Top 15 Blockchain Technology Trends to Watch In 2022
Blockchain is one of the most exciting tech trends at the moment. Blockchain is hot right now. The industry has a staggering CAGR rate of over 69% between 2019 to 2025. During 2022, spending on blockchain solutions by businesses is forecast to hit $11.7 billion. Blockchain is no longer only relevant to cryptocurrency, either—blockchain-based applications are emerging to support many other scenarios that require decentralized data storage and accessibility.
Blockchain is a distributed, encrypted database model that has the potential to solve many problems around online trust and security. Many people know it as the technology that underpins Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. However, its potential uses are far broader, encompassing digital “smart” contracts, logistics and supply chain provenance and security, and protection against identity theft. There are countless others – blockchain evangelists say it can potentially be used to improve security and integrity in any system that involves multiple parties sharing access to a database.
First, we will likely see greater investment in blockchain technology in the coming year. Unsurprisingly, finance will probably experience the most adoption, as the use of blockchain in the financial sector is anticipated to reach a value of 22.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2026. But outside of finance, blockchain investment will seep into innovative areas as well. For example, spending on blockchain in health care is expected to rise to $5.61 billion by 2025.
Here are the Top 15 Blockchain technology trends that will impact more and more lives in 2022.
- Green blockchain initiatives
- NFT expanding beyond online art
- More countries adopt Bitcoin and national cryptocurrencies
- Blockchain and IoT integration
- Blockchain in vaccine manufacture and tracking
- More Blockchain DevOps Solutions
- Hybrid blockchains
- Big Tech will enhance using BaaS
- Blockchain in Social media
- Blockchain in Real estate
- Blockchain in retail
- Blockchain in Banking and finance
- Blockchain networks interoperability
- Blockchain in Video Streaming
- The crypto space will use stable coins
1. Green Blockchain initiatives
Blockchains can potentially use a lot of energy and create high levels of carbon emissions – this fact was behind Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s decision to temporarily stop accepting Bitcoin in payment for his cars earlier in 2021. For this very good reason, during 2022, we are likely to see a great deal of emphasis on attempts to “greenify” blockchain. There are a few ways this can be done, including carbon offsetting, although many people consider that this often equates to simply patching up a wound that shouldn’t have been caused in the first place.
Another is by moving to less energy-intensive models of blockchain technology – typically those that rely on “proof-of-stake” algorithms rather than “proof-of-work” to generate consensus. Ethereum – the second best-known blockchain after Bitcoin – plans to move to a POS model during 2022. Another route to a greener operating model is the one championed by Cathy Wood, CEO of tech-focused hedge fund Ark Invest. This posits the view that growing demand for energy will lead to greater investments into generating renewable energy, which will then be used for other applications as well as operating blockchains.
2. NFT expanding beyond online art
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) were the big news in the blockchain scene during 2021. Astronomical prices achieved by artwork such as Beeple’s The First 5000 Days created plenty of headlines, placing the concept of unique digital tokens residing on blockchains firmly in the public consciousness. It’s also firmly taken hold in the music world, with artists including Kings of Leon, Shawn Mendes, and Grimes all releasing tracks in NFT format. But like blockchain in general, the idea has potential beyond it’s first publicity-grabbing use cases.
Distillers William Grant and Son recently sold bottles of 46-year-old Glenfiddich whisky alongside NFTs, which are used to prove each bottle’s provenance. NFTs in gaming are starting to take off in a big way – monster-breeding game Axie Infinity allows players to “mint” their own NFT creatures to send into battle and currently has around 300,000 concurrent players (Fortnite, for comparison, has around 3.5 million). Dolce & Gabbana and Nike have both created clothing and footwear that come with their own NFTs. And the metaverse concept – championed this year by Facebook, Microsoft, and Nvidia – brings plenty of opportunities for innovative NFT use cases.
Non-Fungible tokens are becoming popular across games, digital asset exchanges, and blockchain platforms. In-game assets can be digitized and exchanged using NFTs.
3. More countries adopt Bitcoin and national cryptocurrencies
2021 saw El Salvador become among the first nations to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, meaning it can be accepted across the country to pay for goods and services, and businesses can use it to pay their employees. According to many commentators, during 2022, we will see a number of other countries follow suit.
National cryptocurrencies – where central banks create their own coins that they can control, rather than adopting existing decentralized coins – are another area where we will see growth in 2022. These projects typically involve digital currencies that will operate alongside existing traditional currencies, allowing users to conduct their own transactions and manage their custody without relying on third-party service providers, while also allowing the central banks to keep control of the circulating supply – keeping the value of the token pegged to the value of the country’s traditional currency. While the UK government-endorsed Britcoin is unlikely to be ready for launch during 2022, others, including China, Singapore, Tunisia, and Ecuador, have already done so, with more, including Japan, Russia, Sweden, and Estonia likely to join soon. There are several cryptocurrency wallets to buy Bitcoin cash and other crypto coins using credit or debit cards.
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4. Blockchain and IoT integration
Blockchain is hugely compatible with the idea of the Internet of Things (IoT) because it is great for creating records of interactions and transactions between machines. It can potentially help to solve many problems around security as well as scalability due to the automated, encrypted, and immutable nature of blockchain ledgers and databases. It could even be used for machine-to-machine transactions – enabling micropayments to be made via cryptocurrencies when one machine or network needs to procure services from another.
While this is an advanced use case that may involve us traveling a little further down the road before it impacts our day-to-day lives, it’s likely we will start to hear about more pilot projects and initial use cases in this field during 2022. Innovation in this field is likely to be driven by the ongoing rollout of 5G networks, meaning greater connectivity between all manner of smart, networked equipment and appliances – not simply in terms of speed, but also new types of data transactions including blockchain transactions.
