Last year marked one of the biggest growth phases of the crypto industry since Bitcoin’s debut over a decade ago. The total crypto market capitalization hit the $2 trillion mark, with upcoming niches such as Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) taking the day.
Last year marked one of the biggest growth phases of the crypto industry since Bitcoin’s debut over a decade ago. The total crypto market capitalization hit the $2 trillion mark, with upcoming niches such as Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) taking the day. While both of these crypto ecosystems stood out, NFTs gained more interest from both the crypto community and other sectors, including gaming and the art industry.
With barely a month into 2022, the NFT trend seems to be continuing with its upward momentum. More crypto innovators are pivoting to build NFT-related projects hence the rise of the metaverse, a virtual world where users can interact and replicate real-world experiences within 3D powered ecosystems. That said, 2022 will likely welcome a diverse range of crypto innovations to support the growing metaverse and DeFi market.
So, what are some of the trends that we can expect this year? While predictions may slightly deviate, signs on the wall show that NFTs will probably have another good run. Other areas where crypto stakeholders are paying attention include decentralized identities (DID), scalable blockchain networks and community-driven DeFi platforms. The next section of this article features some of the promising crypto projects in the aforementioned niches.
Starly is an NFT project that introduces a launchpad and marketplace for digital collectables. Built on the flow blockchain, Starly’s NFT model stands out by offering a gamified experience for creatives and their fanbase. The platform enables creatives to monetize their social presence by creating an NFT collection of randomly sealed packs.
Each pack contains a set of 21 cards, featuring three different rarity classes; 11 commons, 6 rare and 4 legendary. Collectors who are fans of the creators can therefore engage their favourite icons by opening the packs to own a unique card collection. Additionally, a collector can buy or sell their cards through the Starly NFT marketplace to form a complete set.
As for the incentive model, top card collectors are rewarded by creators for achieving set milestones along the way. The Starly NFT ecosystem has also achieved some notable accomplishments, including a grant from Dapper Labs for supporting the Flow blockchain community. Looking into the future, this NFT ecosystem is one of the projects to watch this year.
Selfkey is another crypto project with promising prospects; this Ethereum-built wallet solves the issue of decentralized identifiers (DID). At the core, Selfkey’s ecosystem introduces a decentralized and non-custodial digital identity system that can be used to access traditional financial services and the crypto market.
For a long time, access to various financial services has been a cumbersome process, given that clients have to go through fresh KYC reviews when switching to a different provider. Selfkey eliminates this shortcoming by offering its users a non-custodial wallet, where they can store, verify and use their credentials to access multiple financial ecosystems.
Given this value proposition, Selfkey has accomplished several milestones since the project was launched back in 2017. For starters, they have integrated with hardware wallets such as Trezor and Ledger. In addition, Selfkey’s DID solution was recognized and added to the W3C DID Method Registry.
Like most decentralized crypto projects, Selfkey features a native token dubbed KEY that can be used to pay for products and services. Selfkey users can also stake KEY to earn LOCK governance token rewards. In doing so, this DID platform ensures that a user’s identity is authentic and reliable.
Qtum is a Layer-1 blockchain network designed to enhance the efficiency of smart contract development. This open-sourced public blockchain combines Bitcoin’s UTXO model with the power of virtual machines to introduce a business-friendly smart contract platform. Furthermore, Qtum’s Decentralized Governance Protocol (DGP) allows developers to modify specific blockchain settings.
The Qtum blockchain also supports multiple wallet software, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and hardware wallets, to mention a few. Enterprises can leverage Qtum to build customized blockchain solutions for their businesses. A trend that is fast-growing given the value proposition of blockchain infrastructure to most of the existing processes in today’s industries.
Qtum has also proven to be one of the most resilient smart contract ecosystems based on the fact that its blockchain network has never been down since launching in 2017. While there are multiple Layer-1 smart contract platforms, Qtum has a great potential of disrupting the future of DApps.
Pangolin is a community-driven decentralized exchange (DEX) that runs on the Avalanche ecosystem. Like Uniswap, Pangolin’s DEX infrastructure is based on the automated market maker (AMM) model. Crypto users can leverage this DEX to swap all tokens that are issued on Avalanche and the Ethereum ecosystem.
However, unlike Ethereum-built DEXs, Pangolin offers a cheap and fast trading environment. The platform is also fully community-owned and governed through Pangolin’s native token, PNG. According to their tokenomics, 100% of the total 538 million PNG tokens will be distributed to the community through liquidity mining incentives and community airdrops.
As far as achievements go, Pangolin’s ecosystem has grown to around 5000 daily users while hitting a total value locked (TVL) of $300 million. The project has also formed over 30 partnerships, giving it the momentum to become one of the most popular DEXs to have launched on Avalanche.
Cryptocurrencies may seem like a fad, however, that is not the case. The rate at which innovations are happening in this nascent ecosystem will likely set the stage for a new paradigm of finance. That said, some niches will evolve faster in the coming years. They include the trends featured in this article and other under the hood projects in areas such as the crypto derivatives market. 2022 will undoubtedly be a fun-filled year as the industry debuts more fundamental solutions and innovations.