Trending crypto events show us how the market is changing. From software itself, through the implementation of innovative payment options, to the job market. Many segments of professional and social activities are changing, because regulators and customers continue to look through the lenses of potential benefits and earnings. If crypto trends for 2022 show us one dominant thing, it’s definitely this – the market is growing exponentially and the hype train is real.

Crypto trends 2022

With the market capitalization of around $2 trillion and an estimated 100 million crypto users worldwide, actors involved with the crypto scene shouldn’t be worried. Worldwide adoption is accelerating, hence the trends you’ll see in a second. Paradoxically, it’s not that simple. There are many challenges on the way, one of them being… the success of crypto trending that much. Let’s not anticipate, let’s dive in.

Table of contents

1.         Institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies may happen as soon as 2022. To avoid complications generated by the COVID-19 fallout and transform societies towards a digital future, governments will go all-in with crypto. If you think this scenario is unlikely, think about all the institutions that actively invest in crypto already. Yes, there’s a difference between market and societal adoption, but it’s very real. 

In both cases. There are arguments for and against the adoption scenario, however, the official recognition seems to be imminent. Some form of cryptocurrency used as an official form of exchange is likely to emerge in at least one developed market. Besides China, that is. The country already introduced a digital yuan. Now we are waiting for more.

2.         The proliferation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Although NFTs, and not without reason, face serious backlash from the gaming community, it seems there is a space for them to thrive in months to follow. 

NFTs are one of the most interesting crypto trends out there. It’s because they represent a claim to a digital asset. Since its value can be widely understood and interpreted, these claims can be worthless… or skyrocket. It all depends on what you have and bet on. The global NFT market is now worth $41 billion. With major transactions made within art, we can be sure this type of allocating money is not going anywhere in 2022.

3.         Greening cryptocurrencies will go mainstream. Mining crypto is not eco. It’s not even logical, since one coin worth thousands of dollars also produces thousands in the electric bill. Sure, if you have a crypto farm and you’re focused on serious mining, then you can gain even millions of dollars. The electric bill stays the same. Or rather goes up exponentially, with the same regularity.

Since cryptocurrency is energy-intensive, there are initiatives that try to produce digital assets with more care. Eco-friendly cryptocurrencies focus on alternative methods for gaining crypto. People are now engaged in investing (Robinhood), trading (Coinbase), getting coins through Airdrop, even getting employed at cryptocurrency companies.

With the whole planet involved in sustainability and reduced CO2 emissions, the topic of “green” ways for doing things will also involve cryptocurrencies. We expect that this will be one of the top crypto trends in 2022.

4.         Getting paid in crypto will seem attractive to more people. This is another way to gain digital currency. More people choose to work for companies that pay in crypto. The number of such companies seems to increase. It’s not about firms per se; the entire economy is changing.  

If we take a look at the list of companies that adopted such payments, we see increasing diversity. Organizations like Purse.io, Bitwage, Fairlay, Pavilion Hotels & Resorts, AXA Insurance, and even Starbucks, represent the growing interest in this market. From both employers and employees alike. John Smith can work as a waiter or as a data specialist and get paid the same way. Not the same amount, though. 

We predict that expectations towards this new form of getting money will grow this year and force many companies to rethink internal policies and even business operations models.

5.         European regulations will become more transparent. If you’re up late at night for trends to follow, you couldn’t have missed that one. And in case you had… The European Union (EU) proposed a framework for regulating the crypto market. The law is called Regulation of Markets in Crypto-assets, or MiCA for short. 

The law provides a few major benefits. Among them is leveling the playfield for companies from different EU countries. Through the lack of regulations, firms can’t scale their businesses properly. Preparing MiCA for implementation in 2024 is likely a major point of interest for the industry in 2022. Consulting and legislative work are already in full swing

6.         Crypto service accounts will get popular. Some people are so convinced crypto is the future of exchange and even payments, they want to risk it and generate a high-performing passive income source. With crypto, it’s uncertain but likely. 

