What’s Ahead for Crypto and Blockchain in 2022?
By Max Yakubowski
Here we are — 2022 has just landed! There’s no better time to ponder over what we can expect for the new year. 2021 opened the way for the creator economy by empowering independent musicians, artists, bloggers and other content creators that rely on digital technologies — and that economy is powered by decentralized technologies. People have been seeking alternative decentralized solutions, leading to the unprecedented rise of the decentralized finance sector, the emergence of DeFi 2.0, nonfungible tokens and Web3 development, all of which we witnessed this year. These trends will certainly remain central throughout this new year — 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?”
2. Ahmed Al-Balaghi of Biconomy
Ahmed is a co-founder of Biconomy, a developer platform that empowers blockchain developers to enable a simplified transaction and onboarding experience for their Web3 projects.
“Last year showed us that the future is multi-chain. Many DApps are going that route and those that aren’t are still looking for ways to tap into cross-chain liquidity. Currently, many cross-chain operability solutions cause fragmented workflows; there is an increasing need for infrastructure that delivers a single UI for users to interact with. This will allow DApps that need to move funds around in the backend to be able to do so with little to no impact on the user experience. Such workflows will become much more common, and end users won’t even need to know about blockchain technology to use it.
In Web2, payments and transfers happen within the app with minimal clicks. For Web3 to reach mass adoption, cross-chain transfers must be in-DApp as well. This year will be the year of frictionless Web3 experiences that finally make it mainstream.”
3. Amanda Keleher of ConsenSys
Amanda is the chief people officer at ConsenSys, a global community of developers, businesspeople, programmers, journalists, lawyers and others, made to create and promote blockchain infrastructure and peer-to-peer applications.
“Addressing the challenges for women and minority groups working in the banking and fintech sectors, and examining the steps that must be taken to mitigate should be on top of our agenda. Narrowing the gap between the communities leading fintech adoption and their representation in the developer community that is building fintech ecosystems will be crucial to achieving more equitable outcomes for these participants, as well as more profitable businesses.
We live in an era of accelerative transformation, and it is the responsibility of the crypto and blockchain sector to encourage a diversity of thought to proliferate within our companies, which is evidenced as the best way to foster innovation. With the current demographics skewed so heavily toward men and majority ethnic groups, it’s evident that there is plenty of work to do, and there are no easy fixes. However, even with a minority voice, the initiatives to encourage women and people of color toward careers and career growth in fintech will help to increase the profile of a more diverse contingent leadership and demonstrate that the sector can be inclusive.”
4. Ankitt Gaur of EasyFi Network
Ankitt is the CEO of EasyFi Network, a layer-two DeFi lending protocol for digital assets.
“This year is extremely crucial for cryptocurrency and could determine its future course. With thousands of innovative projects around the corner, blockchain technology could establish itself at the forefront of major operations in the world. Blockchain-based gaming is also expected to rise exponentially, with the play-to-earn model adding a monetary value to gameplay.
But, once again, it is DeFi’s lending protocols that could be the center of the action. These protocols create a capital flow and redistribute it efficiently, carrying the whole DeFi industry. With layer-two multichain lending protocols coming into the limelight, offering futuristic financial services on the blockchain could become a reality.”
5. Chris Kalani of Phantom Wallet
Chris is the chief product officer at Phantom Wallet, a Solana wallet built for DeFi and NFTs.
“We look forward to new cases being unlocked, gaming and payments. We think it will get easier to onboard people going forward. Speed and cost reduction are going to open the door for developing and emerging markets that we didn’t see in the first wave of the DeFi boom.
Layer ones and layer twos will lead to more experimentation from developers — one area that we’re seeing is with decentralized autonomous organizations.”
6. Donald Thibeau of the HBAR Foundation
Donald is a co-founder and chief strategy officer of the HBAR Foundation that helps the development of the Hedera ecosystem by providing grants and other resources to developers, startups and entrepreneurs.
