As cryptocurrency finally entered the public in 2021, it was the most significant year in its history. It wasn’t simply that some tokens soared, with Bitcoin up 60%, Ethereum up 400%, and Binance Coin up 1,300%. Rather, it was the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency by institutional investors, large corporations, and even governments, such as El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender, as well as the innovation and integration we saw in the DeFi, NFT, and Metaverse spheres.
Add in the fact that a number of well-known figures, including Elon Musk and Eminem, have publicly stated their support for crypto wallet app development, and there are a slew of reasons to believe that 2021 will go down in history as the most important year ever. So, in 2022, what happens?
One thing is certain: crypto has a tough act to follow, and while no one is forecasting a disaster a la 2018, the market may struggle to replicate last year’s spectacular gains. However, as we enter the new year, there are still plenty of bright spots in the crypto sector to watch.
1. To Increase Financial Inclusion and Opportunity, DeFi is Being Implemented
In 2021, the decentralized finance space, which allows financial products to be created without the use of middlemen such as banks, shows that it has legs. DeFi contracts are estimated to have a combined value of $41 billion by March this year, as adoption grows across the industry. So, for hundreds of budding DeFi dApps, 2022 is shaping up to be a watershed year.
DeFi is gaining popularity not only because it gives its users actual financial freedom and helps the unbanked. Millions of people will be able to invest in it. Yield farming, which encourages crypto asset owners to safeguard decentralized networks, is one of the most popular types of DeFi investing. Compound Finance Protocol is one of the most popular DeFi apps in this regard, as it allows users with an Ethereum wallet to supply liquidity in a number of liquidity pools while earning incentives in accordance with its basic principles.
DeFi yield farming development also paves the way for more sophisticated and possibly lucrative financial instruments. Synthetix, for example, creates synthetic assets in the form of ERC-20 smart contracts that track and generate returns on crypto assets without requiring the owner to own the token. SynFutures is a similar project that allows users to create and trade Ethereum-based cross-chain and off-chain assets. SynFutures uses a Synthetic Automated Market Maker, which allows consumers to only retain one asset among trading pairs, with a smart contract synthesizing the other.
The benefit of DeFi programs like these is that they give you access to assets that regular investors don’t have, and they can help you make big money if you can predict market changes.
2. Nonfiction Textbooks (NFTs) Continue to Pique Interest
In 2021, the entire sales volume of non-fungible tokens topped $20 billion, putting them in the spotlight. A single JPG by artist Beeple sold for a record $69 million, and hundreds of other multi-million dollar transactions of Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks NFTs led the way.
NFTs are unquestionably here to stay, despite their exhilaration and eye-watering price tags. The truth is that they have far too many applications, spanning from gaming to the arts, real estate, and asset tokenization. The advantages of using NFTs are obvious as well, with artists and musicians, for example, being able to include automated royalties in the resale of their works. In the meanwhile, by employing NFTs to fractionalize property ownership, real estate dealers can reach millions of potential purchasers.
It indicates that NFTs, as well as the marketplaces that offer them, have a bright future. OpenSea is currently the obvious market leader, accounting for more than 60% of all 2021 sales. However, more decentralized platforms, such as Infinity, are expected to grow in popularity. Infinity is a decentralized NFT marketplace that aspires to outperform OpenSea by better representing and incorporating the community’s demands. Infinity is working with Common Protocol to transition to a direct governance model, as well as making it quicker and cheaper to list NFTs by charging a 1.5 percent transaction fee that goes to the community-controlled treasury.
3. The Metaverse’s Most Influential Year
The Metaverse’s dynamic character as a facilitator of social contact, recreation, trade, business, gaming, and education, to mention a few uses, will assure that it expands to become a much larger part of our culture and economy by 2022.
The Metaverse, a digital universe that mixes technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and video, and allows users to interact with digital avatars, has a lot of potential. It will usher in a new era in which our digital and physical lives become increasingly entwined, simplifying connectivity and making each of our online interactions more lifelike.
Despite the fact that Mark Zuckerberg has been a strong proponent of the Metaverse, it will not be dominated by Facebook. Rather, fully decentralized metaverses will pique people’s interest. We’re talking about virtual worlds like The Sandbox and Decentraland, where residents may buy digital pieces of land using NFTs.
Another hot Metaverse potential is play-to-earn gaming, with DEA establishing an entire virtual society around its Play Mining platform, which allows users to explore new worlds, combat and perform tasks, acquire in-game commodities, and then exchange them with other players.
The Metaverse may still be in its infancy, and no one knows how much it will influence how humans interact with technology. Regardless, 2022 will be the year that lays the foundation for the Metaverse and its evolution over the next decade, influencing how people work, relax, play, and socialize in the virtual world.
4. Increase the Number of Legs on Web3
The confluence of DeFi, NFTs, and the Metaverse is resulting in the establishment of a Web3 environment, and all indications are that 2022 will be the year it happens.
Web3 is the next step in the internet’s evolution, which began with the static Web1 typified by Netscape and AOL. Then there was Web2, which was significantly more interesting but was dominated by large corporations such as Google and Facebook. We shall see a totally decentralized and permissionless internet with Web3, in which users regain control over their data.
Play-to-earn gaming, in which users may earn and exchange NFTs to make money while playing games, will once again be one of the key drivers of Web3. As indicated by Axie Infinity’s user base of over 2 million monthly active gamers and Solana’s $150 million Web3 gaming fund, P2E gaming has already made a major splash.
However, Web3 isn’t just for games. Siacoin, a decentralized cloud storage platform and marketplace, encrypts and distributes files throughout its network, is one of the other applications. Unlike typical cloud storage, Siacoin allows users to own their private encryption keys and hence own their data.
Lum Network, on the other hand, promises to transform the world of product reviews by incentivizing firms to compensate consumers who take the time to write an honest review, whether favorable or bad. Lum Networks does this using its blockchain-based decentralized reward system, which allows anybody to audit its immutable records and verify that a customer who gave a 1-star review received the same benefit as a customer who left a 5-star rating. It works by rewarding people based on the quality of their reviews rather than the number of stars they receive.
5. For the Benefit of Their Communities, DAOs Should Collaborate.
DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, had a banner year in 2021, quickly establishing themselves as community-led organizations structures for a variety of purposes, including investing, fundraising, tokenized asset management, and transparent governance.
DAOs are a new way for crypto companies to go public, offering an alternative to the usual board structure of huge corporations. DAOs, which enable treasury administration and protocol development through blockchain-based smart contracts, are managed by some of the most popular DeFi apps, like Uniswap and MakerDAO.
You can invest in some of the most well-known DAOs. Take BitDAO, which, according to its website, invests in DeFi initiatives and has more than $3 billion in its treasury. PleasrDAO, created by NFT collectors, digital artists, and DeFi leaders to purchase Pplpleasr’s Uniswap V3 NFT, is another example. It has now bought a large number of digital artworks and was able to receive a $3.5 million loan in June by using some of its high-value NFTs as collateral.
GoodDollar is a new DAO that aims to persuade other decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to take on more social responsibility by supporting the distribution of Universal Basic Income. GoodDollarV2, which was released in December, has set a new benchmark for UBI distribution. It operates by utilizing yield farming and liquidity mining rewards to ensure a steady flow of funds into the protocol, resulting in crypto-based UBI for the entire community.
It’s a project that’s certain to acquire traction, because, as 2021 has demonstrated, the concept of DAOs with defined objectives and identities that prioritize the interests of their communities has already taken hold. We may expect more DAOs to collaborate as they act for the good of their communities as we approach 2022.