At least in some scenarios. BlockFi, Outlet Finance, Coinbase, Nexo, and Gemini. These are saving accounts regularly mentioned in every listing out there. They are not only for students, although some of them target mostly them. With the crypto payment trend on the rise, we should not be surprised that at least some portion of the public wants to allocate assets in this particular form. We expect an even higher rate of adoption of this crypto trend.

7.         Bitcoin ATMs will spawn around corners all over. It’s possible but the industry has to convince people that crypto is real money. Even Bitcoin, the industry’s juggernaut, has challenges on its own in this regard.

At the same time, slowly but surely, the number of Bitcoin ATMs across the globe has almost exceeded 35,000. At least according to Coin ATM Radar, which gathers data important to all crypto-heads out there.  

Why is that important? For starters, availability. People won’t use something that’s not… well, useful. What can I do with digital money that looks like a concept to me? Second of all – familiarity. Customers want the money involved in daily processes. Giving them availability leads to acceptance later on.

8.         Higher numbers of crypto ETF approvals. The first exchange-traded fund (ETF) was called BITO. Since the debut, many others want to jump the hype train. Investors display interest in putting money in this potentially big development in the crypto world. Especially retail investors. They want to get exposure to Bitcoin’s features. 

If BITO gets larger traction, and it sure seems like it, we could be facing an explosion of new ETFs in 2022 alone.

9.         Some cryptocurrencies will fail. Let’s finally face it head-on. The market is oversaturated. According to Statista, there are over 7,500 different types of cryptos out there. What? Everyone with knowledge and skill can establish their own digital currency, but actually… why?

Yes, there are superstars like Bitcoin or Ethereum but also mediocre currencies like Chainlink, which is currently 10th on the list of the most popular cryptos in the world. And most people have hardly heard about it. Not to mention Dogecoin, which is 9th and was created as a joke. 

What is the market capitalization for such currencies? Are people actually using them or do they just mine and invest in them? What is their real market value? Current cryptocurrency trends show that these questions can be vital for the year to come.

10.      Web 3 will jumpstart a whole new era of innovation. Or not. Currently, it’s hard to say, really. An idea that people will be rewarded for spending their time on building communities and creating real, useful value, is called Web 3. Yes, it’s connected to gaming, for example, but this industry has a lot on its plate. 

With many recently spawned pathologies and hardcore gamers jumping ship in disbelief (see NFT), it’s hard to imagine a comeback full of truly creative people. The revenue for this industry is created in 60% by mobile devices, 20% by PC, and 20% by consoles. All of them, combined. It’s not hard to see that casual gaming dictates rules. And casual is the opposite of engagement. 

Yes, Web 3 is also linked to metaverse but neither currently exists. These plans will take years to become (virtual) reality. With the supposed Apple Glasses killing iPhones lineup, as recent rumors state, and the Meta plans to build the “next Facebook,” it can happen. Right now, we have this. An aged, but clumsy Walmart video about how good it is to shop with your glasses on.

Web 3 needs a real-life anchor. Something to convince people it really is useful. 2022 can be a good place to start but it’s currently uncertain how it’s going to work. Even if it’s going to work at all.  

Watch out for watchers!

There are interesting trends to watch out for. Not all of them are important and have real-life significance. Our list was made based on industry experience and over a decade of building digital products for European, American, and African markets. We strongly believe that the role of crypto can be based on community building. This would be our 11th trend.

Not all rankings will get you the 360 views for the industry. We don’t claim our proposition is there, but we dare to think it’s close. To fully appreciate crypto, you have to solve real problems for real people. In an app economy, everyone with half the skill can create an app. Can it perform? Can it be secure? Can you afford to design it according to industry standards?

If you answered “yes” to all three questions, then this article is not for you. But if there’s even a shadow of a doubt, contact specialists. We know how the game is played and what to do. Who knows, maybe your app or crypto will be trending in 2023?