If there's anything the crypto industry is known for, it's revolving storylines. Developments in the industry snowball into more developments, and chronicling them is always rewarding.
With 2022 underway, some storylines are sure to capture media attention more than others. Based on everything that happened last year, here are some tales likely to nab attention in 2022.
What Will Happen On The Regulatory Front?
Regulatory developments were perhaps the biggest disappointment for crypto in 2021. Many believed we would see significant changes in how agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulate digital assets, but not much changed.
The SEC finally approved exchange-traded funds (ETF) that track Bitcoin futures prices, but a pure-play Bitcoin ETF has yet to be greenlit. If the regulatory climate doesn't improve, it looks less likely that an ETF will pass SEC requirements.
It's always interesting to observe how other countries approach crypto regulations. El Salvador shocked the world last year when it accepted Bitcoin as legal tender, though results have been mixed. Will other countries follow suit?
What Trends Will Rule The Market This Year?
One of the most entertaining aspects of the crypto market is watching which trends take off. We decentralized finance (DeFi) rise in 2020. And DeFi continued its rise as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) became the next big thing.
For 2022, early predictions on hot trends include the metaverse and play-to-earn (P2E) games. Following the success of games like Decentraland and Axie Infinity, we expect several other developers to join in and disrupt the space.
Blockchain gaming is big right now and should be trending for a while. DeFi and NFTs are still in the eyes of investors, but gaming is a prominent hot spot.
Bitcoin To Six Figures?
Bitcoin started 2021 with a massive jump, its price breaking one boundary after another. Investors got richer, and for a minute there it looked like the market would never go bearish.
When Bitcoin hit $50,000 in February, many thought nothing could stop the asset from notching that $100,000 mark in 2021. But the downturn came, and investors had to hold tight.
On the next bull run, optimism renewed. The $100,000 predictions came rushing in, many claiming a "Santa rally" - the end of the year is always good for Bitcoin.
Now 2022 is here, and the market greeted investors with a strong bearish movement. Nevertheless, hope is high that Bitcoin could hit $100,000 this year. Crypto investors are holding out hope since movement in Bitcoin's price tends to trickle down to the entire market as a whole.
Who Will Catch IPO Fever Next?
Crypto firms going public is a sign of industry maturation. When Coinbase went public in April 2021, the entire industry - even the company's biggest competitors - celebrated. Now we're wondering who's next.
Binance has flirted with the idea of an initial public offering (IPO) - whether for the entire company or just its American subsidiary. There is also talk of exchanges like Gemini and FTX going public soon.
Then there's Ripple Labs. The blockchain giant is valued at over $10 billion already, though the securities fraud case that the SEC leveled against it in December 2020 will most likely trample hopes of an IPO right now. Once the SEC case gets resolved, anything can happen.
Will Ethereum's Reign Continue?
The Ethereum blockchain is still the top choice for most developers. But scalability issues are moving many developers to some of its rivals - the "Ethereum killers."
Ethereum has hope in the form of Ethereum 2.0 - a significant upgrade expected to solve scalability issues and reduce transaction fees and transaction confirmation times. Ethereum 2.0 plans to go live in 2022, following various delays.
If successful, Ethereum 2.0 could save Ethereum's dominance over other blockchains. If not, developers will most likely move to other blockchains. Solana, the Binance Smart Chain, and Cardano are already beefing up efficiency to handle more users. For many, this year could be make-or-break for Ethereum.