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What Crypto Will Look Like in 5 Years

Why it matters to you:
Cryptocurrency may become a part of our everyday lives in the next five years—as integrated as the Internet and mobile communications. But five years is a very long time for a drastically developing market, and many changes can happen during this period.
1. The main aspect— Finance 2. Something more complicated— Technology3. Closer to Us— Users

Let's recall the state of the cryptocurrency market five years ago. In 2016, the ICO fever had not even started yet. Many of today's popular projects did not exist yet: Binance, Uniswap, and Cardano all came later. The Ethereum network was only in its very first version, and the Bitcoin price was around $300–$600. So "What Will Crypto Look Like in Five Years?" is an incredibly intriguing question. We can determine the best answer based on three elements.

 1. The main aspect—Finance 

Investing in cryptocurrencies is an interaction with an emerging market. Its total capitalization is $2.6 trillion (as per 22nd of November 2021), a figure that is notably small compared to other markets. However, the market itself is still relatively young, and growth opportunities still lie ahead. Even if 10% of the world's capital flows into it, we will see a significant rise in cryptocurrency prices.

Even if 10%

of the world's capital flows into cryptocurrency, we will see a significant rise in prices.

The cryptocurrency market has reached its current capitalization over the past ten years, mainly due to independent technological development and the interest of retail investors. However, it may have much more growth ahead of it due to four important factors:

  • Government regulation

  • Big tech crypto adoption

  • Institutional investment

  • Retail investor capital

As a result, today's capitalization numbers could easily be surpassed, and by 2025, the market's capitalization could surpass tens of trillions of dollars. 

Comparing the cryptocurrency market capitalization against other financial markets’ capitalization.

2. Something more complicated—Technology

The main driver of the cryptocurrency market is technology. Its novelty and constant development created an entirely new market. Work on crypto technology doesn't stop for a minute. There are more than 8,000 monthly active developers working on various cryptocurrency projects, according to this Report, with 80% of those developers starting in the last two years. Thanks to this constant work, we can define each year by the rise of a specific technology on the crypto market.

Top Crypto Trends from 2016 to 2021

However, the development of the cryptocurrency industry is not limited to these technologies. There will be significant technological changes soon:  

  • Interoperability—in the coming years, the problem posed by the  inability of different blockchains to interact with each other may be overcome thanks to "bridge" solutions or Polkadot parachains;

  • Throughput—the development of most projects is aimed at speeding up transactions. Expected solutions in this area are Lightning Network, Ethereum 2.0, and Solana; 

  • Creation of new cryptocurrency products and auxiliary products to implement them;

  • Security—work on blockchain security aims to keep the network decentralized through the distribution of mining, and the total prevention  of taking control of the network;

Green mining—reducing crypto mining’s carbon footprint is one of the most debated topics, which can be solved by switching cryptocurrencies to PoS (like Ethereum 2.0) or other "green" mining algorithms or boosting the share of green energy mining.

3. Closer to Us—Users

Over the past five years, the number of cryptocurrency users has grown exponentially: from 5 million in 2016 to 106 million in early 2021, and up to 221 million in July, 2021. Three important factors have accompanied this growth:

  • Building intuitive and straightforward solutions for users’ first interactions with cryptocurrency. This doesn’t even include other cryptocurrency financial products or mobile apps! In 2016, it was hard to find a service with a simple interface for buying and storing cryptocurrencies (such as Binance or

  • The expansion of the range of cryptocurrency services. Completely new ecosystem solutions (Solana, Polkadot, Polygon, etc.), cryptocurrency loans, deposits, storage services, and decentralized exchanges appeared in these five years. The landscape of centralized exchanges changed completely, and fundraising methods for cryptocurrency projects were reborn several times;

  • Technical scalability. In 5 years, new projects appeared, and the old ones were so technically developed that they could interact with a large number of users. As we know, Technical Scalability Creates Social Scalability

In terms of the adoption of cryptocurrencies, the current number of crypto users is equivalent to  the number of Internet users in 1997. At the same time, growth in the number of cryptocurrency users outpaces the spread of the Internet. 

A comparison between the adoption rate of the Internet and Cryptocurrency

If this pace continues over the next five years, the cryptocurrency industry could boast a billion users—comparable to 2005 in the context of the spread of the Internet.

Five years is a very long time for the digital asset market. It's easier to grasp by comparing the market to what it was in 2016. Since then, a huge step has been taken toward mass adoption and new uses. As a result, in five years, cryptocurrency will make a significant leap and become part of our regular lives for billions of people, just as the internet and mobile communications once were. That is why the next five years are a great time to invest in the digital asset market.

Published: Nov 22, 2021
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