Last year was pivotal for the growth of crypto-assets and Bitcoin in particular, with the famed digital currency reaching a peak price of $65,000 in October 2021. However, 2022 has shaped cryptocurrency in new dimensions, with more government regulations provoking mass and institutional adoptions. Earlier at bay with crypto adoption, many countries have become a significant driver of this new wave of investment.
Despite the bear market, the industry continues to grow, and many new projects are coming online. Even in 2022, most of the growth will continue to be organic, with cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and blockchain-based startups continuing to fuel the digital revolution.
The footprints of blockchain technology penetrate every sector. Everything has an element of blockchain embedded in it—from healthcare to the economy and businesses to ownership. Hence, the crypto industry is evolving, and even in 2022, it will continue to grow into a comprehensive and decentralized ecosystem encompassing both governance and economy.
The Continous Defi Evolution
The DeFi space continued to grow in 2021 with the big players stepping up their game by refining their technology and scaling solutions to improve efficiency. DeFi 2.0 narrative emerged in the second half of the year, fueled by the growing presence of the latest influx of services such as the Olympus DAO, Rari, and Tokemak. This trend continues in 2022 with technological improvements allowing developers to create new products and better liquidity models.
We’re also likely to see serious attempts to push the sector beyond its self-contained bubble and connect it more closely to the broader economy. Pancakeswap’s success on Binance Smart Chain over the past year has shown that while Ethereum is the undisputed leader in this space, it’s not the only game in town.
Rise of Metaverse and the New Economy
If discussions about the metaverse increased in 2021, blockchain trends would boost the metaverse itself in 2022. For many years we had only read about the possibilities of virtual worlds in science fiction novels. However, the concept of the metaverse has become a real phenomenon, with many popular platforms boasting a huge user base. Big names in technology like Facebook, Microsoft, Epic Games, and many others are actively interested in the Metaverse.
So, how does the Metaverse fit into this year’s blockchain trends?
“One of the crucial aspects of the Metaverse design is decentralization, which would allow for transparency and seamless access to the Metaverse. What better way to create such decentralized networks than with blockchain?” commented Dev Sharma, CEO of Blockwiz, a leading web3 marketing agency.
Metaverse relies on blockchain capabilities in addition to decentralization to ensure user leadership privileges and verifiable provenance. Most importantly, leveraging the blockchain infrastructure integrates the metaverse economies into the larger crypto economy.
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, were one of the most significant additions to the blockchain environment in 2021. Many well-known artists, including Grimes, Kings of Leon, and Shawn Mendes, have released NFTs of their songs. The popular game Axie Infinity has around 300,000 active players, demonstrating that NFTs can be more than just digital art.
You may be surprised to know people in the Philippines used Axie Infinity to trade NFTs and earn money for daily expenses during the pandemic. The use of NFT in fashion would be one of the key highlights in blockchain’s future applications and use cases. NFTs have been used in the creation of footwear and clothing by well-known brands such as Nike and Dolce & Gabbana. So, all these examples show that with exceptional development and marketing taking place in the crypto space, 2022 is only going to be better.
The global gaming industry is clearly on track to surpass $300 billion in five years. This industry was worth $173 billion in the blockchain space as of September last year(2021), and they’ve finally made it. There are hundreds of blockchain games today that you can play to earn and have fun with. Titles like Axie Infinity, Decentraland have sparked a new wave of blockchain game development. These success stories have transformed blockchain gaming from an unproven concept to a viable option for other companies.
Despite some criticism from players, major AAA publishers, Ubisoft, participated. Building on the lessons learned from previous titles, upcoming blockchain games will most likely feature deeper gameplay and high-fidelity graphics, attracting even more interested gamers to the ecosystem (especially those initially unconvinced). At the same time, blockchain experiments by significant publishers are blurring the lines between traditional and blockchain games and serving as an entry point for many players.
More Women Participation In Crypto
According to the Finders Adoption Index report, as of January 11, 2022, women currently lag significantly behind men in cryptocurrency ownership—with 59 percent of men globally owning cryptocurrencies versus 41 percent of women. The Bitmex report, on the other hand, emphasized that “education has increased and empowerment, simplification and accessibility, as well as increased regulatory action around cryptos are making them a mainstream asset class and will ensure inclusivity by attracting more women into their herd.”
Later, based on previous patterns of adoption of transformative technologies such as the internet and personal computers, more women than men embraced the trend. In the crypto space, female investors could soon outnumber their male counterparts with 2022 seeming to bring an exciting ray of hope.
Integration in Healthcare
In 2022, IBM has been one of the early adopters of blockchain trends for COVID management. The tech behemoth successfully developed a system that allows coordination between government and health agencies in charge of vaccine distribution. The system uses blockchain technology to combine documentation of vaccination rates and efficiencies from various platforms and tools used by public health agencies and authorities.
Most importantly, a pilot project has successfully demonstrated blockchain’s potential to identify product recall scenarios faster. These applications can help identify a batch of vaccines that appears to be causing an abnormally high level of side effects. Many similar novel developments are expected to further fuel blockchain growth in vaccine manufacturing, distribution, and tracking in 2022.
- Gaming, metaverse, NFTs and Web 3 should be on your watchlist
- With increased regulation on the cards, governments to adopt blockchain and crypto
- With big names such as Microsoft, Meta and Goldman Sachs investing in Web3, consumer and institutional adoption is likely to grow.