very significant corrections. So the most significant correction took us back one year, which was 5,000-times more valuable than when ETH was initially launched. In that context, it’s not so horrifying.”
Builders Ignoring the Market
When times are good in the market, it brings attention to the ecosystem. Technologists and entrepreneurs are busy building. “There is way more activity in our ecosystem now than a year or 18 months ago,” said Lubin. Fewer people pay attention to the price of the token. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing because there’s a far greater increase in the number of people building things such as privacy and confidentiality systems, scalability solutions, and ETH 2.0.
Lubin sees nothing but blue skies ahead for Ethereum.
That's a wrap for #ConsenSysSXSW! A massive thank you to @SXSW for having me. Blown away by the size of the crowd and the interest in #blockchain around Austin this year. My outlook on #Ethereum for 2019? Yeehaw