In each new era of blockchain network innovation, there are typically a handful of trends that emerge. Those who take advantage of these trends can often make multiples on their initial investment if the emerging trend picks up traction.
As we enter 2022, I believe there are several trends within the blockchain and digital currency space that will thrive regardless of how the equities and the broader digital currency market perform.
In this article, I will explore the three segments of the blockchain/cryptocurrency industry that I believe will be prosperous in 2022.
Good play-to-earn games will be extremely successful. Most play-to-earn games have decentralized financial (DeFi) components (peer-to-peer liquidity) and traditional gaming components (the video game or esports component) which is why many people are calling this emerging market segment “GameFi.”
A play-to-earn game is typically a video game that gives a monetary payout to the winner of the game. In most of these games, participants must pay a small fee to play or join the game and the sum of those entry fees are distributed to either the highest-ranking player or a specified number of people who play.
Haste arcade games are a good example of a play-to-earn game built on BSV. If you play a game in the Haste arcade and rank on the leaderboard, then you will receive a micropayment from every player that plays the game after you and ranks below you on the leaderboard.
I believe GameFi has the potential to truly be a “killer app” for digital currency. By killer app, I mean a product/service that a large portion of the population finds desirable. I have this belief because:
- The ability to earn money and receive a return on investment is still the item/reason that most people are attracted to digital currency
- A good P2E game hides the blockchain-based components of the game to the point where the end-user may not even be aware that they are using the blockchain.
- Casual gaming and professional esports are industries that are astronomical in size, if a small fraction of “traditional” gamers migrate over to blockchain-based games then it could significantly increase the number of new blockchain network users. Keep in mind, new user growth is one of the most important metrics when it comes to a blockchain’s valuation and a blockchains ability to thrive.
Obstacles in the way for GameFi:
There are still obstacles in the way of GameFi experiencing mass adoption. Play-to-earn games require their players to have a digital currency wallet, and unfortunately, creating and operating a wallet is not exactly intuitive for people who aren’t digital currency native or blockchain savvy. On top of that, many play-to-earn games have an entry fee, which requires the player to have a small amount of digital currency in their wallet before they can play the game. This is another obstacle because now, individuals not only need to create a wallet, but they also need to find a digital currency exchange where they can purchase the coin or token that they need to play the game.
Although the blockchain and digital currency industry is over 10 years old at this point, onboarding new users remains challenging. Until the onboarding problem is solved, new user acquisition will be throttled.
Where you can find GameFi:
We are fortunate that Bitcoin SV has play-to-earn games in the form of Haste and CryptoFights, each of these platforms is currently up and running and you can find them at Haste Arcade and CryptoFights.
2022 has the potential to be a big year for companies and individuals building metaverses.
A metaverse is typically a virtual world or environment that allows individuals to interact with one another, go on quests together, play games together, talk to one another, and more. When describing what a metaverse is, many people reference the movie “Ready Player One” in which a virtual world exists where players/end users can do nearly anything.
Why the metaverse?
I’m optimistic that metaverse companies and individuals building the metaverse will do well because “metaverse” is one of the few blockchain buzzwords that holds promise.
To date, no company has really built a fully functional metaverse that has experienced widespread adoption. For that reason, there is an ongoing race to the finish line, and those who cross the finish line and launch a working product with users will be rewarded heavily—until the next wave of innovation takes place around those incumbent products, services, and platforms.
Obstacles in the way for the metaverse:
However, I am a bit skeptical of metaverses. I personally see the metaverse as the rebranding of augmented reality and virtual reality—ideas that have existed for over a decade but flopped extremely hard the first time they were marketed. Remember Google Glass? Remember Oculus before Facebook purchased it? Both releases were extremely underwhelming and failed to pick up traction.
I think there is an understated infrastructure problem that stands in the way of Metaverse mass adoption. For a metaverse to exist that parallels the metaverse in Ready Player One, end-users will most likely need some sort of virtuality reality headset or augmented reality device, and high-speed internet connections.
And lastly, I’m not really sure what will attract people to metaverses. It is not clear to me how the metaverse would make my life better or more efficient. Are people expected to use the metaverse for leisure? Do enterprises expect people to use the metaverse for business? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but then again, I might not be the target audience for metaverse-related platforms.
I’m confident that with enough time, we will see a company successful launch a metaverse that picks up mass adoption, and has the same cultural impact or the same cultural phenomena that the Nintendo Wii had on gaming or the iPhone had in the smartphone world, but I think individuals building the metaverse need to solve more problems than meet the eye before a metaverse is actually something that people want to use or have the infrastructure to use.
Where you can find a metaverse:
Robert Rice and his team working on Omniscape are spearheading the construction of the Metaverse on the BSV blockchain. Omniscape has launched, is fully functional and you can find it in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
NFTs with Utility
Lastly, I think NFTs with utility will emerge in 2022 and have a lot of staying power in the blockchain and digital currency industry
An NFT with utility is a non-fungible-token that does much more than just live on your computer as a static image or gif. So far, I have seen NFTs with utility take two forms:
1. In-game items – For example, like a sword in a game that lives on the blockchain and therefore, has value and attributes ascribed to it. This token can be traded or sold for the underlying currency of the blockchain network that it is built on.
2. Tokens that give their holders access to exclusive content or events – For example, a token that has a one-time use (like a concert ticket), or a token that gives it holder(s) access to exclusive items, like an online chatroom for only those token holders.
NFTs on BSV are an emerging market in itself; Thanks to RareCandy, BSV finally has the sort of NFT marketplace/watering hole that allows the NFT economy on Bitcoin SV to thrive. But in the broader blockchain and digital currency space, we are beginning to see NFTs without utility fizzle out. On a long enough time horizon, I think individuals get tired of looking at their Jpeg collection. NFTs have to do more than just be static images for them to have staying power, they need utility.
Fortunately—and unfortunately—NFTs with utility fall right into the fold of the other market segments that I mentioned in this article; many GameFi applications and metaverses incorporate NFTs that have utility.
Obstacles NFTs with utility face
This leads me to the obstacle that I believe this market segment will have, NFTs with utility are reliant on the idea that a strong GameFi application or metaverse will emerge.
Sure, NFTs with utility can exist outside of GameFi and metaverses, but so far, P2E and metaverses have been the most popular uses for NFTs with utility; these are two areas where NFTs with utility actually make processes more efficient and improve human lives.
NFTs that act as tickets to exclusive events are cool, but putting that process on the blockchain doesn’t really make anyone’s life more efficient; rather, it just serves as a digital alternative to the ticketing and access systems that already exist today.
I have confidence that NFTs with utility will emerge in due time, but in most instances, I don’t think NFTs with utility will be standalone components, rather, I think they will be pieces to other blockchain-based or web 3 infrastructures like play-to-earn games and metaverses.
We are entering a new era of blockchain and digital currency innovation and I believe that GameFi, metaverses, and NFTs with utility will be a few of the most popular trends in the new cycle. When it comes to investing, I think that these three sectors will generally perform well regardless of how the broader digital currency and equity markets are performing. Each idea has the ability to drive new user growth in the blockchain and digital asset industry in a way that can bring digital currency and blockchain into significant-sized markets. If executed correctly, at least one of these three emerging market segments mentioned in this article can pave the way for blockchain and cryptocurrency to be mass adopted at a global scale.
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