Where there is technology, there is evolution. Where there is evolution, there are new trends. The latest buzzword in the financial tech (FinTech) industry is blockchain. Blockchain technology has generated heaps of curiosity over the past few years and for good reasons. At present, blockchain technology continues to wriggle its way to gain widespread acceptance across different parts of the world.
Whether governments, regulators, and the people embrace blockchain is a different topic altogether. We won’t touch on that today. Today, we are exploring some interesting blockchain trends that have caught our attention in 2022. While some of these blockchain trends seemed like a distant dream just a couple of years ago, today, they are defining the course of blockchain technology.
The FinTech industry has recognized the need to be more proactive, bold, and embrace new ideas. As we step into a new era of technology, blockchain will remain at the center of new developments in the future.
Let’s dive in to see some unmissable blockchain technology trends of 2022. Will these blockchain trends be relevant beyond 2022? Read more to find out.
Before we begin, let’s understand blockchain technology.
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What is blockchain technology?
Blockchain largely means a transparent, decentralized, immutable, and distributed ledger. The owner’s signature on this digital ledger authenticates activities and safeguards the transactions against fraud. Data is stored digitally and electronically on the blockchain.
Blockchain promises to improve security and also ensures that nobody can tamper with the database. It makes it easier to track digital assets throughout the network and keep track of digital transactions. Simply put, the transaction records that have been distributed among various devices in the peer-to-peer network are recorded in the digital ledger.
Blockchain technology trends in 2022
Blockchain trend 1: Push for green and environment-friendly blockchain
While some call it a hoax, there is no running away from the fact that climate change is real. Although blockchain technology offers great promise, it is energy intensive. Therefore it has also garnered quite a lot of negative publicity across the world from climate change activists.
Until now, almost all popular blockchain applications consume a significant amount of energy, especially those that rely on Proof of Work. Things are gradually changing as the focus on building environment-friendly blockchain has taken center stage. The shift toward a greener blockchain is one of the most important blockchain technology trends of 2022.
We are witnessing significant changes here. For instance, the crypto space is increasingly becoming environmental-friendly each day. The onset of greener solutions such as carbon offsetting coupled with the introduction of energy-efficient blockchain network models is laying the foundations for environment-friendly blockchain networks in the future.
The Ethereum merge which is slated to take place in September this year is a perfect example of this trend. The push toward environment-friendly algorithms including the Proof of stake is a good example of this trend. One of the most popular blockchain networks, Ethereum is expected to adopt the Proof of Stake consensus in 2022.
As the Proof of Stake system has emerged as a sustainable solution, we are closely tracking this blockchain trend in 2022.
Blockchain trend 2: Blockchain to manufacture and track vaccines
Who would have thought that we would see blockchain in healthcare? The global healthcare sector saw significant developments over the past two years, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest challenges for many pharmaceutical companies was the safe and reliable manufacturing and distribution of vaccines to fend off the novel coronavirus.
Blockchain technology is touted to verify the authenticity of future vaccine shipments. It will enable several parties to share and manage a decentralized database. In addition, blockchain could provide all the tools to supply chain management platforms as it is founded on two basic principles to build digital trust:
- Blockchain is not owned by an independent entity or an individual. In fact, it offers a standardized protocol for each participant in the supply chain to facilitate the seamless sharing of relevant data.
- Since it is immutable, information cannot be deleted, and it promotes high accountability by every participant.
Many predict that blockchain has all the ingredients to address a host of supply chain challenges. These include accurate tracking of items, participant accountability, barriers in stock management, and dealing with counterfeits.
Due to the importance of the storage temperature, vaccine distributors would need to ensure that all storage requirements have been met as well as provide clear evidence they were. This evidence would prove that the vaccinations are safe and effective, assuring us that storage temperature data is maintained on an immutable database.
As every vaccine is closely monitored over the blockchain, each link could keep track of the entire process. In addition, health departments could monitor the chain and intervene as needed to ensure seamless operations.
Blockchain trend 3: The increasing popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
Non-fungible tokens have grown in stature and how. Over the past couple of years, the adoption of NFTs has been nothing short of impressive. Celebrities, athletes, musicians, and leading organizations worldwide have hopped onto the NFT bandwagon, and for valid reasons. Since 2021, this has remained one of the most exciting blockchain technology trends, showing no signs of fading out soon.
Besides, introducing NFTs has been instrumental in the adoption of cryptocurrency. In contrast to bitcoin and other crypto assets, NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital tokens that may confirm the authenticity and represent digital ownership of almost any work of art, document, or object.
Let’s admit it. NFTs invoke excitement and have carved a special place for themselves in the digital art realm. Despite some hiccups, NFT sales are increasing each year, showing that this blockchain trend is here to stay for some time.
The most noteworthy NFT sale took place in March this year after a digital image called ‘First 5000 days’ created by Beeple was sold for around $69 million. Thereafter, leading celebrities including Snoop Dog, Lindsay Lohan, Shawn Mendes, and Paris Hilton to name a few have dropped their NFTs.
Besides the art space, sports collectibles, tickets, pharmaceuticals, and even music have all presented considerable opportunities for NFT growth. With the rapid development of the metaverse and play-to-earn games, all eyes are on the gaming industry.
Here, NFTs can be used for various purposes, such as providing rewards to players, exclusive in-game characters and skins, and serving as digital proof of ownership for real estate, other types of property, and other in-game items or features.
Blockchain trend 4: Blockchain technology in the metaverse
Early adopters and ardent crypto enthusiasts may know all the noise around the metaverse. When Facebook announced it is rebranding to ‘Meta’, global awareness and curiosity about the metaverse witnessed exponential growth. It is no secret that Mark Zuckerberg is building a metaverse that could be a potential game-changer for social media companies.
That said, Meta’s plans of creating a metaverse are met with staunch resistance from the crypto community. Increasing concerns that a big-tech and centralized version of the metaverse opposes the principles of the permissionless and open blockchain architectures.
The metaverse, which is now firmly positioned at the nexus of VR and Web 3.0, has emerged as one of the major blockchain technology trends for the coming years. However, it is still in its early stages of commercialization.
Blockchain trend 5: Increasing focus on a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)
A Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is created to ensure that everyone has an equal representation in certain projects. Every DAO uses blockchain technology to record and enforce rules, manage finances, and other functions. Over the years, several DAO-based ideas have come and gone, including the Constitution DAO. Although the Constitution DAO ultimately failed in its quest to purchase a copy of the US Constitution, it is still an effective approach for connecting communities all over the world.
The idea of DAO has a lot to offer to any organization without ties to non-profits or governments. More immutability and transparency will always be helpful, and blockchain technology is the motor fueling this narrative.
Blockchain technology is here, what next?
Now that we have explored a few recent blockchain trends, one thing is clear – blockchain technology is not going anywhere. Advocates of blockchain along with the benefits of the distributed ledger are two important factors that will drive the blockchain wave forward in the upcoming years.
These blockchain trends are just a few examples of what this new-age technology holds in store for us. It is safe to that blockchain technology is still in its infancy, and it could take some for it to mature (just like any other technology). The question remains, how will governments, traditional financial institutions, and other tech experts embrace blockchain?
According to you, which is the most exciting blockchain trend in 2022? Do you think we will see the adoption of blockchain technology grow across different industries? We would love to hear from you.
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Feature Image Source: Photo by GuerrillaBuzz Crypto PR on Unsplash
Image 1 Source: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash