Crypto could be the 'greatest innovation of our lifetime' and other soaring predictions from JMP

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Crypto could be the 'greatest innovation of our lifetime' and other soaring predictions from JMP
Bitcoin. Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • JMP Securities believes the crypto economy and blockchain could be the "greatest innovation of our lifetime."
  • The crypto market continues the evolution toward automation, digitization, increased efficiency, and productivity, and analysts said it's at a tipping point.
  • They also compared blockchain technology to the internet and other hyper networks.

The cryptocurrency economy has achieved breakneck progress in the last decade, and JMP Securities sees further innovation coming at lightning speed as it offered stratospheric forecasts for the years ahead.

The crypto market, according to the capital markets firm, continues the global economy's evolution toward automation, digitization, increased efficiency, and productivity. And it has now reached a tipping point.

"At the most basic level, we believe blockchain technology and the crypto economy could represent the biggest innovation of our lifetime," JMP analysts Devin Ryan and Brian McKenna said in a 115-page note published Monday.

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They also compared blockchain technology to the internet and other "hyper networks," predicting it could connect the equivalent of all of the largest independent networks at present, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

And in this network, they said bitcoin is the clear "winner" as institutional adoption for the world's largest digital asset by market capitalization accelerates. Among the key reasons are bitcoin's durability, fungibility, and limited supply - characteristics traditional stores of value have as well, the strategists said.

But bitcoin aside, other assets like ether have use cases that include smart contract platforms, they said, to enable an extensive universe of decentralized applications and other newer technologies.

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"While we do not expect adoption or utilization to move on a linear path, we believe the crypto economy has hit an 'escape velocity' that makes it difficult to imagine a scenario where its progression does not continue from here," they added.

Meanwhile, the number of cryptocurrencies will grow, though many will not survive, Ryan and McKenna forecast.

In fact, the analysts see the universe of tokens exploding from more than 10,000 today to potentially the millions. Still, only a small number will have a long-term future, they added.

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And while critics may say digital assets have ways off to go, the strategists pointed out facets in which the crypto ecosystem is actually ahead. For instance, in the realm of money movement, traditional banks lag behind the quick, anonymous, and cheap transactions available 24/7 that cryptos are known for.

Overall, the growth of the crypto industry has been promising, and JMP sees a "substantial runway for future growth." With around 150 million people globally estimated to have exposure to crypto, they expect the figure to swell to billions, noting that 6 billion people own mobile devices.

As the world becomes more digital, JMP expects it to become more decentralized.

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"We see crypto and blockchain technology playing a fundamental role in this economic system, which we think could go well beyond money and transactions and instead mirror what we know of today as the entire internet."

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