As 2021 draws to a close, cryptocurrencies are now just a stone’s throw away from becoming a fully valid part of mainstream finance, according to some analysts.
This year was marked by huge events for crypto: El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender, China’s major crackdown on crypto-mining, India’s threat to ban all private cryptocurrencies, big investors entering the crypto game, and Facebook going all-in with its metaverse. And, overall, it was a time of wild swings and record prices.
Here are the top projections for the sector in 2022, according to industry experts who spoke to Business Insider:
- If countries take a hostile stance, adoption will be much slower, predicts Witek Radomski, co-founder of blockchain platform Enjin.
- The price of ether – which is second only to bitcoin in terms of market capitalization – will rise at a much faster rate than its rival, due to the move to proof of stake, according to Tom Higgin, CEO at asset management platform Gold-I.
- Initial game offerings will become popular, says Nick Saponaro, co-founder and CEO of decentralized payment ecosystem Divi Project, and larger organizations such as GameStop and Epic will begin making plays at some point next year.
- Bitcoin will gain the upper hand over stocks in 2022, opines Mike McGlone, head crypto analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
- A remote-first Fortune 500 company will declare its official headquarters to be on one of the competing metaverses, predicts Brandon Arvanaghi, CEO of crypto startup Meow.
- And the metaverse will become the new interface via which people engage with the web and each other, says Justin Banon, co-founder of decentralized network Boson Protocol.
- Most people will conduct their day-to-day jobs partially in the metaverse, according to Shane Molidor, chief revenue officer at digital asset financial platform AscendEx.
- There will be a battle between the metaverse used by crypto-natives and those launched by gaming and corporate entities such as Meta, predicts Brock Pierce, chair of the Bitcoin Foundation.
- Investors will start using bots to make purchases during non-fungible-token minting events, which may shut out less sophisticated users, opines Ethan McMahon, economist at blockchain data platform Chainalysis.
- Crypto-economy market capitalization will rise from a peak of $3 trillion in 2021 to over $7.5 trillion, according to Rohit Talwar, CEO at insight and research business Fast Future, and at least 25 nations will be using a central bank digital currency by the end of 2022, either their own or one issued by another country, such as China’s digital yuan.
- Banks will look to crypto for fraud trends, says Chris Stephens, head of fraud and security analytics at identification platform Callsign.
- The world’s first billion-dollar hack is on the cards, as decentralized finance activity burgeons, according to Benjamin Whitby, who oversees regulatory affairs at cross-chain protocol Qredo.
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