The year is 2027. This is a time of great innovation and technological progress, and a time of chaos. What will the crypto market look like in 2027? (For those unfamiliar, this is a Wire From video games in 2011, Beat the siege. )
Long-term forecasts are notoriously difficult to make, but they are good thought experiments. One year is too short for fundamental change, but five years is enough to change everything.
Here are the most unexpected and outrageous events that could happen in the next five years.
1. Metaverse will not rise
The metaverse is a hot topic, but most people have no idea what it actually contains. The Metaverse is a monolithic virtual world that persists (no pauses or resets), works in real-time, accommodates any number of users, has its own economy, is created by the participants themselves, and has unprecedented interoperability. Various applications Programs can (in theory) be integrated into virtual worlds, including games, videoconferencing apps, services that issue drivers licenses—anything.
This definition makes it clear that the metaverse is not a novel phenomenon. Games and social networks that include most of the above have been around for a long time. Granted, interoperability is an issue that needs to be addressed seriously. Being able to easily transfer digital assets (or digital identities) between games without being tied to a specific platform would be a very useful feature.
But the Metaverse can never satisfy all needs. There is simply no reason to include some services in the metaverse. Some services will remain siloed as carriers are reluctant to give up control over them.
A “metaverse” will happen, but I don’t think any existing corporate attempts to create a metaverse are going anywhere. https://t.co/tVUfq4CWmP
—vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) July 30, 2022
There are also technical aspects to consider. The cyberpunk culture of the 1980s and 1990s assumed that the metaverse meant total immersion. It is now believed that this immersion can only be achieved with virtual reality glasses. VR hardware is getting better every year, but it’s not what we expected. Even among hardcore gamers, VR is still a niche phenomenon. The vast majority of ordinary people would never wear glasses like this in order to call their grandmother or sell some cryptocurrency on an exchange.
True immersion requires technological breakthroughs like smart contact lenses or Neuralink. Five years from now, these technologies are highly unlikely to be widely available.
2. Wallets will become “super apps”
Today, active decentralized finance (DeFi) users are forced to deal with dozens of protocols. Wallets, interfaces, exchanges, bridges, lending protocols – there are hundreds of them and growing every day. Even for advanced users, having to use so much technology is inconvenient. As for the prospect of mass adoption, the situation is even more unacceptable.
It is ideal for the average user to have access to the maximum number of services through a limited number of general-purpose applications. The best option is to integrate them directly into the wallet. Storage, exchange, transfer to other networks, staking – why go to dozens of different sites to access these services if all the necessary operations can be performed using a single interface?
Users don’t care which switch or bridge they use. They only care about safety, speed and low fees. A large number of DeFi protocols will eventually become backends that cater to popular wallets and interfaces.
3. Bitcoin will become a unit of account equivalent to the dollar or euro
Money has three primary roles—as a means of payment, as a store of value, and as a unit of account. Many cryptocurrencies, mostly stablecoins, are used as means of payment. Bitcoin (BTC) and – to a lesser extent – ether (ETH) are used as stores of value between cryptocurrencies. But the dollar remains the world’s primary unit of account. Everything is denominated in USD, including Bitcoin.
A real victory for sound money will be heralded when cryptocurrencies take over the role of the unit of account. Bitcoin is currently a prime candidate for this role. Such a victory would mean a major spiritual shift.
Wheat up 43% in the first five months of the year
Nat Gas 155% since January, +10% today
Let’s see how long “consumers stay strong” as it reduces the small amount of savings they have left and the buildup of debt
Fight inflation with inflation, just print more haha pic.twitter.com/b19becqa2x
— Pentoshi (Leading the Cow to the Butcher) (@Pentosh1) June 6, 2022
What needs to be done in the next five years to make this happen?
The sharp decline in confidence in the dollar and euro is a prerequisite for cryptocurrencies to play the role of the basic unit of account. Western authorities have undermined that confidence by printing trillions of dollars in fiat currency, allowing abnormally high inflation to spiral, freezing hundreds of billions of sovereign reserves, and more. This might just be the beginning.
What if actual inflation turns out to be worse than expected? What if the economic crisis is protracted? What if a new epidemic breaks out? What if the conflict in Ukraine spills over to neighboring countries? All of these are viable scenarios. Of course, some are extreme – but they are possible.
4. At least half of the top 50 cryptocurrencies will drop in the rankings
The list of top cryptocurrencies is likely to change radically. Outright zombies like Ethereum Classic (ETC) will be kicked off the roster, and projects that now seem to occupy an unshakable position will not only be dethroned, but may disappear entirely.
Related: 6 Questions from Quadrata’s Lisa Fridman
Some stablecoins are sure to sink. The new ones will take their place. Cardano (ADA) will slip off the list and officially become a living corpse. The project has been slow and painful. Rather than seeing it as a problem, the developers even seem to see it as a benefit.
5. The crypto market will be segmented along geographic lines
By default, cryptocurrencies are global, but they are not immune to the influence of individual countries. States always have advantages and extra tricks. Many regions (US, EU, China, India, Russia, etc.) have introduced or threatened to introduce strict regulation of cryptocurrencies.
The factors of international competition are superimposed on the internal motivation of countries. When Russia came under heavy sanctions, some crypto projects started restricting Russian users from accessing their services and even blocking their funds. This situation may be repeated in China in the future.
Related: Is there a way for the crypto industry to avoid a bear market associated with Bitcoin’s halving?
It’s not hard to imagine a future where part of the cryptocurrency market will favor some countries while shutting down others. At least to some extent, we already live in such a future.
The views expressed are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered legal or investment advice.