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2022 is the year of Ethereum

7 min reading

Blockchain and Ethereum are going through an important phase of change together.

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By season 13, most television shows have exhausted all but the most implausible storylines. As with the old soap operas, it is difficult to remember who was angry with whom and why. In the propaganda meme between Bitcoin maximalists and Ethereum boosters, it may be difficult to keep up with the big issues, but I believe that two big issues will shape the blockchain world next year.

First of all, 2022 will be all about Ethereum. Almost everything innovative and important that is currently happening in the blockchain world is happening in the Ethereum ecosystem. I see three main trends that will lead to the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem next year.

  • First, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) represent the future of how communities, missions and businesses come together in one format. While DAOs have been around for a while, I see 2022 as their year in the limelight as the format of choice for building new websites. This will also be a critical year in which DAO management will mature as people will feel more comfortable exercising their voting rights by betting and delegating their voting rights to experts on specific topics. In the long term, this could spark a revolution for shareholders and traditional markets.

 

  • Second, the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem will continue to be integrated into core finance. It was (wrongly) predicted that by the end of 2021 we would see at least one major centralized funding (CeFi) giving consumers access to the DeFi ecosystem. I updated this forecast for 2022 (better late than never). Additionally, I think some decentralized identity management component will emerge adding your Customer Knowledge Layer (KYC) to DeFi as vendors work to meet regulatory requirements without adding centralization.

 

  • Third and foremost, the main game of the Ethereum ecosystem is already in sight. Ethereum's move to prove the stakes and broader user transition from Layer 1 to Layer 2 is already underway. By the end of 2022, Ethereum itself will primarily be a blockchain, used for other blockchains (layer 2 networks) to interact with each other. The future of multi-chain is the future of Ethereum.

 

Nobody should be surprised. The internet works in much the same way. Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP / IP) is not only the standard network language for the Internet, but also the standard network language for almost all private networks. At the dawn of the Internet era, TCP/IP was used to connect a very heterogeneous world of networking, including a whole universe of proprietary protocols such as DECnet, System Network Architecture (SNA), XNA, NetWare, VINES and my personal favourite, Token Ring. You can read all about Protocol Wars here.

Over time, networks have become more standardized, and now they're all basically the same - today's Internet consists mostly of TCP/IP networks connecting other TCP/IP networks. Expect a repeating pattern.

Just the beginning

And that brings me to the second mega-topic of 2022: This is the end of the beginning. There will be a long and glorious future of mass adoption, maybe 10-15 years from now if the cloud becomes a milestone. What I think has ended is the uncertainty about the main platforms this growth will take place and the biggest and most resilient actors in the ecosystem.

The first big winner is the Ethereum ecosystem itself. While there is still great uncertainty as to which ecosystem is likely to win the Layer 2 challenge, the Ethereum ecosystem does the same regardless of who wins at Layer 2. Ethereum's absolute dominance in developer skills and equity capital is difficult. undeniable, and I believe it's too late for other platforms to dethrone the king. The history of the technology ecosystem shows that once the market enters a phase of mass adoption, it is very difficult to get rid of the early leaders.

The second big winner is the market leader in the local Ethereum ecosystem, specifically DeFi and DAO, and irreplaceable tokens (NFT). Every ecosystem needs a “killer app” to drive adoption, and Ethereum has found at least three that will drive adoption and growth in the years to come. While we are still in the early stages of mass adoption, companies and DAOs that have built a strong position in this market are likely to receive the biggest growth awards in the years to come.

The history of the technology ecosystem shows that once the market enters a phase of mass adoption, it is very difficult to overthrow the first market leader. PCs, smartphones, network devices, and cloud computing show a similar pattern: even a decade or two after their launch, the early market leaders are still the biggest players, and while successful newcomers still gain traction from time to time, this is very important. because it's so rare. Now think about the largest DAOs and protocols you know today and imagine what it would look like in 15 years with 30-50% annual growth. At this rate of growth, they could be 50-100 times higher than today.

Finally, there's another big winner I see coming this year: regulators.

Bash-the-Regulator may be a fun social media game, but the truth is that everyone in the ecosystem wants clarity of rules. Even if it looks chaotic at the moment, the intense regulatory focus on stable coins and DeFi portends what positive changes may be in store for the next year. There's still a lot of stories piling up in 2022 that I won't ignore here, but I don't think they will shape the year as a whole. No future prediction or good story would be complete without someone (or something) being chosen as the villain.

While many regulators want to nominate, I've defined them as white hat in this story. I think there are two candidates who could ruin it in 2022. The first is a classic movie: Zombies. The zombie blockchain is a Layer 1 network that sits on a pile of money and has yet to accept defeat by Ethereum. They are the Ethereum killers that can't be. You are not ready to go stealth at night and will be fighting incompetence at a high monetary cost to developers. I wouldn't be surprised to find some of them recently renamed Layer 2 networks by the rules if you can't beat them. This is already happening, but expect this activity to be given a new level of urgency in the next year.

The most reliable criminals in any blockchain story are the insiders who are already here. It's an industry that pioneered big personalities and is fueled by often angry memes. We must not underestimate the risk of becoming our greatest enemy. Our industry has a number of specializations to choose from in battles we can't win (e.g. let's hope it doesn't end there).

 

 

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