The ongoing saga that is the collapse of FTX is dominating the crypto headlines and has led many to write off the industry for good as billions in investors’ funds have evaporated with no hope of regaining what was lost.
While the exchange and its contagion effect were a common topic of conversation during the first day of the AIBC conference in Malta, those most active in building in the space were also focused on the promising applications of blockchain technology that are rising in popularity.
According to Alexander Filatov, a co-founder and managing partner of EverX Labs, there are five main trends that will help the blockchain space surpass 1 billion users within the next 6 to 7 years.
The first of these trends is GameFi, a popular sector that emerged during the bull market of 2021 and introduced a way for gamers to earn money doing what they love. Included in this trend are things such as Act2Earn and Move2Earn, which rewards users for exercising and being active.
Filatov grouped these areas under the larger Metaverse trend, which the CEO suggested may be one of the most influential sectors that will bring about an accelerated adoption of blockchain technology and Web3.
The second growing trend is an increase in tokenization and nonfungible token (NFT) utility, which is becoming more popular with large corporations and creators who continue to discover Web3 monetization opportunities.
Improvements in the performance of blockchain protocols was the third trend cited by Filatov, as more scalable networks will be required to onboard new users. The transition of Ethereum from proof of work (POW) to proof of stake (POS) was cited as an example of this. As you are reading this, developers for the protocol are now focused on scaling the new POS ecosystem in order to facilitate wider adoption.
Along with improving the underlying blockchain tech, developers are also focused on upgrading the Web3 infrastructure and improving the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) so that new users are enticed to stay and engage once they start exploring the technology.
A fourth trend that will likely lead to an influx of money and participants in the crypto economy is an increase in government intervention and the establishment of regulations related to the use of blockchain-enabled technologies.
Multiple representatives from the institutional investing world have indicated that the lack of a clear regulatory framework is the biggest barrier to getting involved with cryptocurrencies, so the establishment of clear rules and regulations will allow these firms to start getting exposure to the asset class for the first time.
It has been estimated that roughly one-third of institutions in the U.S. are already invested in crypto on some level, meaning the available pool of institutional investors remains large and capable of having a large impact.
The final trend noted by Filatov was an increase in the experimentation with things like Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), social tokens, decentralized social networks, and Web3 media as the technology becomes more widely available.
One of the main uses of the internet by the everyday person is for social interaction, and this is one sector of the market where blockchain has yet to make solid inroads.
DAOs allow the community to make important decisions for a project and foster interaction between protocol users, and social media with built-in blockchain capabilities opens the door for things like creator rewards and the monetization of social interactions.
While FTX is dominating the headlines currently, its effects will one day pass and the journey to the widespread adoption of blockchain technology will continue. According to Filatov, the current adoption curve is largely mirroring that of the internet, and the industry will surpass 1 billion users within 6 to 7 years if the trajectory stays the same.
Despite the short-term noise, the long-term outlook for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies remains a positive one as the number of builders looking to leave their mark on the industry continues to increase.