Bitcoin, diem, NFT, metaverse …: what should be expected for cryptocurrencies in 2022?

Bitcoin, diem, NFT, metaverse …: what should be expected for cryptocurrencies in 2022?

Bitcoin, diem, NFT, metaverse… : que faut-il anticiper pour les cryptomonnaies en 2022 ?

© Getty – Chesnot – Bitcoin

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INTERVIEW // Grégory Raymond, journalist specializing in cryptoassets, looks back on a historic 2021 for cryptocurrencies. It is projected with Les Numériques in 2022 and sheds light on what awaits the sector in the coming months.

For cryptocurrencies, 2021 will have been the year of all records. With a trade volume of more than $ 14 trillion against 1800 billion in 2020, but also 30 billion invested by venture capital funds around the world (four times more than in 2018), digital assets are coming out stronger. Last year was notably marked by the madness of the NFTs and the craze of American and Asian giants for the metaverse, presented as the “future of the Internet” .

In 2022, bitcoin could also outperform the S&P 500, according to a report from Arcane Research who notices that this crypto recorded an increase of 73% in 2021, against 28% for the S&P 500. A logical continuation for the cryptocurrency market which briefly exceeded $ 3 trillion in valuation last year.

But beyond the increase in the value of cryptocurrencies, what will be the impact of metaverse and Web3 on the sector? What will national digital currencies change? What future for Facebook’s cryptocurrency? So many questions that we asked Grégory Raymond, journalist at Capital specialized in cryptoassets and blockchain, creator of

the newsletter 21 Million which follows the news of cryptocurrencies.

Grégory Raymond
Grégory Raymond

THE NUMERICS – What should we remember from the year that has just ended?

GRÉGORY RAYMOND – 2021 was marked by the entry into force of the law which makes bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador . Even if everything is not yet perfect (especially because of the Chivo portfolio developed by the government), it will be very interesting to follow this experiment in a country where 70% of the population is not banked, and including a large diaspora. based in the United States was until now obliged to go through Western Union to send funds to their relatives (at great cost).

We can also remember the launch of several index funds (ETF) in the United States. The latter will further democratize bitcoin as an alternative to traditional investors. The ban on mining by China is also a key event that has led to a significant transfer of value to other countries more inclined to welcome this industry. This is very positive for the decentralization of bitcoin, because China has weighed up to 65% of the computing power mobilized to protect the network.

At the level of infrastructure, we have seen the emergence of new protocols that make it possible to experiment with decentralized finance (DeFi) for low fees. Among them, Solana or Avalanche are solid alternatives to ethereum, even if the latter still largely dominates the platform sector of smart contracts . Finally, 2021 was undoubtedly marked by the explosion of NFTs among the general public (even if the standard has existed since 2017). $ 30 billion has been invested in the crypto sector by venture capital funds of the whole world. It’s a record to put in particular to the credit of NFT . We saw it with

Sorare in France.

What is the place of NFTs in the crypto ecosystem today?

The NFTs do now part of the major sectors that make up the crypto industry. On OpenSea, NFT’s main platform alone, it traded for $ 3 billion in December. It’s colossal, but it must be put into perspective with the $ 1 trillion traded on all cryptocurrency exchanges over the same period.

A metaverse and the NFTs that make it up are valuable if they are part of a decentralized world

Is the metaverse a boon for cryptocurrencies?

The metaverses are a boon for the development of NFTs which are presented as items usable in open worlds. I see a lot of perspectives in the gaming , on condition that one accepts to integrate the part of speculation inherent in this type of asset. Not everyone is in favor, but games like Sorare Where Axie Infinity have shown that there is a market for it.

See Facebook placing a lot of ambition in this sector is it dangerous?

Regarding Facebook, I mainly see an announcement effect and few prospects: A metaverse and the NFTs that make it up are valuable if they are part of a decentralized world. The metaverse that the American firm imagines cannot be, Facebook being the champion of centralization. At most, the Facebook metaverse will be a 3D representation of what we are currently doing on the social network. The most interesting metavers can be found on Decentraland or Sandbox for the moment.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency, diem, and its associated wallet Are Novi in ​​danger after David Marcus leaves?

The project has not advanced one iota in 2021 and we can even say that ‘he stepped back. The experiment launched in October in the United States and Guatemala does not include the diem token. For compliance reasons, the USDP dollar stablecoin from the start-up Paxos was chosen to equip Novi, Facebook’s crypto wallet at the heart of the Diem ecosystem. What an admission of failure! Departure David Marcus , whose real reason is unknown, is another thorn in the side of the project. He was his thinking head and we wonder who will be able to take the head of this pharaonic enterprise, which we recall that the States will do everything to ensure that it does not see the light of day

The digital currencies of central banks are a danger to individual freedoms

National digital currency projects are multiplying. China is well on the way to officially launching its own and Euroland targets 2026 to put the digital euro into circulation. Is this a real revolution or a way for States to save their monetary sovereignty in the face of the craze for cryptocurrencies?

