With bitcoin (BTC-USD) and Ethereum (ETH-USD) hovering near all-time highs, many analysts are bullish that the flagship cryptocurrencies, and the crypto space as a whole, can continue its rapid growth and ascension for the remainder of the year. And according to Blockchain.com founder Peter Smith, 2022 will see more competition emerge in the industry.
“It's very hard to have lost money in crypto over the last year,” Smith said. “Some people have managed to do it, but it's quite hard. And so we're going to get into a harder, more competitive environment, I think, over the next year. And that's actually going to be net good for the market because it's going to start separating the good from the bad.”
In an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Zack Guzman as part of the Yahoo Finance/Decrypt: Crypto Goes Mainstream summit, Smith discussed his outlook for the crypto industry going into the next year. The summit featured conversations with some of the biggest names in crypto to talk investing, mass adoption, NFT collecting, and how to get started.
As for what competition in 2022 may look like, Smith believes that the market will likely begin to gravitate towards crypto platforms that are seeing the highest growth from a usage perspective rather than solely from an investment standpoint. This dynamic would distinguish the “momentum machines” from crypto platforms with “real technical value,” he said.
Smith cited how institutions are already beginning to look beyond Ethereum and bitcoin.
“So we're seeing volume and flow that's outside Ethereum and bitcoin in our institutional business today, which is really kind of interesting,” Smith said. “And [it] happened a lot faster than we thought it would. That is going to impact prices.”
Indeed, other players with major DeFi applications are steadily entering the scene. For instance, Solana (SOL1-USD) has soared in value since the beginning of 2021 as the market cheers the blockchain’s functionality. Originally touted as an “Ethereum killer,” though experts have become increasingly skeptical about the moniker over time, it remains among the top cryptocurrencies by market cap due in part to the platform’s usability.
Going forward, Smith also expects some level of decoupling to take place within the crypto market.
“Right now everything is trading very correlated,” he said. “So you have this excitement in the space and that's trading up. And there might be slight divergences between this asset and that asset on any given day, but everything is generally trading up … And I think that's the evolution in the market you're going to see next year — is sort of a breakup in the correlation of this asset class.”
Thomas Hum is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @thomashumTV