The Fed’s policy announcement is behind us. Time to stop pointing fingers at who was responsible for the crypto crash – Powell’s planned rate hikes? Russia? Wall Street? – and start asking: Where do we go from here?
Looking at the key on-chain metrics, analysts at Glassnode concluded: “The bulls either need to step up in a big way, else the probabilities favor the bears. That said, a relief bounce in the near term is also probable if history is to act as a guide.”
So, uh… Which will it be?
Clearly, it’s hard to say when things will turn around. But all the while, the action in the New Digital World hasn’t let up one bit. Here are three reasons for crypto bulls to keep the faith in 2022.
The NFT & Metaverse Craze
NFT traders are still coming in strong!
It looks like that activity is holding up. Below we see January’s sales volume is even better than when the NFT craze kicked off last August.
That nice boost from LooksRare (CCC:LOOKS-USD), the hot new NFT marketplace, has been widely attributed to “wash trading,” where people pump up NFT prices just to get token rewards. But even without LooksRare, we’d still have a new monthly record – before January’s even over:
No wonder “NFT” is becoming the most widely searched term in investing! Below we see that, in January, “NFT” has overtaken “crypto” – which itself suddenly pushed “stocks” off the search-interest pedestal early last year:
Metaverses, too, are heating up. Decentraland (CCC:MANA-USD) and The Sandbox (CCC:SAND-USD) – which you might think of as Second Life and Roblox for the blockchain – both made their largest ever event announcements in January:
The Australian Open is hosting a VR version of its tennis tournament, AO Metaverse, where fans can attend the festivities in Decentraland…and buyers of NFT souvenirs can enter to win (real) match-winning balls!
Meanwhile, Warner Music Group (NASDAQ:WMG) is opening a virtual concert venue in The Sandbox, with “concerts and musical experiences” from its artists. WMG is home to some of the biggest marquee names you can think of, from Bruno Mars to Kelly Clarkson to Cardi B, Coldplay, and Jason Derulo.
Meeting up with friends online to watch your favorite band – or trade digital art – is fun… Proving that this New Digital World is about more than making money. And that’s just what’s needed to fuel mass adoption in 2022 and beyond. Given all the “gas fees” paid to trade the NFTs involved, the trend is certainly supportive of ETH and similar smart-contract cryptos.
Speaking of money, though…
All That Venture Capital Has To Go Somewhere
2021 was a record year for venture capital (VC) funding of blockchain startups, according to Galaxy Digital Research. Over $32 billion went to more than 2,000 crypto deals – and turned at least 47 of them into “unicorns,” valued at $1 billion or more.
And now, in 2022? Well, just in the past week and a half:
- Marc Andreessen’s “major crypto venture capital fund a16z recently announced intentions to a raise $3.5 billion for its latest crypto fund – a massive increase from the $2.2 billion it raised in June 2021,” as Luke Lango reports in his Ultimate Crypto service.
- Crypto. com (CCC:CRO-USD) committed to $500 million in funding for crypto projects, with Dragonfly Capital targeting the same amount.
- Tom Brady’s startup to help fellow celebrities issue NFTs, Autograph, completed a Series B round for $170 million in funding.
- Fireblocks, a platform for banks to host crypto wallets, raised a cool $550 million – and the deal valued this project at $8 billion overall!
Consumers Flocking to Crypto Worldwide
Inflation spiraling out of control may have spooked investors into a crypto crash – but it’s also fueling crypto adoption in some of the hardest hit nations.
El Salvador turned some heads in September by adopting Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar. The country’s millennial president, Nayib Bukele, is being harshly criticized for this by the International Monetary Fund.
But Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest analysts are big fans of the move – noting that, in just three months, it’s already brought financial access to millions of previously “unbanked” citizens:
Even more interesting than El Salvador, where “bitcoin is being pushed top-down,” are countries like Argentina where “it’s bottom-up adoption,” noted Santiago Siri on the Bankless Layer Zero podcast Thursday.
Worldwide, crypto adoption is up 881% in the past year! Institutional investors may be moving the needle in developed markets, but “in emerging markets, many turn to cryptocurrency to preserve their savings in the face of currency devaluation, send and receive remittances, and carry out business transactions,” reports Chainalysis.
Crypto adoption is following a sharp growth trajectory eerily similar to internet adoption in the 1990s, according to Blockworks. Below we see that today in crypto is about like 1998 for the internet:
And as Luke Lango writes in Ultimate Crypto: With 73% of small businesses planning to accept new forms of payment in 2022 – 24% of them open to bitcoin, specifically – crypto adoption’s best days clearly lie ahead.
On the date of publication, Ashley Cassell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.