2021 Crypto Year in Review
Cryptocurrency’s historic year is full of incredible developments. The advancement of DeFi and NFTs are setting up Web 3.0 to be the greatest technological revolution since the printing press.
The possibilities of cryptocurrency are bringing in previously skeptical institutions to invest in crypto and begin to build real-world applications. Much of this is thanks to Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy, who led the Bitcoin reserve trend.
Celebrities also aped into crypto with Elon Musk sending Doge to the moon and being dubbed the DogeFather to be forever enshrined.
Then El Salvador happened. The biggest moment in 2021 is undoubtedly El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender. The early-adopting country will certainly have plenty of eyes on it in 2022.
This week’s Netcoins Progressive Investor is using the successes of 2021 to peek into crypto adoption in 2022.
El Salvador Adopts Bitcoin, Who Will Be Next?
The once war-torn country of El Salvador undoubtedly surprised the world when President Nayeb Bukele announced the country would begin to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. Given El Salvador’s geopolitical location and proximity to U.S. hegemony, the adoption of Bitcoin did not seem like a viable option for an entire country. However, a young sharp leader can convince his people and the world that anything is possible.
To top it all of, if you told the citizens of the ancient city of Pompei that a new world-class city would-be built-in proximity to a volcano, they would laugh at you. Bukele sees this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. The ingenious creation of Bitcoin bonds to fund this experiment seeks to solve lower-income countries’ reliance on the IMF for fiscal support. He’ll also provide a blueprint to alleviate environmental concerns with Bitcoin mining by using geo-thermal energy.
All eyes will be on El Salvador as it will be the world’s first large-scale Bitcoin adoption. Zimbabwe is just one country plagued with crippling inflation that is eagerly looking on and awaiting results.
Big Business Bring Investment and Innovation to Crypto
As more fiat flows into crypto and away from traditional finance, investors can expect large companies to follow the money. Investors, much like a business, must stay sharp and stay on top of cutting edge technology in order to reap rewards.
Visa and Mastercard, arguably the largest and most recognizable payment platforms globally, are now going big into crypto. Visa, which is practically accepted everywhere, is partnering with NFT artist Micah Johnson to launch an NFT platform. The goal is to help digital artists break into the newest and hottest art scene.
Mastercard wasn’t going to sit idling on the sidelines and watch their biggest competitor ape into crypto. The credit card giant announced it would integrate Bitcoin into its payment platform.
Although these payment behemoths are entering crypto in different ways, they share one goal: to stay relevant and bet on the future of crypto or die.
The old saying if you can’t beat them, then join them rings true for large companies making their way into crypto. Visa and Mastercard aren’t the only big-name companies getting into the NFT game though; with the ever-expanding metaverse, some notable pop culture icons refuse to be left behind.
Metaverse And GameFi Bringing Crypto to The Mainstream
Competition in any space is healthy, and there’s no better venue than the metaverse.
New announcements of land purchases and NFT releases bring lots of excitement and new users looking to stay current or get a leg up.
Nike’s entry into the metaverse is by no means a new development. In 2019 a patent for “Cryptokicks” was filed. It is still awaiting approval for the line of NFTs. As recently as November, Nike is waiting for support for seven trademark applications for some of its most iconic trademarks, including the Nike swoosh and Jumpman logos.
In addition to metaverse ownership, Nike is beginning to beef up their human resources, and in good timing, as Adidas refuses to be left behind.
Adidas’ NFT venture into the Metaverse features partnerships with well-known Bored Ape Yacht Club, GMoney and PUNKS Comics. These metaverse partnerships are on full display by Adidas’ Twitter profile, which is a picture of Ape #8774 dressed up in a lime green track jacket with the logos.
As if these partnerships are not enough, the new cyber-home of the German sportswear company will be in The Sandbox, where it recently purchased a plot of land for fans and collectors to converge and enjoy a range of products and services.
Expect to see plenty of Adidas and Nike rollouts in the coming months. The attraction of collectors and sneakerheads into the metaverse will only increase as time goes on and the desire to access exclusive pieces increases.
Similarly, with Adidas and Nike both making splashes into the metaverse, competition in the metaverse ETF game will be something to look out for in 2022.
Two New Metaverse ETFs Launching in Canada
Iconic designers and retailers entering the metaverse are not the only new entrants to the space. Just as ETFs and futures provide traditional finance with opportunities to get a taste of crypto, a couple of new metaverse exposure ETFs are launching in Canada.
