What will be the top crypto trends in 2022?
2021 crypto trends
The year 2021 was mainly characterized by three main trends.
Initially, there was a further boom in DeFi, which started in August 2020 but only finally took off in early 2021. Thanks to this new boom, BNB (Binance Coin) took third place overall among the cryptocurrencies with the largest market capitalization, and LUNA (Terra) and AVAX (Avalanche) also made waves during the year.
The second trend, which started in February and March, was that of NFTs, which mainly benefited SOL (Solana).
The third was the meme coin trend, which led first to Dogecoin and then Shiba Inu entering the top 10 of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
In fact, looking at the ranking of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, it seems that this third trend has now passed, as both DOGE and SHIB have dropped out of the top 10. Instead, DeFi (BNB, LUNA and AVAX) and NFTs (SOL) are holding their ground.
Trends in 2022: the metaverse
It is possible that the trend to watch in 2022 will be metaverse.
In fact, this trend started in 2021, mainly due to Facebook’s (now Meta) entry into this sector, but it may not have reached its full potential.
In fact, the main tokens or cryptocurrencies linked to the world of metaverse, AXS, SAND and MANA, are still only in 32nd, 40th and 46th place among the major cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, all with less than $7 billion in total capitalization.
The metaverse will therefore not be a trend that starts in 2022, but one that started already in 2021 and is continuing into 2022. A bit like, for example, that of DeFi between 2020 and 2021.
But it is possible that this will not be the only trend.
Crypto regulation coming
Many are betting that a major trend could be the regulation of cryptocurrencies. In fact, a major trend in this direction has been speculated for a few years now, but it does not seem to have started yet.
On the contrary, after the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador in 2021, regulation seems to be becoming less and less scary.
In particular, it might be worth keeping an eye on the situation in Turkey, where the local currency seems to be collapsing, and the government has already indicated that it is seriously considering issuing a regulatory framework for the legal use of cryptocurrencies.
Another trend that has been expected for years, but which has not yet taken off, is that of security tokens, i.e. the tokenization of shares, or the issuing of tokenized shares on the market.
Theoretically, this trend, if it were to take off, could even be gigantic, given that equity markets are still vastly larger than crypto markets.
However, the success of this trend is highly dependent on the evolution of regulation, as equities are fully regulated, thus requiring the tokens attached to them to also be regulated.
Bitcoin as a means of payment
Some also speculate on at least two other possible trends.
The first is related to the spread of Bitcoin as a means of payment, also thanks to crypto ATMs. The key point here is the possible adoption of BTC as legal tender by other countries besides El Salvador.
Should something similar happen, it is conceivable that BTC will become more widely used as a transactional currency, especially through the use of the Lightning Network.
Indeed, it is probably the possible development of new tools on LN that could trigger new trends, such as BTC payments.
Bitcoin’s environmental impact
Finally, there are those who bet that the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, and especially Bitcoin, could become so important that it will attract a lot of attention.
Right now, the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining is probably the single biggest problem to be solved in the crypto sector, along with fraud, and indeed it is hard to imagine it being forgotten.
However, it has to be said that virtually no one in 2020 predicted that there would be an NFT or meme coin boom in the following year, so these predictions are always a bit of a long shot.