A few years ago, no one could have imagined how much of an impact blockchain would have on our lives and how much it would change the world as we know it.
Whether we’re talking about blockchain’s use in global supply chains or its application in global payments, there are new uses and advancements to be made almost every day.
To get a head start on the industry and learn more about the technology that will continue to shape our lives, here are three predictions about blockchain’s expansion that you can keep an eye out for in the year 2022.
The Growth of Faster and Less Expensive Blockchains
Blockchain technology is steadily emerging from the shadow of the three leading cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Hyperledger. This is all about to change. If everyone used Bitcoin like it was meant to be used — as an omnipresent, decentralized, non-government-owned financial system, the world might be entirely market-driven.
Unfortunately, such has not been the case. Today, bitcoin is primarily used as an investment – hodlers purchase bitcoin, hold it until the price rises and then sell for a decent profit. You take your chances, just as in the stock market.
Ethereum was almost similar to Bitcoin. Although, it introduced the concept of smart contracts, which allow deterministic, decentralized programs to run almost simultaneously on every node on the blockchain. The issue with Ethereum is that it is frustratingly slow and can be pricey.
Hyperledger can be significantly faster than Bitcoin and Ethereum, and transactions are practically free. The major problem is you do not have unrestricted access to a Hyperledger blockchain, as you do to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Hyperledger blockchains are permissioned blockchains, and as the name implies, permission must be granted to participate in transactions. Of course, this restricts public usage and appeal.
The year 2021 showed a decline in interest in the three stars of the crypto game. Newer blockchains like Dogecoin, Cardano, and Symbiosis finance are earning their places in the spotlight. Many more blockchains will emerge in 2022, touting the exact promises of speed, sustainability, affordability, and capacity to support smart contracts.
NFTs Will Become More Mainstream
In 2022, NFTs will become a multibillion-dollar market, making it easier for users to trade their most prized collectibles in virtual space. The space has experienced exponential growth in the last year, far above anyone’s expectations. NFTs have evolved dramatically, from 1/1 auctions to the PFP collection mania, and now more complex utility-focused NFTs.
In addition, more businesses began to take an interest in NFTs in the latter half of 2021, especially considering the volume of sales hitting $9 billion. For example, big names like Nike and Adidas took interest, with Nike acquiring trailblazers RTFKT studios and Adidas partnering with NFT startups such as BAYC, Punks comic, and Coinbase.
These are merely stepping stones; businesses will continue to extend their foothold in the NFT space and metaverse as 2022 progresses, and there will undoubtedly be more eyes on the scene.
Cryptocurrency remains the future of payments.
The rise of cryptocurrency has made it way easier to transact using digital money than ever before. A large percentage of 2022’s financial transactions will likely be carried out digitally.
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With the implementation of cryptocurrency payments by big businesses like PayPal and Mastercard in 2021, the move toward using crypto assets for transactional reasons appears to be permanent. The technology behind the market’s most exciting characteristics and applications – from NFTs to decentralized finance (DeFi) – has been shown to function repeatedly.
While cryptocurrencies still have a long way to go, widespread usage isn’t out of reach. Decentralized currency is one step closer to becoming an everyday reality. At least 100 million people will use cryptocurrency by 2022 as part of their daily lives.
Blockchain is one of the most powerful emerging technologies at the moment, and for a good reason — having the potential to revolutionize every sector, from banking to real estate to government.
If 2021 was the year blockchain (not just cryptocurrency) became a popular topic of discussion and research, 2022 appears to be very well the year that its knowledge and adoption are expected to accelerate. Individuals, investors, and company owners would be well to keep an eye on this sector in 2022.