2022 was one of the most unpredictable years on record for the cryptocurrency market. Multi-billion-dollar companies seemed to sink overnight, billionaires went on the run, and industry-wide crashes sent investors into a tailspin. Among the lows, there were also memorable highs, with historical and technological developments being made and some cryptos, like AXS (Axie Infinity), experiencing gains of over 1215%.
Yes, if there’s one thing the past twelve months taught us, it’s that the crypto market will never perform as predicted, but it also has the potential to blow all expectations out of the water. The future’s not set in stone, especially when investing is involved, but we can nevertheless make some educated guesses about what might be in store over the next twelve months. 2023 has the potential to be a critical year for this burgeoning industry if the following key trends are anything to go by.
Crypto Casinos will go from Strength to Strength
For several years now, there’s been a lot of buzz about crypto and blockchain being “the future” of the gaming industry. It’s taken some time, but in 2022, crypto gained some serious traction in key gaming markets, like the iGaming segment.
In fact, 2022 was a stellar year for crypto casinos, with innovations like hold and win slots surging in popularity and more opportunities coming through in mobile play. Besides, established digital casino brands like Ignition Casino are now welcoming more cryptocurrencies as payment methods than ever before, so, check out the full list of accepted coins here: https://www.cafecasino.lv/casino/slots-games.
What’s going to strengthen the crypto casino marketing during 2023? Firstly, several providers have started bypassing exchanges and now offer gamers the opportunity to purchase decentralised currencies directly on their sites. This is not only making the deposit and withdrawal process more seamless, but it’s also making it easier for players to gain access to cryptocurrencies. Plus, the software that’s being used to implement this is compatible with innovations like Apple and Google Pay, as well as standard debit/credit cards, making it easier than ever to get involved with crypto gaming.
Some blockchain-based gaming platforms have even started to issue players with their own tokens, which can be traded for cash prizes, free spins and other casino-related promotions. Like regular cryptocurrencies, the value of these digital assets fluctuates with market pricing. Whether this is something that digital casino players want or will utilise long-term remains to be seen, but the Non-Fungible Token market still has some way to go before it dissipates.
Utility NFTs are on the Rise
Speaking of NFTs, while they are mostly associated with digital artworks and collectables, 2023 will likely see the non-fungibles becoming viable for business use cases — the rise of utility NFTs. We’ve already seen this happen in practice, with Starbucks launching its Odyssey Rewards program at the tail end of 2022. Throughout the coming twelve months, we’ll likely see several corporate entities experimenting with using NFTs for loyalty benefits and immersive experiences.
There’s also a case for the market making a substantial impact on the music industry. Launching in January 2023, LGND Music is a new music and collectables platform intended to “support digital collectables from any blockchain in a proprietary player”. In layman’s terms, the platform will make it possible for users to “play” any content stored on their digital assets, even on the go. This opens up new possibilities for creators to offer curated experiences that reward NFT holders with valuable perks.
It’s not too far-fetched to foresee NFTs being minted as concert and event tickets, given that non-fungibles possess all the attributes of blockchain tech. An NFT is immutable, and being a digital asset, it cannot be forged or deleted. It’s also both traceable and trackable, which could have a positive impact on reducing and eliminating ticketing scams and forgeries.
Ethereum Scales Up
September 2022 saw Ethereum undergo its landmark merge event, cutting its energy consumption by 99.99% and establishing a new Proof-of-Stake era. Gone are the days of ETH mining, and in its place is a more sustainable, scalable and efficient mechanism for coin generation. This technological feat took five years to complete and was the first step to scaling up.
Another upgrade is just around the corner for Ethereum, with its Shanghai network reportedly undergoing a refresh in March 2023. An estimated $20 billion worth of staked ETH will likely become available to users after the upgrade, with the six months leading up to it having seen global users depositing their existing coins to validate new transactions.
Interestingly, Ethereum’s core developers have chosen to make the Shanghai transitions as light as possible by removing several other network upgrades from the update.
2023 may even be the year that Danksharding arrives on the network, which would make Ethereum transactions significantly faster and cheaper. Many in the crypto community see danksharding as a necessary process to take Ethereum to new levels of dominance and proliferation, making this already reliable network even more convenient to use.
According to core developer Marius Van Der Wijden, we may see the preliminary version of the process ship following the Shanghai upgrade. The proto-danksharding tool will likely be made available during Ethereum’s summer upgrade.