Crypto may not have intentionally been flying under the radar for the last few years, but many average consumers had little to no experience with or understanding of the industry. In recent months, though, crypto has hit the headlines, and a worldwide audience is coming to understand that there’s more to the industry than Bitcoin. 

With new players ranging from global corporations to gamers jumping into the space, crypto is going to see both evolution and new developments in the months ahead. Here, 13 members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle discuss the trends they see coming in 2022. 

More traditional finance players in digital asset markets  

Traditional finance players will continue to enter digital asset markets. I recently got two calls: one from a general partner at a private equity fund, and another from a venture capitalist I know in London. Things like Circle Yield, exchange-traded funds and subnets on Avalanche are turning the institutional and traditional finance tides for good. – Ben Knaus, Sch0lar

Reduced dependency on influencers for crypto brands

Traditionally, most crypto marketing campaigns have included spending thousands of dollars on influencers. With Facebook’s rebrand as Meta, we’re now observing a much higher ROI and demand for paid ads on Instagram, Facebook and Google. Successful crypto brands in 2022 and beyond will reduce their dependency on influencers and include paid ads and SEO as a crucial part of their go-to-market strategy. – Dev Sharma, Blockwiz Solutions Limited

An embrace of GameFi

We have already seen huge capital inflows in the GameFi space. Toward the end of 2022 and into 2023, we are going to see the fruits of this labor with the first crypto-integrated AAA title being released with widespread adoption. Once teenagers realize they can earn through playing their favorite game, there will be no stopping GameFi. – Rupert Barksfield, Amulet

More regulatory clarity around DeFi

The entire crypto market will see a huge evolution in the traditional finance space, which will bring regulatory clarity to these evolving systems. Specifically, credit unions and fintechs that fit the “for the people” ethos of crypto have the most opportunity to mold the evolution. Regulators will have an easier time working with ecosystems that provide a sense of centralized security to decentralized finance. – John Wingate, BankSocial

Increased SEC focus on the security token industry

This year, I expect that the security token industry is going to receive renewed attention, as it did when the SEC began enforcing securities laws on initial coin offerings in 2018. As NFT projects also start crossing these lines, new SEC actions regarding NFT projects will continue to educate the market about the potential of tokenized investments. – Herwig Konings, Security Token Group

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Growth of DAOs

The ongoing spread of decentralized autonomous organizations is set to continue in 2022. We are reaching a spot where people are greatly appreciating online communities. Being able to have incentives that help develop alignment around these communities is an exciting possibility enabled through DAOs, and that synergy is sure to continue in 2022. – Rob Dawson, ConsenSys

Increased industry focus on the user experience

As more people get interested in cryptocurrency, the need for easy-to-understand and easy-to-use products and services will accelerate. Cryptocurrency is still difficult to use if you are not technologically astute. For the average person to be able to interact with crypto, NFTs and other Web3 technologies, the industry needs to shift some of its attention to usability and user experience. – Brad Spannbauer, Currency Hub

The rise of multichain solutions

As the industry grows larger and adaptation accelerates, we are starting to find ourselves traveling between blockchains more and more. Multichain solutions enable us to easily access decentralized finance by allowing us to use multiple blockchains, without the hassles and risks of bridging to access and migrating our tokens between them in order to interact with the various decentralized applications on various chains. – Tomer Warschauer Nuni, Kryptomon

The resurgence of DeFi in response to security improvements

Decentralized finance will have a resurgence this year as the tools to use it continue to improve. From an infrastructure standpoint, protocols with better security features (like Algorand State Proofs) are gaining traction among DeFi developers. From a user standpoint, DeFi apps and services have made it easier for newcomers to invest without technical expertise. – Molly Glennon, Ditto

Integration of Web2 and Web3 platforms

This year, I anticipate major centralized Web2 players to introduce integrations with Web3 decentralized platforms. We’ve seen the start of this on Twitter, with its recent introduction of NFT profile pictures and integration with the OpenSea marketplace. I’m looking forward to seeing Facebook and Instagram follow suit with their imminent changes. – Brandon Ginsberg, Palm Tree NFT

More interest in NFTs from Hollywood A-listers

I predict we are going to see a greater clash of NFTs and Hollywood in 2022. A-listers are already taking advantage of NFTs to engage and create community with their audience, raise charity funds, and even throw exclusive events. I think we’re not only going to see NFT adoption in Hollywood grow but also see incredibly creative utility come of it. – Amanda Whitcroft, Panda PR and Marketing

A mid-tier market fallout

I suspect there will be an inevitable market fallout in which many mid-tier players disappear from the industry entirely. But this will be a good thing, as it will cut down on market noise and allow quality to emerge from the marketplace. – Edward DeLeon, Anatha

Widespread adoption of NFTs by European sports clubs

I believe that the adoption of NFTs by sports clubs across Europe is going to be one of the biggest trends in 2022. Currently, few clubs in Europe have successfully launched collections. But as fans get more engaged with NFTs from their clubs, and other clubs realize how powerful a fan engagement tool NFTs are, you will see demand fly across European sports clubs. – Tim Mangnall, Capital Block

This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.

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