2021 is an exciting year for blockchain. The total market capitalization of blockchain projects has surpassed $2 trillion and the price of Bitcoin has hit a record high of $67,674.
Meanwhile, Ethereum’s price has skyrocketed five times after the London upgrade. The investment sector in blockchain is also thriving with an accumulated capital of $30 billion for the year.
We saw the explosion of DeFi 1.0, followed by the booming multi-chain ecosystem and the rapid expansion of the stablecoin market.
The biggest trends of 2021
1. DeFi 2.0
The total value of locked assets (TVL) of DeFi 2.0 projects increased in 8 months from 0 to 30 billion USD in 2021.
Composable DeFi Lego has become one of the key features of blockchain applications, referring to components that can be combined and integrated across different platforms and applications.
DeFi 1.0 created liquidity, LP tokens and decentralized stablecoins as the first generation of DeFi Legos.
In 2021, DeFi 2.0 will rise and convert liquidity into the new DeFi Lego portfolio.
TVL of DeFi 2.0 projects explodes from 0 to 30 billion USD in 2021 | Source: footprint
2. Cross Chain Bridge
The TVL of ETH cross-chain bridge projects passed the $25 billion mark in 2021.
The explosion of multi-chain ecosystems has made moving assets across chains a necessity.
Cross-chain bridge protocols are a bridge to connect assets in chains, allowing asset types to interact with each other and be efficiently transferred between chains.
ETH Cross-Chain Bridge Projects’ TVL Surpasses $25 Billion | Source: footprint
The term DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization, has become a de facto part of how the blockchain industry works in 2021, with Uniswap DAO being the most influential project.
ConstitutionDAO promotes the DAO concept to the general public, while other projects are bringing the DAO to the financial, music, and cultural sectors.
Uniswap DAO has grown into an influential DAO | Source: footprint
The monthly transaction volume of NFT projects peaked at US$5.5 billion in August and amounted to US$21.5 billion at the end of the year.
NFT marks ownership of digital assets in a decentralized way and is instrumental in attracting more people to blockchain technology.
From collecting art to music and other areas like the metaverse, NFT will transform the way we experience the web, buy and sell artworks, consume branded products, and even create and experience music.
Transaction volume of NFT projects peaked at $5.586 billion in August | Source: footprint
Enter the new gaming market, Play-to-Earn, the GameFi sector that combines gaming, finance and NFT.
Axie Infinity’s highest daily sales in July even surpassed the world’s highest-grossing game, Glory of Kings. Also, Facebook changed its name to Meta, further fueling the Metaverse boom.
Transaction volume of GameFi projects has increased more than 28 times in 2021 | Source: footprint
The trends of 2021 are expected to continue into 2022
- Many projects will also provide common infrastructure for blockchain interoperability in 2022
- Cross-chain DeFi
Metaverse, Web 3.0 (blockchain network infrastructure), NFT and GameFi
- Web 3.0 infrastructure protocols are emerging and thriving in the areas of compute, storage, bandwidth and indexing.
- NFT with more utilities, get access to super exclusive communities
- NFT for the music market
- Bigger brands and companies are intensifying their experiments with NFT.
- The biggest gaming companies turn to GameFi
- Lending platforms are beginning to accept land in the metaverse as collateral for loans
- NFT + DAO, GameFi + Knife
- Social token, self-asserted identity and decentralized identity attestation facility set up in Metaverse
New trends 2022
The development and rollout of more Layer 2 solutions will make Ethereum cheaper and faster.
Breakthrough in the financial industry
- Other new applications are associated with DeFi
Socialization of Smart Contracts
- Convert physical assets into digital assets, written agreements become online contracts
Electronic money payment
- Institutions and companies are increasing the acceptance of crypto
- The use of cryptocurrencies for payments is expected to see even broader acceptance by 2022
- Stablecoin Regulations
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