It's clear that 2021 was the biggest year crypto has seen yet. (In case you missed it, I break down why in this article.)
Given all the mind-blowing things that happened involving this technology, I've got some predictions for crypto in 2022. Plus, you can listen to ones my listeners submitted on the latest Unchained, out today.
But, before we get to the predictions, a couple announcements:
In the same episode as the predictions, I've got a fascinating interview with Jonathan Mann, aka Song a Day Mann, who has been writing a song a day for 13 years. He even holds the Guinness World Record for it. Check out the full conversation to find out how he went from making a song a day for fun, to being a "conference troubadour," to writing a song about a Congressional speech about crypto ... to, of course, creating music NFTs.
This week, four early-stage crypto investors -- Haseeb Qureshi and Tom Schmidt of Dragonfly Capital, and Tarun Chitra and Robert Leshner of Robot Ventures -- launched a new show called The Chopping Block, which will appear on Unchained on all platforms. It will livestream every two weeks on the Unchained YouTube channel and then be released afterward on the podcast. Be sure to check out the inaugural episode, in which they call out what they think are crypto's biggest winners, biggest losers and best memes from 2021.
And now, here are my three 2022 crypto predictions -- with commentary from a show I did with three other crypto journalists, plus a few predictions that the Chopping Block crew dropped in their show.
This fall, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a bitcoin futures ETF, which was a milestone considering that the agency has for years rejected so-called "spot" bitcoin ETFs whose underlying asset is bitcoin, as opposed to bitcoin futures. As I've written about before, a number of investment professionals and other crypto industry players don't believe bitcoin futures ETFs are as good for everyday investors, due to the fact that investors wanting exposure to bitcoin will instead get exposure to the futures price. Plus, the futures ETFs are more expensive.
But the demand for a spot bitcoin ETF is there, there's already a publicly traded spot crypto exchange, and, as many industry professionals say, it will likely become more indefensible for the SEC to have justified a product based on a derivative of bitcoin but not one based on bitcoin itself.
Forbes senior editor Michael del Castillo, in the recent episode I did with him and two other crypto journalists, "If you look at [the SEC's] last rejection letter [of a spot Bitcoin ETF], the wording they used to explain it, which they've always used to explain it, looks absolutely preposterous in a world that they've approved a futures ETF. You can't use the same rationale about an immature industry as an explanation for why you're rejecting a spot ETF after you've just approved a futures ETF, which really helps create that maturity."
Last year, the fight over the crypto provision in the infrastructure bill galvanized the crypto community and industry. It was a moment that certainly got the attention of lawmakers, whose negotiations were held up over the impassioned objection to the provision, with which the community felt would be impossible for certain actors to comply due to its poor phrasing.
The community -- and potential Congressional candidates -- now seem aware of how powerful the nothing-if-not-fervent crypto community can be when it comes to political issues. Already, savvy Congressional candidates like Morgan Harper, Aarika Rhodes and Shrina Kurani are are making their support for crypto known. I predict these trends will continue in 2022 as the midterms heat up.
If 2020 was the year of decentralized finance (DeFi) and 2021 was the year of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), then 2022 will be the year of DAOs. Already, the harbinger of that was ConstitutionDAO, which sprang up in a week and amassed $50 million to try to buy a copy of the US Constitution being auctioned off at Sotheby's. Although the group failed, it captured the imaginations of many, and so more groups will create DAOs to do different things. Plus, already, many DeFi protocols have either already decentralized to become DAOs or are in the process of doing so. And same with a number of NFT projects, similar to NounsDAO, in which one Noun is created per day and each Nouns holder can participate in the governance of the DAO.
This is perhaps such an obvious prediction that others had the same idea:
"I think people are going to figure out how to make crowdfunding and DAOs work well and make it work super simply and we're going to see DAOs going out and doing more real-world things and buying stuff," said Schmidt, general partner at Dragonfly Capital, in the Chopping Block episode.
Chitra added, "I think DAO purchases will get wilder than they were this year." He recalled how PleasrDAO negotiated buying the Wu-Tang Clan album from the government. "I think it's going to be ten times crazier -- like a sports team, maybe a tiny nation ... I don't know. That might be a little bit harder. But I think there's going to be some very crazy purchases over the next 12 months."
If you'd like to learn more about crypto: