A Review of 2021 in the Crypto Space plus a Peek into 2022
Review of 2021: A lot has happened in the crypto space. Highlights of the year include El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as an official means of payment, record-breaking new all-time highs in many cryptocurrencies, and China banning all Bitcoin miners from the country. There’s a lot going on in a crypto review these days!
We’re still early
No review could be complete without mentioning El Salvador. For crypto veteran Aaron Koenig, El Salvador’s decision to make the entire country “Bitcoin Beach” was one of the most impressive market events of 2021. Alexander Hoeptner, CEO of BitMex, has a similar view. Alexander says:
“The fact that El Salvador accepts Bitcoin as an official means of payment is really the beginning of the triumphal march of tokenization, blockchain technology and crypto in general. As a result, the barriers to use have fallen and a realistic use case materializes.”
Eugene Teslov, of the Everscale network, explains that the NFT hype was quite impressive for him:
“I would say it was a lot about NFTs last year. When world-famous auction houses start selling jpegs, it says something. Adidas’ recent collaboration with BAYC is also a real blast. It is a fact that such a commitment attracts millions of ‘normies.’ On-boarding through NFTs brings people to a taste for crypto, then comes staking, followed by farming and DeFi, and the next moment these people become ambassadors of decentralization. The goal has been achieved!”
As it stands, not only Bitcoin has reached an important milestone with profound consequences for our financial system. The crypto space with all its niches has shown incredible developments. It will change various economic sectors forever.
Now we can slowly ask ourselves whether we are moving from the phase of “early adoption” to the phase of “early majority.”
The sum of events
Susanne Fromm, CEO of coinIX, explains that the sum of events in the crypto market was impressive:
“Crypto technology has experienced a strong acceleration in use and adoption in 2021 and has also impressively demonstrated some special features. At the beginning of the year, in my conversations with private and professional investors, I experienced a largely skeptical sentiment towards crypto currencies. Reservations such as the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal activities or an imminent ban by regulators were still very present. Almost a year later, even the German savings bank group (50 million customers) is now working on offering investments in Bitcoin and Ethereum. A number of other banks… have similar plans.
The speed with which cryptocurrencies have established themselves as a mass-market, serious asset class is astonishing.
I also found the events surrounding China’s policy shift towards Chinese crypto miners remarkable. Even though the majority of the hash power of the Bitcoin network to date was in China, the Bitcoin network reacted to the miner exodus as expected: completely unimpressed. The decentralization and inherent adjustment mechanisms compensated for the massive drop in computing power and the hash rate has since recovered almost completely.
And not to forget: El Salvador. The fact that crypto technology can massively promote financial inclusion has already been demonstrated there. Less than 30% of El Salvadorans have bank accounts – a higher rate has not been achieved by the traditional banking system in the country in all the years before. But within a few weeks of the official Bitcoin launch, more El Salvadorans had Bitcoin wallets than bank accounts. “
Review – A patchwork of possibilities
This diversity is also reflected in Susanne’s professional life. coinIX was able to cover some exciting and new areas of the crypto universe through diversifying investments:
“In addition to some investments in decentralized finance (DeFi), for example in Sigmadex, a decentralized cross-chain exchange and at the same time a liquidity protocol, we were able to expand our metaverse investments with the NFT game Snook and the NFT marketplace Niftify, for example. With BloXmove, for example, we were also able to map the progress of the token economy in traditional industries in our portfolio. The company emerged from the Daimler Group and connects providers of urban mobility services such as electric scooters, car sharing or public transport and uses its own token for this purpose.”
What the year 2022 will bring us…
Review over, let’s look to the future. Of course, none of us has a reliable crystal ball for predicting the future at home. However, we can orient ourselves on the current trends and accordingly assume in which areas the year 2022 will surprise us. Aaron Koenig explains that hyperbitcoinization could become a big issue in 2022:
“I think that the example of El Salvador will lead many people to switch to Bitcoin, initially mainly guest workers for foreign remittances to their home countries. In particular, the Lightning Network will help ensure that you will soon be able to pay with Bitcoin everywhere.”
Alexander Hoeptner also assumes that we will see much more adoption:
“As more and more countries accept BTC as a legal tender and thus the blockchain infrastructure, cryptos will become the central and connecting element of society.”
Eugene Teslov sees great potential in the field of Web3 and WebFree:
“We’re still pretty early. DeFi is in the process of developing its strength, NFTs are only gradually becoming usable. And there are few chains that can offer a TPS comparable to VISA (yes, Everscale is one of them, sorry for bragging). I see this process as baby steps, and the biggest step to take is to convert as many normalos as possible to blockchain technologies. If millions of people are interested in, understand and feel the technology, then the time has come to further advance its use. Will 2022 be a bull year or a bear year? Who knows, for me both scenarios are conceivable – the good thing about the bear market is that we can spend more time on development and don’t have to be distracted by the hype.”
From review to 2022 – it could be about sub-trends
Susanne Fromm has a vision for 2022:
“The crypto adaptation will continue to progress inexorably next year. This will be driven by various sub-trends that we are already seeing today. There will be more and more interoperability solutions between the different blockchain ecosystems. And there will also be more and more solutions that connect Web 2.0, the Internet as most people know it today, and blockchain-based Web 3.0, uniting elements of both, still quite separate worlds. The user experience and accessibility of crypto applications, many of which are still predominantly used via desktop computers today, will continue to improve. More and more projects are being developed according to the “mobile first” principle and thus become smartphone-compatible and friendly. Blockchain solutions are thus becoming accessible to ever broader user groups, because the majority of the internet is already being used everywhere via mobile devices. Mobile usage is particularly high in South America, Africa and Asia, also because many users there do not have access to desktop computers at all.”
Web 3.0 – centralized platforms could come under pressure
In the area of Web 3.0 applications, Susanne expects the further development of the user experience standard and an approach to Web 2.0:
“At the same time, the decentralized Metaverse creates a whole new level of user experience. In addition to the increasingly multidimensional, interactive and intense experiences of the digital worlds, the decentralized Metaverse also offers the advantages of blockchain technology. This is free accessibility, immortality and fair participation in value creation. While the users and creators of content in Web 2.0 could practically not participate in the massive profits of the Internet giants and had little control over their data, this is changing massively in the decentralized Metaverse. With self-sovereign identity solutions, everyone will be able to determine their own data. With the fungible and non-fungible tokens, i.e. with “cryptocurrencies” and NFTs, everyone can now own a part of this new Internet and participate in the massive growth.
Through this value proposition, the decentralized Metaverse will win over the majority of users and centralized Internet giants such as Meta or other major players will have to massively adapt their business model and become more open and fair if they want to be successful with their Metaverse versions in the long term.”
“Even though the mass adoption of the decentralized metaverse will probably take years, I think we will see great progress in 2022.”
While Bitcoin surprised us at Christmas in 2021 with one bullrun and one new all-time high after another, we can now look back on a solid development in so many areas of the crypto world.
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