People often say that one year in Web3 is equivalent to five years in other industries. Here are 5 trends to follow this 2023.
Because the pace at which our ecosystem moves is incredibly fast, people often say that one year in Web3 is equivalent to five years in other industries. And yet, as of now, the Web3 evolution is caught up in the middle of a bear market, surrounded by complex macroeconomic conditions and high uncertainty.
But big challenges are always responsible for big progress, and 2023 is already looking to be a time of greater adoption and utility, with better and more exciting products and opportunities. Here’s how the landscape in front of us looks like, and 5 trends to expect in 2023:
2022 was an especially tough year for us. Not only were our tokens’ prices decimated, but we’ve had to cope with several high-profile hacks, including Ronin’s and Wormhole’s, violent de-leverage of over-aggressive risk exposure, specifically Terra’s and Three Arrows’, and even outright fraud, with FTX.
In 2023 transparency will be a key feature for Web3 users, who are now understandably weary and will demand more clarity from any of the protocols or products they use. This awareness trend can already be seen in the Proof of Reserves initiatives that several exchanges have launched, such as Kraken’s, and the Ecosystem Fund proposed by Binance.
The path toward a mature and stable industry has been definitely bumpy but will eventually lead to more experienced users, using vetted products and protocols, that better disclose and protect everyone’s funds.
Traditionally, crypto users are not very enthusiastic about laws and regulation; in fact this goes back to the original cryptocurrency creators, associated with libertarian values.
Nevertheless, the biggest and most abrupt changes that Web3 technologies can bring us would be strongly accelerated if the nation-states allowed them to thrive under a well-defined rule of law. For instance, the participation of the world’s largest financial institutions in the digital currencies markets would lead to a lot more liquidity and more stable prices, but they could only do this with the certainty that they are legally safe.
The image below describes how ever-bigger players have adopted Bitcoin in the past, which also coincides with how permissible it has been for them.
More governments around the world are already embracing the fact that blockchain-based technologies are here to stay, and that they need to regulate them somehow, like in Brazil, where crypto was recently legalized as a means of payment. But they are also evidently overwhelmed by the heavy burden of understanding a complex technology and everything that it enables; let’s remember that blockchains allow for cryptocurrencies, but also for DeFi, NFT’s, DAO’s and even alternative governance innovations.
Regulated stablecoins are already onboarding the next big wave of Web3 users. Without the aggressive volatility of other tokens, stablecoins will help thousands of companies and expats notice how much easier their international transactions become when they turn their back on the regular banks and opt for blockchain-based solutions.
According to Coindesk, Mexico’s biggest centralized exchange Bitso already processes more than 10% of the global money transfers to the country, for example. And because the US’ SEC chair doesn't seem to like them very much, new forms of stablecoins may arise - see RAI.
In any case, this new year will surely bring more volumes and usage to stablecoins, which according to some people, are Bitcoin’s real competition.
Because ideas usually flow faster than people can code, and because the Web3 industry labor bandwidth increases by the day, 2023 will show us some of the stuff developers have been quietly building during the bear cycle.
Recent partnerships and even newer blockchains, like Sui, will show us the latest takes on all kinds of products, from decentralized social media that allows creators to earn on their content - hint: have you seen all those .lens handles? - to decentralized liquidity sources, like our own Maya Protocol.
Web3 and specifically NFT’s have the potential to redefine Customer Experience and brand loyalty. Companies combining Web3 with legacy marketing efforts will continue to create ever-sharpened solutions that enable them to deliver value and exclusivity in events, retail, content, and more. Shopify is already promoting NFT’s as an extra incentive for its shops’ most loyal customers to be recognized or to receive special discounts and drops.
NFT-based ticketing solutions like Get Protocol will swarm us and Token Gated Communities will proliferate too, like The Weekend, who has been recently on an NFT Tour, for example. These non-fungible tokens have been proven useful already.
In summary, NFT’s will cease being approached by the big brands only as luxury eccentricities and instead more as community servicing tools.
Finally, the sheer number of blockchains will also continue to underpin our vision of a multi-chain future and the reason for our existence, which is to securely bridge liquidity across different ecosystems. But do let us know what you think 2023 will bring upon the Web3. We’d love to see you join our Discord server and keep in touch. For now, we wish you a great new crypto 2023!