This year was a year to remember for cryptocurrency. Not only did it go “mainstream” in Australia but it received the much-needed regulatory oversight required to help provide greater security for both investors and cryptocurrency businesses.
Although regulators may have taken a while to get their heads around cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, the government is keen to make up for lost time, and held a Senate inquiry which recommended laws to set Australia up as digital innovation hub for cryptocurrency.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) referred to crypto and DeFi as the “future of payments,” and has backed the industry, highlighting crypto’s rapid innovation and technology. Crypto and DeFi can revolutionise the financial industry.
eToro market analyst Josh Gilbert says, “2021 was a remarkable year for crypto assets, from the retail surge in Q1 with new all-time highs, to market corrections and new all-time highs in Q4. Global adoption of crypto assets is accelerating at an extraordinary pace and we can expect this trend to continue well into 2022.”
In a rising inflation environment, Bitcoin has gained an “inflation hedge” label, but it really acts like a risk-on asset. But cryptoassets are still in their infancy, and haven’t been tested during a recession, therefore they can’t be considered as a hedge against inflation for now.
“Looking ahead to 2022, DeFi is anticipated to play a more significant role than we’ve ever seen before, with the continued growth from non-fungible tokens (NFTs,) the metaverse and Web 3.0. Although some of these trends may take a while to reach their full potential, 2022 will certainly act as a sounding board for their acceleration,” says Gilbert.
Critics continue to question the real-world application and utility for cryptocurrencies but it’s mostly fallen on deaf ears; the asset class has become so popular, it’s mainstream and has a strong foothold in industries such as music, gaming, sports and art. It’s expected that smart contracts could help to expedite more innovative shipping and logistics processes.
Gilbert says, “In 2013 and 2017 we saw crypto bull markets and have now experienced this again in 2021. Nevertheless, I don’t think we’ve yet seen the dramatic price action we saw during these periods. If history is anything to go by, this could mean that we haven’t quite seen the peak for crypto yet, and 2022 could be a key year. In the same breath, investors should remember that we may then experience a “crypto winter.”