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KuCoin Labs: Integration of Metaverse and DeFi Will Be a Major Highlight in 2022

The year 2021 has been an exciting one for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum noted a new all-time high last year. According to Wind’s data on the return of major assets, Bitcoin is the best performing major asset and/or alternative asset of 2021, with a growth rate of 72% from beginning to end of the year, surpassing crude oil and natural gas. Digital assets are disrupting the entire financial market, and Bitcoin is just a microcosm of it. The asset’s performance brought more attention to the crypto and blockchain industry, resulting in an explosive increase in user numbers and liquidity inflows. The KuCoin Labs report clearly indicates that there were some exciting trends across various industry segments, including:

  • Memecoin of the year 2021, Doge and Shiba Inu are must mention ones, ramping up their capitalization on the wave of ‘Tweet wars’ waged by their proponents in media space.
  • Infrastructure trends: The year has seen a considerable number of developments in blockchain space with the Ethereum London upgrade, TVL on Layer-1 vs. Layer 2, node distribution for top blockchains, gas usage, etc. Ethereum TVL is still far ahead, followed by BSC, Avalanche, and Solana. New solutions are being introduced, which are increasing the convenience of network usage and attempting to bring gas prices down. 2022 will continue to see scaling and the launch of upgrades in the Ethereum network, as well as the rapid popularisation of such competitors as Solana as industry anchors.
  • The growth and performance of cross-chain bridges have been largely focused around the BTC and ETH networks, becoming passive tools in light of poor development traction and other inefficiencies. It is likely that 2022 will see similar rates of progress on cross-chain development, as well as the commonplace adoption of such solutions on a logical level across major ecosystems.
  • NFTs and the Metaverse: The NFT and metaverse markets had taken center stage in 2021, eventually merging with DeFi and the gaming industry to produce a comprehensive ecosystem that empowers users and gives them the reins of trading and digital asset release. With the metaverse acting as the main hub of NFT activity, 2022 is estimated to become the hallmark year for the introduction of breakthrough solutions in user identification across decentralized space and the deployment of various supporting systems for full integration with DeFi.
  • DeFi Trends and Industry Overview: The DeFi market continued to evolve throughout 2021, acting as the starting point for the entry of regulators into the decentralised environment. With the number of new protocols growing, and established ones solidifying their positions, 2022 will likely see the development of Web 3.0 and other innovative solutions that can absorb DeFi space and make it more accessible to a new audience of users.
  • DAOs were deployed by various protocols throughout 2021 and are being supported by influencers. Not all DAOs were successful, but their underlying operational principles are sound enough to be used as foundations for the establishment of legal entities. 2022 is not likely to see a breakthrough in DAO expansion, but rather the refinement of their mechanisms that can pave the way for future adoption on corporate or company-size levels.
  • Incidents and Crypto Industry Security: 2021 saw many instances of fraud and security breaches, especially in the DeFi sector, which led the first half of the year. With over $610 million stolen in just one instance of breach, the total amount of funds lost throughout the year is counted in the billions of dollars. And though security measures are being refined with the inclusion of audits and asset insurance protocols, 2022 is certain to witness a comparable amount of fraud and theft of funds.

Many of these topics have gained mainstream media attention throughout 2021. The rising popularity of NFTs, DAO ventures attempting to purchase a copy of the Constitution, and Facebook rebranding to Meta to explore Metaverse opportunities are just some examples of how cryptocurrency and blockchain are seeping into everyday life and becoming household terms.

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As 2022 is now upon us, KuCoin Labs takes a closer look at what this year will bring for the industry. Will there be more excitement, or will regulators push back aggressively? Is the NFT trend coming to an end, or is this only the beginning of a global multi-year trend? Can existing bottlenecks in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space finally be addressed?

“KuCoin Labs takes its role in promoting the development of the whole crypto industry. We incubate and invest in innovative projects, guide their development to their maturity where they would bring the best of crypto. As one of the top investment institutions, KuCoin Labs team gathers professional research on a forward-looking journey, unceasingly diving deep into every aspect and detail of a vertical. KuCoin Labs aims to be an integral force in building the future of Web 3.0,” said Lou Yu, head of KuCoin Labs.

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The forecasts touch upon some interesting points that cannot be overlooked by anyone even remotely associated with the industry. First, KuCoin Labs acknowledges that financial institutions remain crucial to taking the blockchain and cryptocurrency to the next level.

Moreover, more companies have set up Bitcoin treasuries in 2021, even though BTC has retraced by almost 50% from the all-time high. KuCoin Labs expects more institutions to be transparent about their Bitcoin purchases, although they may not necessarily acquire BTC directly.

The focus on Layer-1 and decentralised finance is likely to continue throughout 2022. There is much room for further progress, whether it be scalability for Layer-1 or more complex and rewarding DeFi protocols. Other trends to keep tabs on include:

  • NFTs
  • GameFi
  • DAOs
  • SocialFi
  • MetaFi
  • Regulation
  • And much more.

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