I do not like to use the word “predictions” due its connotations that can lead to speculation. Instead, I prefer the word “expectations.” The year of 2020 taught us not to make any predictions for the future, but in order to be prepared for what is coming, we should instead expect some trends that will remain throughout this year, from enterprise blockchain and central bank digital currencies to blockchain gaming and crypto art. Which of these will define 2022? To gain some insight on the matter, I reached out to different experts from the crypto and blockchain industry, asking: “What lies ahead for crypto and blockchain in 2022? What are your personal expectations for next year?”
Alan Konevsky of PrimeBlock
Alan is the chief legal officer at PrimeBlock, a sustainable Bitcoin mining operation, infrastructure solutions provider and member of the Bitcoin Mining Council, with locations spread across North America.
“We’re going to see more countries adopting crypto as a legal currency. We’re also going to see central governments coming out and taking their own currencies and putting them on a blockchain. China has already said it is going to do this, which will speed up the real competition for private cryptocurrencies from a payment perspective.
Central bank digital currencies do not present competition from a store of value or inflation protection perspective because it’s still the same fiat currency, subject to the same monetary policy manipulation by central banks. It’s certainly something that is fully digital, transparent, and has both good things and some very scary things that come with it. The hope is that, at least in the United States, the dialogues around CBDCs will happen alongside maintaining the values of our society in mind, including our own privacy and control.
How China versus the U.S. will run it will differ, so the dialogue needs to consciously ask the right questions. There’s a way to get carried away with technology that really ignores the fundamental, social, political, philosophical and legal impacts it could have on society. It’s an immensely powerful tool — I’m not understating or overstating it. The government has a lot of regulatory control of the payment, banking and monetary systems now by regulating important intermediaries like banks and other entities. This is going to be directly impacting us on a micro level.”
Andre Neves of Zebedee
Andre is the chief technology officer at Zebedee, which enables programmable payments and small transactions to power economies for virtual worlds.
“Nonfungible tokens completely captured the public imagination in 2021 and spearheaded the rise of play-to-earn gaming, a massive economic force. I think 2022 will see the concept evolve in new ways as people start seeing more value in having open interoperability between platforms. It will lose a lot of its get-rich-quick narrative in favor of more sustainable concepts, with Bitcoin taking a much larger role.”
Anton Bukov of 1inch Network
Anton is a co-founder of 1inch Network, a distributed network of decentralized protocols.
“In the past two years, we saw a huge expansion in spot market volume. I expect that the decentralized derivatives market will experience more attention from market makers and other professional players in 2022. Due to the lack of crypto assets and derivatives liquidity on traditional markets, there’s going to be an opportunity for DeFi to fill in the gap.”
Daniela Barbosa of Hyperledger Foundation
Daniela is the executive director of Hyperledger Foundation and general manager of blockchain, healthcare and identity at the Linux Foundation.
“2022 will again be a fascinating year for enterprise blockchain. The companies that were first to adopt the technology are starting to reap real benefits, and whole industries will move aggressively to integrate DLT and related technologies into their enterprise stack. This will raise the stakes for interoperability across permissioned and public blockchains as well as legacy systems.
Enterprise blockchain’s impact on existing markets will only be one story. There will be even bigger headlines around the businesses and business models that are emerging as companies around the world start to tap into the potential of distributed and decentralized technologies. At Hyperledger Foundation, we are seeing increasing interest in a mix of our technologies as platforms for digital identity, CBDCs, tokenization (fungible and non-fungible), cross-border payments and more.”
Hatu Sheikh of DAO Maker
Hatu is the co-founder and chief security officer of DAO Maker, which creates growth technologies and funding frameworks for startups while simultaneously reducing risks for investors.
“Today, cryptocurrencies have turned popular as investable assets for all. Their position as a store of value is barely questionable. However, with crypto trying to revamp the global financial system, we need to account for the ‘medium of exchange’ aspect of crypto. I believe 2022 will be the year that crypto will be used by retail users to securely invest and transact.
DeFi will be the must-watch space for 2022 as the building of Web3 and adoption of DeFi is rapidly progressing. Lending protocols and NFT marketplaces will also see a huge influx of audience and growth.
I believe more institutions will embrace crypto and blockchain tech in their conventional operations. 2022 will be the year when institutional adoption will really thrive and push the crypto market to newer heights.
Some countries might also see regulations imposed on crypto and DeFi, like restricted access, taxes and so on. A few countries may also follow the steps of El Salvador in recognizing cryptocurrencies as legal tender. Sustainable growth is what the crypto community must aim for as the innate volatility of crypto makes it difficult for governmental adoption. Hence, sustainability is key.”
Jason Allegrante of Fireblocks
Jason is the head regulatory counsel and global chief compliance officer at Fireblocks, a digital asset custody, transfer and settlement platform.
“In the next 12 months, I believe one or more significant tech companies (e.g., Tesla, Google, AirBnB, etc.) will announce plans to invest their own capital in crypto solutions supported by one of the major custodians.”
Jonathan Schemoul of Aleph.im
Jonathan is the CEO at Aleph.im, an open-source, cross-blockchain decentralized storage and computing network.
“With the mainstream growth that we’ve already seen in 2021 and large corporations like Facebook, Adidas and Nike coming into the space, it is likely that more major corporations will be joining in the new year as well. While 2021 was all about expansion, 2022 will be about refining the technology we have and increasing cross-chain compatibility. For us, we look forward to working with other blockchains that we haven’t had the chance to work with for indexing, cloud computing and more.”
Martha Reyes of Bequant
Martha is the head of research at Bequant, a digital asset exchange and prime broker.
“Greater adoption, movement in regulation and new applications for blockchain, including NFTs. Crypto adoption will continue to increase, particularly in the institutional space. More regulatory clarity will also impact the speed of this adoption.
In 2022, we may see federal regulation from the U.S. If this happens, we should expect more countries to follow suit. We are already seeing countries such as India bringing in regulation as the United States’s position changes. This may not necessarily be the light touch regulation that some in the industry would prefer, but any clarity is helpful for the community and encourages other jurisdictions to be friendlier to crypto investors.
2021 was undoubtedly the year of NFT art, but expect this to grow in the music and particularly the gaming space, as well as supply chains and logistics. GameFi and gaming investments have ramped up in recent months, and the popularity and success of these appears to be growing rapidly. Expect this to increase as more established studios and brands get involved and integrate NFTs into established series in the coming years.”
Sameep Singhania of QuickSwap
Sameep is the founder of QuickSwap, a decentralized exchange on Polygon that allows users to swap, earn, stack yields, lend, borrow and leverage, all on one decentralized, community-driven platform.
“Well, I don’t have a crystal ball, so I try not to make too many predictions, but now that UniSwap has decided to launch its version 3.0 on Polygon in early 2022, major institutions are coming as well. I can’t really say much more about which ones yet, but let’s just say I expect 2022 to be another blockbuster year.”
Simon Peters of eToro
Simon is a crypto analyst at eToro, the world’s leading social trading platform, which offers both investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies.
“While we could potentially see a bear market in 2022, with more countries considering making Bitcoin legal tender, the emergence of CBDCs, and the wider use of stablecoins by households and businesses, the crypto landscape has much more to offer. As the next iteration of the internet comes into effect (Web3 and the Metaverse), we will naturally see greater capital and user inflows to this space. With NFTs specifically, we could see the tokenization of real-world assets, represented and traded on blockchains.”
These quotes have been edited and condensed.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.