The year 2020 brought into the mainstream consciousness an important concern about Bitcoin (BTC): energy consumption. This led to some questions about the need for sustainable, green energy within the cryptocurrency industry, and the community responded to those concerns, making sustainability a priority. With humanity facing the threat of climate change, the most serious problem for our planet, the trend toward more green solutions must remain in the coming year and decades.
Another important trend that will definitely remain in the coming years is the Metaverse. Building a digitalized dimension where users can buy, sell, play, interact and more looks futuristic enough already, but the future is quickly approaching. I am certain many brands will enter the Metaverse space this year, experimenting with this emerging sector. Let’s just not make it a centralized hell — rather, let’s create a decentralized heaven.
But that’s just my opinion. To gain more insight on the matter, I reached out to different experts from the crypto and blockchain industry, asking them: “What lies ahead for crypto and blockchain in 2022? What are your personal expectations for the year?”
Alex Tapscott of Ninepoint Digital Assets Group
Alex is a writer, speaker, investor and adviser focused on the impact of emerging technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He is the general manager of Ninepoint Digital Assets Group, an investment management services provider in the field of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
“I think 2022 is the year of multichain. 2021 saw the rise of new layer-one protocols like Solana and Avalanche that promised to improve on Ethereum with faster throughputs and lower fees. But these benefits may prove impermanent. As they become more popular, they may suffer the same fate as Ethereum. Remember, Ethereum fees used to be cheap too until the network found a product-market fit with the rise of liquidity mining and other DeFi applications.
With a tsunami of new users coming into the ecosystem, it became a victim of its own success. Fees skyrocketed, turning Ethereum into a ‘whalechain,’ meaning only the wealthy could afford the fees. The same thing could happen to other layer ones. That’s OK. I believe the scarcest resource in the world for the next few years will be block space. All these layer ones will probably fill up, meaning we need better ways to interconnect different protocols.
Most new crypto users will only interact at the application layer, not knowing or caring what base chain they run on. That means making interoperability a reality. A few groups are working on multichain, including Cosmos, which supports hundreds of crypto assets worth tens of billions of dollars. 2022 is the year of Multichain Maximalism, and Cosmos is leading the way.”
Andrew Levine of Koinos Group
Andrew is the CEO of Koinos Group, a team of industry veterans accelerating decentralization through accessible blockchain technology.
“2022 is going to be a battle royale of next-generation layer ones, with the darkhorse entrant being a new fee-less blockchain.”
Beili Baraki of Nansen
Beili is the research analyst at Nansen’s platform, which combines on-chain data with a proprietary database of activity across over 100 million blockchain wallets to provide real-time, actionable insights for investors and financial institutions on the expanding blockchain ecosystem.
“2022 will be a very interesting year as we see the continuation and push toward mass adoption for cryptocurrencies globally. Regulation is one thing that is constantly being mentioned and reviewed in the space. Regulations are now seen as a positive rather than a negative in the crypto world as we move toward global adoption. However, with many countries eager for greater acceptance, countries that are constantly pushing back will be left behind.
More adoption could come in as well once regulation in the space becomes clearer, and more significant institutional money (such as pension funds) starts flowing into the space. Additionally, the DeFi space is very much fragmented at the moment. The rise of layer-one and layer-two solutions aiming to solve the scalability issue has resulted in ecosystem silos and inefficient markets (e.g., fragmented liquidity, lock-up periods to move funds on layer two, etc.). As a result, greater interoperability between the various chains and layers will undoubtedly increase adoption in the coming years. It is also worth mentioning that adoption will increase significantly as the convergence of various technologies such as NFTs, VR, AR, etc. start to create new games and experiences that interact with tokenized assets. We are already seeing major corporations embracing the rise of the Metaverse. As a result, it is safe to say that the next wave of adoption will come by means of collectibles, art, digital content and games.”
Dave Perrill of Compute North
Dave is the CEO of Compute North, a cryptocurrency mining and infrastructure provider.
