2016 held many pivotal moments for the crypto community and industry. The Bitcoin scaling debate enjoyed periods of exposure and collective anguish, retreated into the background, then opened a new chapter by integrating Segregated Witness into Bitcoin core. The block reward halved again, but the hashrate continued to grow.
Early in the year, the price of Ethereum jumped an order of magnitude, ushering in a period of enthusiasm and optimism for smart contracts and a distributed world computer. The now infamous DAO Wars followed in spring and summer; Ethereum hard forked; and then a series of attacks and upgrades dogged the protocol, coinciding with a drop in price near the end of the year.
Several foundational protocols launched to much acclaim, including Lisk and Waves. ICOs and app tokens raised millions from investors around the world. Large banks moved forward with private blockchain pilots.
It was undoubtedly a big year for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
It was also a big year for Smith + Crown.
Our company finally launched our website early in the year. Care, sweat, and tears went into the design and all the elements we wanted to provide.
Our vision was a research and data focused group that brought sober analysis and commentary to the cryptocurrency community. We see immense potential in this technology, with implications across business, social institutions, and governments. We also see immense hype and a disturbing tendency for discussion to devolve into irrational, vindictive, and manipulative word slinging.
This environment of complex topics and prevalent misinformation raises the barrier to entry for anyone interested in this technology.
We wanted a place where some of the best third-party analysis could take place and people who wanted to learn about these technologies could do so. The website is our vehicle for that experience.
Markets and the Smith + Crown Index
Serving up market data from across multiple exchanges in real time is not trivial. We have worked hard to build one of the few public systems that provides market insight from first-party data across all the major exchanges and all currency pair for both fiat and cryptocurrencies.
We are rolling out additional features to our markets page and our index. Stay tuned in 2017 for more!
Initial Coin Offerings: Tracking What’s Important
One thing that struck us early this year was a lack of intelligent objective coverage of the many initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crowdsales. We provided the first summary of the rapid Lisk ICO, and the first English-language overview of the Antshares ICO.
When we started looking into these sales, several things struck us.
- Learning about them was difficult but rewarding.
- There was nowhere to find in-depth third-party analysis of existing ICOs.
- The signal-to-noise ratio is very low, and many projects are doomed to not get off the ground.
We provide an overview of major ongoing and upcoming ICOs. We are selective in what we list, objective and data driven in what we say, and research every ICO that comes across our radar.
We also go deep on certain ICOs we see as pivotal in the emerging industry–they are proving a new model, have significant hype around them, or stacked with an impressive team. We don’t take projects at their word and we are critical in how we approach them as technologies, businesses, and sale structures.
We have covered a variety of ICOs and maintain a database of the major ICOs in cryptocurrency history.
Milestones, Partners, Accomplishments
2016 held many twists and turns for us. We will have a similar post that will forecast 2017. In the interim, we’d like to highlight some other notable developments that make us proud of the past year.
- Worked with Reuters to provide data from our research on ICOs and crowdsales.
- Collaboration with CoinDash, winner of the hack.ether.camp global hackathon.
- Following CoinFund, which has organized a smart, insightful community around a wide range of topics.
- Independent analysis of several major ICOs, including Golem, ChronoBank, and BitGirls. Expect more of this work in 2016.
- Summarizing the tumultuous split of the core Synereo team. This was a difficult task but we realized no one was providing a third-party summary of the controversy.
We look forward to updating you with a roadmap for 2017!