We are already in the second day of the first week of 2022, so things are slowly starting to unfold. It might be a good moment to throw in a few expectations, which may, or may not come true (FWIW, expectations, per se, aren't bad, but the attachment to the expectations definitely is).
Without further ado, let's go.
Covid-19 Mass Psychosis Ending Violently
I expect 2022 to be the year in which the mass psychosis surrounding Covid-19 will come to an abrupt end. Whether it will be by violent actions (overthrowing governments) or by peaceful, civic disobedience, something will give in. The entire planet is sick and tired of this constant polarization pushed by those in power. It's not about health anymore (my hunch is that it was never about health, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt: let's say the first 3-6 months were actually about health, everything after that was just power games). At some point, people will aggressively go back not the the "old" normal, but to a better normal, one in which all these paranoid leaders punishing people for doing nothing, will be in turn punished and eliminated from mainstream life.
This may also affect how we perceive mainstream media, many traditionally trustworthy empires will have to fall for this to happen.
DeFi Autumn, Web 3 Spring
DeFi was, in crypto, the big winner of 2021. I expect things to cool down here a bit. The biggest DEXes will survive, and even thrive. But some of the stars of last year will disappear from the sky. Value will flow to ecosystems with less friction, better predictability and lower costs.
Cosmos seems to be here the winner, as it's a platform which is answering a decent A to all the above requirements. Early price action seems to confirm this. If they don't do something dramatically wrong, Cosmos will become the dominant crypto ecosystem in 2022, on par with Ethereum. I know, it's a very bold expectation. Let's see.
At the same time, what we call Web 3 - basically, Hive - will experience a sudden explosion. We are so used to see HIVE hovering under or just slightly above $1, that we may be the first to be surprised by what's going to happen. The amount of development and potential in HIVE (and in a few other under the radar Web 3 projects, like distrikt) is 10x lower than the actual market value. So, we may be the first to be caught on the wrong foot when HIVE will stabilize around $10. It's one thing to take profits at $3 (which now seems like a fairy tale), and a completely different one to take profits at $8 or $10.
I also expect in 2022 that NFT will become more mainstream. Instead of "selling JPEGs", it will probably permeate other areas, like ticketing, or even other forms of ownership, like real estate (whether real-real, or in Metaverse), antiques, collectibles or written content.
Bitcoin Decoupling From The Rest Of The Market
I think it's fair to say that the majority of Bitcoin is now owned by institutional actors. You know, the kind that we were so thrilled to hear about, every time they were buying more, like Michael Saylor. But institutional behavior is different, and I would say even divergent, from the initial goals of Bitcoin, which cam be summarized as self-sovereignty. Institutions will work toward maximizing returns for their investors, not to support the network, or invest in innovation.
So, I expect to see a divergence here. On one side, institutional players, hidden behind Bitcoin pseudo-anonymity, using BTC just as any other asset (read: trying to own enough to manipulate the markets). On the other side, apes with high affinity to various projects, holding tight to their assets, creating micro-countries, like Thorchain, or (again) Cosmos. A few DAOs will become really prominent too.
Interestingly enough, Bitcoin maxis will be caught in the middle, not giving in to the institutional players, but not accepting that the dream is thin now. In a way, they'll be rugged by their own stubbornness.
First CBDC Launched (And Failing)
I expect at least one country to roll out an actual CBDC (I hear China is advancing fast with their pilot). A CBDC is closely related to a social score, and if we look at the first expectation, related to the end of Covid-19 madness, it means there will be increased resistance to a social credit system. This, and the fact that, overall, governments will continue to be in an image crisis, will make the project collapse, eventually.
First Country To Accept A Different Crypto Currency Than Bitcoin As Legal Tender
I'm also expecting to see a country (most likely from Asia) starting to accept a different crypto than Bitcoin as legal tender. A big contender here is XRP, but there are others too.
This one is personal, lol. I expect to be able to run an ultra again. It has nothing to do with my training level, but with the race conditions. At the moment, to attend any running competition you have to accept ridiculous rules. I did run the Lisbon marathon last year in November, and it was so odd to do an antigen tests just to be able to go at the start line. So, I expect (read: I hope) that in 2022 I will be able to start and finish a decent ultra (>100k) without all this madness.
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