5. Blockchain in vaccine manufacture and tracking
It’s now clear that tackling the Covid-19 global pandemic will continue to be a priority throughout 2022 and a key use case for many of this year’s top tech trends. Blockchain technology has several important potential use cases in vaccine tracking and distribution. In a world where counterfeiters are known to be creating and selling fake vaccines, blockchain means the authenticity of vaccine shipments can be proven, and their distribution can be traced to ensure they are arriving at their intended locations. There’s also a need to ensure integrity at every point of the supply chain – for example, to ensure batches of vaccines are consistently stored at the correct temperature, as is needed by many of them.
IBM has created a system to allow coordination between the many different and varied agencies and healthcare authorities involved with vaccine distribution, using blockchain in healthcare to unify recording of vaccination rates and efficacy across the various tools and platforms they all have in use.
6. More Blockchain DevOps Solutions
Overall, blockchain penetration is still relatively low. This is, in part, due to the fact that it’s still tough to use. As I’ve covered before, blockchain-based development is still relatively inaccessible. It requires nuanced theory to grasp and specific technical knowledge to implement. “It’s not trivial,” added Parlikar. “Dealing with private keys, obtaining keys—it’s still very complicated to get started.”
Managing a blockchain could also use a dose of DevOps. Yet, blockchain’s immutability and decentralized nature create friction with traditional DevOps. “The majority of protocols will not allow you to put a smart contract under CI/CD,” Parlikar explained. Thus, organizations may opt for blockchain solutions that play nicely with test-driven development. These solutions will likely enable the ability to iteratively develop using established DevOps pipelines.
7. Hybrid Blockchains
A hybrid blockchain uses the most accurate part of both public and private blockchain solutions. It works by generating hashed data blocks from a private network, then storing that data in a public blockchain. Transactions thus occur very quickly, and their associated costs are much lower. Moreover, they protect over 50% of attacks as it blocks hackers from breaking into the network.
8. Big Tech will enhance using BaaS
Big Tech can implement blockchain into their business. Moreover, Microsoft and Amazon already invested in emergency blockchain technology and pushes it as a service. BaaS or blockchain-as-a-service refers to a type of cloud-based service that enables users to develop their own digital products with blockchain.
Typically, these products exist as smart contracts or applications that function without any setup requirements in the blockchain infrastructure.
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9. Blockchain in Social media
As if social media wasn’t mainstream enough, blockchain will begin to work alongside it. Two major social media-related blockchain technology trends in 2022 include user identity verification and marketplace verification.
It’s no secret that bots plague social platforms. Not only is this a political issue, but also a marketing issue. Marketers waste efforts on empty profiles, so the need for user identity verification using blockchain technology and smart contracts continuously grows.
Additionally, as another future trend in blockchain technology, marketplace verification will increase a company’s growth potential. This gives users the ability to market to verified vendors, making marketing simpler. Lastly, the incorporation of blockchain into social media will help verify published data. It is thus untraceable and cannot be duplicated even after it has been deleted.
10. Blockchain in Real estate
Relying on an inherent system of trust serves as one of the reasons blockchain technology trends keep growing. Real estate companies require trustworthy systems, making blockchain technology ideal for smart contracts and transparent ledger abilities.
Blockchain will aid in bridging the many unclear intermediaries in real estate processes. This emerging blockchain technology will also enable fractional ownership of property opening the door for millions of investors. Over here in the UK, we’re seeing the green shoots of more decentralised entities coming to the forefront of auction and other real estate business / finance models,” comments Ruban Selvanayagam of Property Solvers.
11. Blockchain in Retail
As a result of increased emphasis on transactions, blockchain technology trends in 2022 will impact the supply chain industry. Supply chains have become incredibly complex in recent years. Authorities face many challenges locating criminal activity due to the confusion of sending and receiving payments. Plus, inventory management between supplier, retailer, and manufacturer can also blur illicit activity. The middlemen in supply chain management post great uncertainty to not only the authorities but also the retailers in charge.
Large-scale growth in the retail industry is predicted, so there will need to be efficient inventory management and supply chain processes put in place. Moreover, many expect blockchain to save retail long after the pandemic. With the rising need for traceable, scalable customer service and logistics, emerging blockchain technology will consume the retail space.
12. Blockchain in Banking and finance
More people are putting their trust in blockchain rather than the banking system. Banks now implement blockchain as a measure to attract and maintain their customers’ trust and loyalty. Like retail, fast transactions and immutable service without human intervention serve as a necessity rather than a luxury to capitalize on.
13. Blockchain networks interoperability
Blockchain technology makes it easy for users to transact from one blockchain network to the next. Interoperability makes it possible for the user to both view and manage all data available to them through different networks. Furthermore, better interoperability increases multi-token transactions with multi-token wallet systems. As a result, multi-functionalities can act like cross-chain transactions.
14. Blockchain in Video Streaming
Streaming services also act as Big Tech. Popular services like Network, Hulu, and Amazon Video attempt to implement blockchain trends in 2022 to store user data in more secure formats. In addition to movies and TV, music streaming services also look to implement blockchain technology. After the many data scandals in the past couple of years, Big Tech looks to crack down on security breaches, including streaming companies.
15. The crypto space will use stable coins
Cryptocurrencies emerge as a side product of blockchain technology. Although they are not new, they will continue to saturate many blockchain technology trends. With stable coins, you can make peer-to-peer payments. Furthermore, users can use them on smart contracts to conduct automated payments.
People can also use stables coins regularly, similarly to Fiat money. For instance, you can use them like any other digital currencies when making online purchases.
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