The massive growth in the bitcoin and blockchain industry is probably come to an end now that the average person is aware of its existence, according to Vitalik Buterin who co-founded Ethereum.
“The blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight,” Buterin said in an interview with Bloomberg at an Ethereum and blockchain conference in Hong Kong. “If you talk to the average educated person at this point, they probably have heard of blockchain at least once. There isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore.”
The growth in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the blockchain industry through its first six or seven years was dependent on marketing and trying to get wider adoption, Buterin said.
“That strategy is getting close to hitting a dead end,” he said.
The next phase in the industry will be getting people who are already interested in cryptocurrencies to be involved in a more in-depth way, Buterin said. “Go from just people being interested to real applications of real economic activity,” he said.
The cryptocurrency “Ether” has fueled the Ethereum blockchain but has now slumped more than 80 percent from a January high. It now trades at less than $250, according to Bitstamp exchange pricing compiled by Bloomberg. Ether is a “gas” that pays for transactions on decentralized applications that run on the Ethereal network.
The losses on Ether increased in August due to some start-ups who paid in the digital currency during their Initial Coin Offerings cashed out to cover expenses. There is now much broader concern over price declines among other virtual currencies. Bitcoin has decreased more than 50 percent this year.
It has been projected that Ether may fall further to a support target of $155 as it is challenged by competition, market volatility and a maturing industry.