The future for cryptocurrency remains unwritten, and only time will tell whether it eventually becomes as integrated into the economy as the internet or as limited and forgettable as the Segway, according to a LinkedIn post published this week by Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman.
According to Friedman, cryptocurrency has now gone through “the first phase of the classic invention lifecycle, marked by early pioneers, followed by hype, followed by proliferation of newcomers and then a dose of reality.” She suggests that crypto’s ultimate future will be determined by what happens next, and will likely involve one of two possible outcomes:
1) Either the innovation finds practical utility followed by years of steady and sustainable commercial progress and integration into the economic fabric (e.g., the Internet); or
2) The invention fails to achieve broad adoption and its commercial applications as medium of exchange are limited (e.g., the Segway).
Friedman noted that her company is involved in efforts to ensure that cryptocurrencies “have a role in the future.” To that end, Nasdaq has been partnering with start-up exchanges, providing technology to help with trade matching, clearing, and integrity, and has invested in ErisX. She also reminded her viewers that many of what she called “the most sophisticated global investors” have also invested in the technology in the last few years.
“The invention itself is a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity, and it deserves an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy,” Friedman wrote. However, she suggested that some type of governance and regulatory clarity will be needed if the technology is to ever achieve stable value and practical utility.