Blockchain technology has proven to be a source of innovation, at first via cryptocurrencies, and now through numerous and various applications. Considering the past two years witnessed the global crypto market cap exceeding $2 trillion, investments in the field have been abundant, fostering the emergence of new blockchain projects with ambitious goals. Some of these trends stand out and can potentially generate multiple headlines this year, which is why investors and crypto fans should be aware of them.
Green initiatives via blockchain
After a long and tedious debate over blockchain’s energy consumption and its impact on the environment, blockchain enthusiasts are constantly looking for alternatives to the traditional proof-of-work consensus mechanism. Ethereum, the second-largest crypto project in the world is projected to end its transition towards proof-of-stake in 2022, for example.
Other smaller projects are also implementing PoS, as well as innovative blockchain solutions to increase efficiency, while also conserving energy usage. Cathy Wood, CEO of Ark Invest, believes that the growing demand for energy will lead to more investments in renewables, fostering the development of new applications, including some related to blockchain.
Online trading and crypto adoption
Thanks to elevated volatility in the cryptocurrency space, traders are showing increased interest in this asset type and adding it to their portfolios. As a result, crypto trading recently became a popular activity, especially since retail brokerages like easyMarkets now offer cryptocurrency-based contracts for difference with attractive conditions and professional trading tools.
In tandem with higher trading volumes, 2021 will be remembered as the year when the first sovereign country made Bitcoin legal tender. Experts in the field, such as Alexander Hoptner, the CEO of a popular crypto exchange, believe other countries might follow El Salvador on this path in 2022.
Global inflation and attractive fees when using crypto are just two of the reasons why this transition towards crypto can accelerate. When it comes to larger nations, creating their own digital currencies seems to be the dominant trend. If that trend persists, traditional cryptocurrencies will soon have competitors, backed by governments.
With Facebook changing its name to Meta, the whole idea of the ‘metaverse’ became mainstream. With a combination of blockchain technology, and new innovative applications for NFTs (non-fungible tokens), metaverse-related applications are expected to be on the rise this year.
Crypto gaming is already an important business, given big names like Axie Infinity, Atari, and Aardman Animations are involved. The Sandbox is a virtual world that lets anyone create their own games and environments, using the Ethereum-based blockchain currency $Sand to buy/sell digital goods or assets.
Metaverse applications have attracted large brands as well, including Dolce & Gabbana and Nike, both currently displaying clothing and footwear that come with NFTs. Alongside Facebook, Microsoft and Nvidia are two other tech behemoths involved, meaning that the trend can pick up even more steam during 2022.
However, these three sectors are just some of the many trends that are projected to increase in popularity. Companies can innovate even further and come up with new ideas that can take the whole industry by surprise.