Ten things that might happen to crypto in 2022.
- Prediction 1: A major web2 company takes crypto payments mainstream
- Prediction 2: OpenSea faces regional & vertical competition
- Prediction 3: Fintech & crypto blend together
- Prediction 4: NFT creator infrastructure proliferates
- Prediction 5: Transactions get more private
- Prediction 6: Crypto gambling takes off
- Prediction 7: The crypto community influences policy
- Prediction 8: Web2 companies create crypto treasuries
- Prediction 9: DAO infrastructure matures
- Prediction 10: Everything moves multichain
Prediction 1: A major web2 company takes crypto payments mainstream
Stripe, Shopify, and Square (Block) have all staffed up teams to integrate crypto into their businesses. In 2022, at least one of these companies will ship a major release that enables people to transact in crypto without even realizing it (e.g. Shop Pay or Cash App swap USD to USDC on the backend to seamlessly transfer funds between customers & merchants). This change will open up the floodgates for mass crypto adoption and onboard millions of more people into the crypto world.
Prediction 2: OpenSea faces regional & vertical competition
Similar to how crypto exchanges dominate on a regional basis (Coinbase in USA, CoinSwitch Kuber in India, Mercado Bitcoin in Brazil, Upbit in Korea, etc), I expect NFT marketplaces to do the same. OpenSea clones in other geographies will arise and win share in each location. In addition, category-specific NFT marketplaces for verticals like photography, gaming, and music will take off.
Prediction 3: Fintech & crypto blend together
Over the last few years, hundreds of neobanks have popped up for every imaginable segment of the market. These companies seek every edge to step ahead of their competitors. We’ll see many of these fintech companies tap into the web3 world for things like:
- Exposure to crypto as an asset class through direct crypto trading or crypto index funds
- Access to high-yield savings opportunities through stablecoins
- Usage of underlying crypto tech to more effectively transfer money + run a general ledger
Prediction 4: NFT creator infrastructure proliferates
Though NFTs went mainstream in 2021, it’s still difficult for most creators to create and manage their own NFTs. In 2022 we’ll see more companies start that build tools for creators to easily work with this new technology. These companies will split across a number of dimensions like what service they provide, what creator segment they target (game studios vs. fashion brands vs. musicians), and what size of project they support (enterprise vs. SMB vs. individual)
Prediction 5: Transactions get more private
Web3 is secured by openness, but in 2022 there will be a movement to better protect wallet data and shield transactions from the public eye. Projects like Aztec Network and Tornado Cash will gain more ground as users demand privacy for what they’re doing on the blockchain.
Prediction 6: Crypto gambling takes off
Projects like Zed Run have proven that digital horse racing on the blockchain can be a hit. Though prediction markets like Polymarket have not gained as much steam as expected, I expect more betting companies to arise and this behavior to become more popular. Regulation could be a big issue here, but we will likely also see incumbents move this direction over time.
Prediction 7: The crypto community influences policy
a16z’s recently commissioned public opinion survey indicates that web3 is emerging as a major political force. Crypto owners will form a voting constituency that politicians will begin to recognize as meaningful to elections. The community as a whole will come together to promote beneficial policy & regulatory reform in a collaborative way.
Prediction 8: Web2 companies create crypto treasuries
As inflation increases, money stored in USD continues to lose value. Big business will recognize they’re storing cash inefficiently, so they’ll invest directly in blue-chip tokens like Ethereum and Bitcoin or store their free cash in stablecoins that enable them to earn higher yields. This influx of cash will surge TVLs across the major stablecoin ecosystems.
Prediction 9: DAO infrastructure matures
Though DAOs increased wildly in 2021 due to projects like ConstitutionDAO and FlamingoDAO, there are still core problems that need to be addressed before it truly goes mainstream (e.g. ConstitutionDAO return of funds). Infrastructure like @SyndicateDAO will vastly improve the DAO experience and lead to true mainstream DAO adoption in 2023 or 2024.
Prediction 10: Everything moves multichain
As the number of individual Layer 1 blockchains grow (and more show up), interoperable blockchain bridges will become more important to the ecosystem. Decentralized apps will tap into blockchain bridges to increase access to other platforms they want to build on.
What did I miss? What will I get wrong? Either way, can’t wait to see what 2022 brings!