“Brands, brands, brands. Creators, musicians, sports teams and consumer brands all see tokens and crypto as the mechanism to better engage and grow their communities of supporters. My expectation is that a critical mass of these brands will begin building and deploying tokenized experiences such that it becomes a default part of building any online or real-world community.”
7. Jane Thomason of Kasei Holdings
Jane is an entrepreneur and thought leader in technological innovation, fintech and blockchain for social impact. She is a chairperson of Kasei Holdings, an investment company specializing in the digital asset ecosystem.
“The growth in adoption will continue, and institutional investors will fuel the continued popularity of stablecoins, which are seen as less risky. We will also continue to see rapid growth and innovation in emerging economies. Following the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, there will be a plethora of green blockchains and tokenizing carbon offsets and gamification to address climate issues. The adoption of DeFi and NFTs in GameFi has only just begun, and we will see incredible innovation in this space with community-owned economies and on-ramps to the Metaverse.
My personal expectations and hopes are that we continue providing a bridge from the new world to the old, and ensure that we don’t have rose-tinted glasses on in the excitement of creating incredible innovation. We need to consider ethics and basic human needs as we hurtle along this ever-exponentiating trajectory.”
8. Lisa Edwards of Getting Started In Crypto
Lisa is an Elliott Wave specialist trader with over 20 years of experience in traditional stocks and commodities, now exclusively trading cryptocurrency. She runs and co-owns Getting Started In Crypto, Thousand To Millions, and The Moon Mag with Josh Taylor.
“I am looking forward to seeing Bitcoin at $100,000, it was my hope to see that last year, and I do think as supply decreases, demand will fill the gap and have BTC headed well over $100,000.”
9. Paolo Ardoino of Bitfinex
Paolo is the chief technology offier of Bitfinex, a digital asset trading platform offering state-of-the-art services for digital currency traders and global liquidity providers.
“Our space is so dynamic that it has always been difficult to anticipate what lies ahead. I wouldn’t try to second-guess what the next big thing will be. Still, I’m certain that the space will continue to evolve at a fast pace as so many innovative projects are poised to come to fruition. I do think that 2022 has the potential to be the year where real-life digital token payments at scale reach a certain point of critical mass. This includes payment processors such as the Lightning Network seeing an influx in network users while also being the catalyst for a grander vision of Bitcoin in terms of its payment capabilities.”
10. Roger Ver of Bitcoin.com
Roger is an early Bitcoin adopter and investor. He is the executive chairman of Bitcoin.com, a site featuring cryptocurrency news in addition to an exchange and wallet service. He is also one of the five original founders of the Bitcoin Foundation.
“2022 seems likely to be the year Ether flips Bitcoin in market cap, and just about every other metric. Many other coins will likely do the same in the coming years.”
11. Sandra Ro of Global Blockchain Business Council
Sandra is CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council, an industry association for the blockchain technology ecosystem.
“In 2022, it will be ‘corporate career risk’ to not have a baseline understanding of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. From bankers to corporate executives to politicians, it is imperative that they get on board and seriously consider the implications of blockchain.
Further, 2022 winners will ‘expect the unexpected,’ and adapt to investing, servicing clients and participating in new trends.
In 2021, few expected NFTs to become the killer app, driving mainstream interest and adoption. Web3, the Metaverse and DAOs will enter mainstream curiosity in 2022.
The boring infrastructure stuff is critical. Crypto markets and the blockchain industry are experiencing explosive growth, but to scale, they need common terminology, standards and sound governance, including conflict resolution.
The Global Blockchain Business Council will continue the Global Standards Mapping Initiative in 2022, mapping the regulatory, technical, academia and business states of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
GSMI is the largest crowd-sourced, open-access crypto and blockchain research project. GSMI 2.0 content, released in November, was the result of eight months’ work from over 200 individuals and 131 institutions, including student researchers and veterans of government, industry, start-ups and regulation.
For 2022, I remain mindful to stick to the original vision of leveling the playing field for many, not a few.”
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