Bitcoin may not be putting in the same stellar performance as last January, but as 2022 gets into its stride, things continue to look distinctly rosy in the crypto sector. NFTs remain in the headlines thanks to epic growth and celebrity endorsements. VC funds are still pouring into the space, while qWeb3 and the metaverse are the hottest words in Silicon Valley right now.
Moreover, even if the crypto markets fail to reclaim 2021’s dizzy highs, most sources agree that a crypto winter reminiscent of 2018 and 2019 doesn’t feature on the forecast. In each subsection of the cryptocurrency space, there’s plenty of legitimate user activity, investment, and project development ongoing to ensure the sector can survive and even thrive during market fluctuations. Here are five forecasts for five growth sectors in crypto in 2022.
A Multitude of Metaverses
Particularly since Facebook cemented its metaverse intentions with a name change, there’s been much intrigue around which metaverse will ultimately reign supreme. Will centralized Meta’s solid user base win out against the decentralized protocols of Web3, like Decentraland and The Sandbox?
The “one winner” idea may appeal to our more gladiatorial tendencies, but Bit. Country has another, better idea – the multi-metaverse. The project allows anyone to architect their customized metaverse, tailoring the map, 3D world, games, economics, and governance to the community’s specific needs. It is built on Polkadot, Bit. Country is interoperable and has already attracted over 26,000 users to its first metaverse, Kaosland. The project has also successfully secured over $35 million from many investors.
The multi-metaverse approach seems more likely to succeed than a winner-takes-all. This is because it creates a more robust and competitive market and offers diverse space for people to find their communities, reflecting how things work in real life. Therefore, expect to see a proliferation of metaverses emerge in 2022, seeded by projects like Bit.Country.
NFTs Take Hold in Social Media
NFTs are the backbone of the metaverse and Web3, and social media is the epicentre of Web2. Therefore, in 2022, we’re likely to see NFTs embedding themselves more deeply into the social media landscape. Mainstream platforms like Twitter have already confirmed their intention to allow users to display NFTs on their profile images.
On the other side of the equation, the long tail of social media creators and influencers are beginning to grasp the power of NFTs for directly monetizing their audiences. Projects like Creaton enable a creator to govern access to their content via NFTs so that only subscribers can decrypt it for viewing. Platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans became successful because creators wanted to claim back some of the value they were generating for the big platforms. However, a Web3 solution gives complete control of content and revenue to creators, freeing them from the centralized stranglehold of Web2.
Creaton recently secured a series of strategic investments in a round led by NuCypher, ZBS Capital, and ExNetwork. As a result, expect to see the project take its place in the Web3 social landscape in 2022.
DeFi Security Improvements
DeFi has been one of crypto’s biggest success stories of recent years, but the industry is unfortunately still plagued by scams, rug pulls, and hacks. According to the Rekt leaderboard, most of the most significant incidents occurred in 2021, indicating worsening the problem.
One challenge is that many people don’t know which protocols and platforms are safe, which is a particular issue in such a busy and competitive space. RSK, the smart contract layer for the Bitcoin blockchain, has been working hard over the last two years to develop its DeFi ecosystem, which is now thriving. As RSK is merge-mined with Bitcoin, it boasts one of the highest hash rates of all blockchains, making it very secure.
RSK is gaining a further boost thanks to Bitcoin’s adoption as legal tender in El Salvador. In addition, Kripton Markets, an online marketplace based on the platform, recently expanded into a Latin American country. If more governments follow in El Salvador’s footsteps in 2022, it’s likely to be a significant boon for Bitcoin-based DeFi.
Blockchain Security Becomes Enterprise-ready
As blockchain adoption grows, particularly among enterprises and financial institutions, concerns regarding the public nature of blockchain data and its overall security become more significant. Legacy solutions for keeping blockchain data secure simply aren’t fit for enterprise purposes, so core development teams have been working to address the issue over recent years.
Partisia is a public blockchain that uses secure, multi-party computation (MPC), the first of its kind to integrate the two technologies successfully. Combining blockchain and MPC allows enterprises to reap all the benefits of decentralized technologies while guaranteeing that data remains private and secure.
The project recently teamed up with Swiss corporation OriginAll to develop a system to solve the challenges of counterfeit medicines in Africa. It’s also positioning itself as the blockchain for data security and privacy in Web3.0, well aligned with the current zeitgeist across the space.
More Sophisticated Decentralized Governance
One of the most significant gaps in the Web3 space is identity. The entire Web2 space has evolved such that users are forced to hand over their data to big tech firms to interact online. Yet, the very idea of Web3 has flourished around the ideas of self-sovereignty, ownership of data and assets, and taking back control of our online identities.
KILT is a decentralized identity blockchain network for Web3. To avoid the issues of Web2, where control of data is centralized into self-interested entities, KILT has implemented a sophisticated decentralized governance protocol where the KILT coin-owning community determines the development of the project. Any coin owner can put forward any proposal, and others can then choose to second it by bonding coins. Proposals with the most seconds are automatically entered into a referendum for a full vote.
It also operates a conviction voting system, allowing a user to bond more KILT to indicate the strength of their belief in the proposal.
Decentralized governance has long been a thorn in the side of the blockchain community, so if KILT’s methodology proves successful in 2022, keep an eye out for copycats.