The cryptocurrency and blockchain tech industries are always moving incredibly quickly. Completely new ideas appear regularly, taking both new and existing fields to exciting new places.
If there’s one thing that’s been constant across the crypto industry since its inception, it’s that nobody really knows what’s going to happen next. However, there are five trends that you had better keep an eye on during 2022 that could be the biggest of the year.
1. More Acceptance From Established Organizations
We’re a long way from the dark days of crypto when even managing to transfer between cash and cryptocurrency was a major challenge. Today, there we’re seeing widespread adoption by major organizations like PayPal, Visa, and more. In 2022, we might see this adoption spread far beyond the domain of payment processors.
In fact, many companies are setting out to start their own cryptocurrency. The benefits that crypto provides are already clear, and many blockchain startups have demonstrated the utility of having their own tokens or coins. Today, companies like Air Asia, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and NetCents are all exploring the idea of creating their own cryptocurrencies for their customers to use.
2. A Massive Boom in Crypto Company Investments and App Development
While plenty of investors choose to buy cryptocurrencies directly, others invest in companies developing crypto and blockchain projects. There are many startups out there with promising new ideas and plenty of venture capital firms to provide funding. 2022 is expected to be the biggest year yet for these investments.
In fact, we’ve just come off the best year ever for crypto startups. 2021 saw over $33 billion in investments for crypto and blockchain tech startups, more than tripling the previous record of $8 billion in 2018. Despite the drop in crypto prices from late-2021 highs, the industry is still going strong into 2022. It seems investors have become more savvy and understand how to differentiate between schemes like the Immediate Edge app which was recently exposed here, and genuine investing opportunities.
3. Stiff Competition for Ethereum
Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency behind bitcoin, making up about 18% of the total crypto market. It’s far ahead of the third-place Tether (a stable coin used to facilitate USD to crypto transactions), which is just 4.6% of the market. However, there are some up-and-comers that could give Ethereum some real competition.
Cardano and Solana are currently the 8th and 9th largest cryptocurrencies at roughly 1.5% of the market each. However, they’re serious competitors in terms of features and functionality. They can fulfill many of the primary uses of Ethereum, often doing so faster and cheaper. With the Ethereum 2.0 update on the way, we could see this competition kick into high gear in 2022.
4. Ongoing Price Volatility
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have always been incredibly volatile, with essentially unpredictable swings in prices. We’re sitting at a bit of a low point right now, down roughly 40% from the November 2021 all-time high of over $68,000, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe volatility will stop any time soon.
The complete ban of cryptocurrency transactions from China is one incident that has cast serious doubt in cryptocurrency circles. Broader geopolitical events have led to increased volatility across markets of all kinds, and cryptocurrencies have been no exception.
5. Clearer US Regulation on the Horizon
On March 9th, the White House released a long-anticipated executive order on cryptocurrency policy and planning. The order lays out instructions for the US Treasury Department and other relevant institutions to begin the development of a more comprehensive set of crypto regulations.
While the eventual outcome is still unclear, most crypto communities responded well to the executive order, with Bitcoin seeing a brief spike as news began to spread. With a more organized plan for crypto regulation, 2022 could see many of the remaining doubts and tensions around crypto dissipate.