2022 has been a year that most crypto investors will be happy to put behind them. It is hard to believe that little more than 12 months have passed since Bitcoin was at a record $60,000. The FTX debacle has led to a rush of investors pulling their digital funds from central exchanges and placing them in the virtual equivalent of money boxes buried under their floors.
However, the likelihood is that we will look back on recent events as just another step in crypto’s evolution. As central exchanges fall, trust has shifted to DeFis and DEXs. Are these the final solution? As they stand, almost certainly not, but they do signal a change in direction. Here, we look ahead with some predictions as to what 2023 might have in store.
Broader DeFi adoption
Let’s start with the DeFi question. There has been plenty of concern that over-reliance on decentralized finance will take crypto headlong into the Wild West. Regulation is going to be a major talking point over the coming months, but remember DeFi is still in its infancy.
Further refinement is the next logical step, and FinTech expert Dr. Merav Ozair said earlier this year that this will involve “figuring out how to make good code and kicking everything up a notch.”
The topic of crypto regulation is likely to step up a notch in the wider world, too. Despite continued volatility, crypto adoption is continuing apace, especially in areas like iGaming – of which, more in a moment.
There is plenty of talk in Washington DC about everything from stablecoin regulation to formal guidelines on how to report virtual currency to the IRS when filing taxes. These conversations are likely to coalesce towards regulations as we get into 2023, and where the USA starts, do not be surprised to see other nations follow.
Crypto gambling hitting the mainstream
Casinos were among the early adopters of crypto, with the first Bitcoin casinos appearing more than eight years ago. But while these were considered something of a niche curiosity in the past, crypto casinos today are rapidly hitting the mainstream. Gamblers are drawn to the security and anonymity of crypto, and there is widespread anticipation that the FIFA World Cup in Qatar will propel crypto sports betting into the mainstream, too.
Expect to see increased adoption of crypto among iGaming enthusiasts in the months ahead. This could also tie in with the increased discussion of crypto among government bodies and regulators.
Declining interest in NFTs
NFTs have been around for as long as crypto casinos. But while they, too, enjoyed a sudden rush and mainstream appeal in 2021, that is one balloon that, if not bursting, is showing signs of steady deflation.
Those who rushed to buy NFTs as investments in 2021 and are still clinging on to them are likely to get their fingers burned. The smart money in 2023 is likely to shift back towards Bitcoin or Ethereum rather than NFTs.