Horizons and Evolve will each be launching their respective metaverse ETFs. Although similarly themed, they will not hold the same investments.
The Horizons Global Metaverse Index (ETF) will primarily be companies in sectors that overlap with the metaverse. In contrast, the Evolve Metaverse ETF will include projects more actively involved in the metaverse. Although both products will not hold any specific cryptocurrencies, they will provide exposure to investors who may not otherwise enter the space.
Assuming the successful launches of these ETFs in Canada in 2022, these two metaverse exposures may prove rewarding for investors.
The metaverse will not be the metaverse without gaming. For the last 40 years, video games have provided people with entertaining and challenging escapes from reality. GameFi will likely steal the show in 2022.
GameFi: The Next Iteration of Gaming and Crypto
The evolution of video games is ready to make its next moves. 2021 is the breakout year for crypto gaming as the potential of NFTs is being realized, and of course, play-to-earn is the driving force of adoption.
The monumental game Axie Infinity shows the world what is possible when a video game can build a community, an economy, and do it all in a fun and entertaining way. The ability for Axie Infinity to create an economy and offer people in low-income countries a vision for a different destiny is genuinely revolutionary.
The play-to-earn success in the Philippines is life-changing and is something to replicate. So, life-changing that Yield Guild Games (YGG) is looking to other emerging markets where play-to-earn games can have a real impact on people’s lives.
Yield Guild Games, an early investor of Axie Infinity, has a straightforward goal: to onboard as many millions of global players to the metaverse as possible. YGG now has their token, which is sitting at a market cap of $570 million. All this hard-earned capital is re-investing into the metaverse by acquiring valuable game assets. A good chunk of these assets is from games YGG has recently inked deals with.
The metaverse/GameFi revolution is here and is here to stay. Work is being refined in the (post)pandemic world where more and more people are letting go of traditional jobs in search of better work-life balance. And play-to-earn opportunities can provide both.
A large share of the metaverse and GameFi is live on Ethereum, which has contributed to the congestion and gas fees that plagued 2021. ETH 2.0 and other layer 2 solutions will need to churn on all cylinders for things to take off and spur greater adoption.
Crypto Innovation Will Thrive With ETH 2.0 Merge and Layer 2 Solutions
Hopefully, by the time things heat up in 2022, the high gas fees that have plagued 2021 will be a thing of the past. It will be something to tell your grandchildren about as they trade tokens at the dinner table.
The most anticipated development for 2022 is the merger of ETH 2.0, which according to Glassnode Studios, has a total staked value of just under $5 billion. As Ethereum transitions to proof of stake, investors in the platform will have better opportunities to stake and earn. As Ethereum prepares the world for ETH 2.0, the network’s native token is now deflationary, much like Bitcoin.
The London Fork, implemented in July, burns some ETH as part of the gas fees used to pay for transactions. Token burning will burn at a gradual rate, creating a scarcity of the token and the price. If investors are fortunate to stake 32 Ethereum tokens, they will be their validator and earn excellent returns.
The planned merger will roll out sometime in Q1/Q2 of 2022. ETH 2.0 will also provide layer 2 solutions with the needed infrastructure to scale and be ready for all the metaverse, NFT, DeFi and GameFi activities that crypto enthusiasts are waiting for.
2022: The Year Crypto Becomes Mainstream
In one way or another, the new developments of crypto in 2021 stem from the crypto winter of 2018 and 2019. Some of what we have seen comes from investments and hard work happening when cryptocurrency fell off the mainstream radar for a couple of years only to come back with a bang.
2021 was a revolutionary year for crypto with layer 2 solutions hitting the scene, lives changing with play-to-earn gaming, El Salvador adopting bitcoin, and the beginnings of the metaverse. The entry of institutional financial players and big business into NFTs and the metaverse will spur more global adoption in ways that were only once imaginable.
With increased adoption also comes more problems that require solutions, and 2021 has been a year of where these solutions and upgrades will be on full display in 2022.
Make Netcoins Your Go-To Crypto Trading Platform in 2022
Investors looking for a leg up in 2022 will need to be early to innovations, new projects, and burgeoning communities. To be early, you need to be in the game.
If you have not already done so, now is the time to sign up for your free Netcoins account. You can deposit your existing cryptocurrency or fund your account with online bill payments and e-transfers. Signing up and trading only takes a few minutes.
Here’s to an exciting 2022 ahead!
Writer, content marketing at Netcoins.