Digital versions of traditional currencies bring little innovation to what is already done (most of the euros we use are already virtual). I see a lot of marketing from central banks in the hope that it doesn’t sound like outdated institutions. These projects carry within them the traditional: “Bitcoin is bad, but blockchain is well. ” However, the strong point of bitcoin is not the blockchain (whose theorization dates back to 1982), but the fact that we observe a consensus without intermediary within its protocol. That’s all ! With a digital euro, it is hard to imagine the European Central Bank losing control over the currency it issues.

Personally, I see in these digital currencies of central banks a danger to individual freedoms: all transactions, even the smallest, will be traced. It is surely preferable to stay in an environment with cash to avoid certain abuses leading to the ultra-surveillance of citizens. In the case of the Chinese project, it could be a way to challenge the domination of the dollar in international trade.

A digital yuan, easy to exchange online, would offer an interesting alternative, making it possible to dispense with the dollar system subject to the applicable United States law even beyond its borders. We remember in particular the $ 9 billion fine paid in 2014 by BNP Paribas for using the dollar in countries under the American embargo. Using something other than the dollar to gain freedom may make sense, but you might as well use bitcoin so as not to be pressured by Beijing.

Should we expect more IPOs from trading platforms in 2022, like the smashing IPO of Coinbase last year?

IPOs will continue to multiply as long as the sector maintains its bullish momentum. Given that we are witnessing more and more record raisings, it is not impossible that we are heading for a well-deserved market peak after two years of almost uninterrupted rise. When the crypto sector enters into a correction, we should see fewer IPOs for a while. But they will resume in one or two years, thanks to a new bullish cycle and the emergence of new themes that we do not yet know. The biggest upcoming IPOs will be those of Kraken and possibly Binance. This being the case, the latter will have to show a white leg with regulators before being listed on a major financial center. And this is far from the case.

We could see in the years to come central banks endow themselves with bitcoins in their reserve, in the same way as gold

Bitcoin approached $ 70,000 in 2021. It is now around $ 50,000. Observers estimate he will eventually pass the $ 100,000 mark. Would this really make a difference for the industry? This mainly reflects the image of a very volatile cryptocurrency …

The more expensive bitcoin is exchanged, the more it captures part of the value vested in it ‘gold. We can reasonably think that the next psychological threshold will be the $ 100,000 mark. When it is reached, in a month or in ten years, this should push new entities to endow their reserves with bitcoins. It has the advantage of being in finite quantity and of being recognized as a medium of exchange almost everywhere in the world.

But unlike gold, it is much more easily transportable and exchangeable. This therefore makes him an interesting alternative in favor of its democratization. In the years to come, we could see central banks endow themselves with bitcoins in their reserves, just like gold.

For several weeks, the Web3 has been debating. Elon Musk calls it “bullshit” , others see it as a revolution for the Internet. What about the cryptosphere? What is called Web3 is a buzzword like NFT or metavers. It is mainly used by project leaders to attract venture capital funds. It can be defined as an evolution of the Internet that allows digital ownership in a decentralized world. This concept was born in 2009 with bitcoin. Everything that appears today is only a consequence of this monetary revolution applied in other fields (finance, art, gaming , etc.).

Updating ethereum means changing the engines of a plane in mid-flight!

Coinbase IPO and NFTs marked the year 2021. What will be the two strong trends for the crypto sector in 2022?

I don’t have a crystal ball, but 2022 should be a continuation of what the ‘we have been observing since the end of 2021. That is to say the structuring multichain sector, while there was only bitcoin and ethereum in recent years. For my part, I am very curious to see how bitcoin will behave with inflation and the rate hike by central banks. Its supporters see it as a safe haven, but its dizzying rise in 2020-2021 is mainly due to the mobilization of part of the savings towards risky assets, bitcoin in the lead, due to low or even negative rates. . The key will lie in the psychology: were the bitcoins that were acquired simply to make a “hit”, or to be held for a long time? I see bitcoin as a tremendous store of long-term value, but it will all depend on the maturity of investors and whether they are willing to play back, like holding a gold bar and ignoring short-term market conditions. I am also looking forward to the arrival of Ethereum 2.0 which will allow this protocol to consume much less power and be used by millions of users simultaneously. This update is one of the most important events in the industry since its inception. This corresponds to changing the engines of a plane in mid-flight! We can also expect a change in regulation, especially with regard to stablecoins which are becoming private competitors to state currencies. The question of their systemic importance is also on the table, like the big international banks.

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