“Following a hash rate decline in 2021 resulting from Chinese miners being forced offline due to nationwide crypto bans, the Bitcoin hash rate recently rebounded and hit an all-time high. Expect it to double in 2022, as major industry players promise that hundreds of megawatts of capacity will come online this year. Even if this doesn’t entirely come to fruition, we will still see more than 3 gigawatts of power coming online in all corners of the U.S.”
James MacFarlane of Eden Network
James is the head of business development at Eden Network, an optional, non-consensus-breaking transaction-ordering protocol for Ethereum blocks.
“With the level of investment being driven into the space, we are likely to see continued innovation on chains supporting the decentralized finance layer. This is likely to include protocol liquidity and how it is approached, the increased accessibility/adoption of multichain wallets, and how differently chains treat their users when it comes to maximal extractable value.”
Josh Neuroth of Ankr
Josh is the head of product at Ankr, a scalable protocol built to offer multichain infrastructure for plug-and-play DeFi solutions and multichain staking for DeFi.
“Decentralized social networking: Decentralized social networking will emerge in a major way in 2022. Many projects are currently in development with the goal to bring a self-sovereign, data-privacy-focused social network to market. This is especially interesting as Facebook will not be able to simply buy the next platform company, as Web3 users will be the owners and operators of the network.
NFTs and digital identity in gaming: Digital real estate and unique items tokenized as NFTs will help make gaming a business for many players who are already heavily invested in the crypto and blockchain space. Porting items and identities from one game to another will be a large financial and creative opportunity for many game studios and publishers.
Crypto is already mainstream and no longer depends on new investors entering the space. In the last several years, crypto’s total market cap grew as new investors entered the space. Now, projects are generating cash flow and reinvesting profits into new Web3 startups. This economic expansion is now driving the industry, as it has become a self-contained economy.”
Nikos Andrikogiannopoulos of Metrika
Nikos is the CEO and founder of Metrika, a toolbox for monitoring blockchain networks and applications, offering essential analytics and performance insights.
“With major blockchains continuing to experience outages and other network degradations, expect to see demands from the community for transparency of blockchain network operations. Applications built on blockchains will have higher levels of criticality and requirements from layer ones, including the need for detailed views of infrastructure operations such as real-time network performance, reliability, uptime, latency, upgrades and more. Improving the reliability of these networks is not only a key concern as evidenced by community feedback, but will also be critical to providing greater confidence that will drive enterprise and institutional adoption of blockchain technologies. Banks and governments will demand regulation and compliance, and as such, we can expect intelligence around layer-one operations to grow along the lines of internet infrastructure. Once this is accomplished, broader and mass usage will follow.”
Ray Youssef of Paxful
Ray is the CEO of Paxful, a global people-powered platform for buying, selling and trading digital currencies.
“There are 1.7 billion people in the world who are unbanked. In 2022, we can expect that peer-to-peer finance will be a major breakout in the crypto and blockchain space as people discover the use of Bitcoin as a means of exchange and its ability to give anyone and everyone access to any financial network across the world. As use cases diversify, we’ll see more people unlocking the power of money. From remittance to wealth preservation, peer-to-peer is a pathway to financial freedom and inclusion.”
Tim Draper of Draper Associates and Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Tim is a pioneer of business ventures in the U.S. and a co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a leading investment firm in early-stage tech startups.
“My prediction for Bitcoin to hit $250,000 by the end of 2022 or early 2023 stands. I expect that the chief financial officers of Apple, Amazon and Facebook (Meta) will either put some Bitcoin on their balance sheets or be fired.”
Yat Siu of Animoca Brands
Yat is the executive chairman and co-founder of Animoca Brands, which delivers digital property rights to the world’s gamers and internet users, thereby creating a new asset class, play-to-earn economies and a more equitable digital framework contributing to the building of the open Metaverse.
“During the course of 2022, growth in decentralized gaming will drive blockchain and crypto adoption into the hundreds of millions of users.”
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.