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2023’s Upcoming Web3 Trends: What’ll be Hot, and What’ll Be Not?

2022 was undeniably a difficult year for crypto, right after a year of highs in 2021. We’ve compiled what blockchain industry experts have been saying to get a glimpse of what to expect in 2023.

We’ve been hit by the stablecoin depeg – the infamous Terra-LUNA crash.

We’ve survived FTX’s downfall, and witnessed crypto personality Sam Bankman-Fried’s fall from grace.

We weren’t quite ready for both of those disasters, but what can we do to prepare for what’s to happen next?

Although we don’t have accurate answers (and no one would have), we’ve gathered some informed observations from crypto and Web3’s top analysts and industry experts so we can spot what will be ‘hot’ and what will be ‘not’ in 2023.

Hot: Traditional companies

We know some of you are grumbling. Crypto shouldn’t be run by corporate giants and centralised entities. However, a few experts believe that these Web2 companies can help the crypto market rise up and end this crypto winter.

Alex Onufriychuk, head of growth at blockchain-based music crowdfunding platform Corite:

“The key to the next ‘crypto summer’ will be mass adoption of Web3 elements by traditional Web2 companies. As this transition accelerates, more attention will be spent on designing interfaces and experiences that are more intuitive for the average user.” 

“In 2022, I saw many Web2 companies accept crypto payments and add blockchain innovations like NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to their services… This is a trend that will continue to grow as more people become aware of blockchain technology.” 

Onufriychuk adds: “We should expect some big names from multiple industries joining in this movement in the next couple of years. For example, mainstream social media platforms and AAA game studios are already experimenting with the use of NFTs.”

Vlad Shavlidze, founder and CEO of xDAO, a multi-chain decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) builder:

“Adoption starts with three main components: simplicity, security, and applicability. We see a trend in this direction, as well as some ‘best practice’ inheritance from Web2 services,” points out Shavlidze.

“The ability to combine what people used to do with something new is what will define future blockchain trends.”

Hot: DeFi

DeFi is getting its share of the spotlight, mostly in part due to the failures of FTX. While centralised finance (CEX) trading platforms will probably still maintain their roles in the space, there’s a few figures who feel that DeFi will pop up from underground status.

Slava Demchuk, chief executive officer of AMLBot and compliance protocol PureFi:

“[We expect to see] significant adoption of decentralised finance (DeFi) by institutions due to permissioned pools and decentralised compliance protocols such as PureFi,” said Demchuk.

 “Integration of permissioned DeFi protocols within the backend of traditional banking systems [is necessary] to provide their customers a more attractive and trustless alternative to current financial services.”

Hot: ReFi

There’s an increasing demand for accountability in the crypto space after all of the bad buzz – that’s where regenerative finance (ReFi) comes in. Focusing on creating communities and systems that fulfil environmental and social needs, ReFi is all about rebuilding, and it’s just what Web3 needs right now.

Boyd Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Iomob, the developers of WheelCoin (move2earn game with green incentives):

“I am convinced 2023 will be the year that ReFi gains more mainstream attention and adoption and helps to prove how crypto has tangible impacts on the real world and helps to change the narrative from the scams of 2022 to a force for positive change and an accelerant towards a more sustainable, low-carbon economy.”

Phil Fogel, co-founder & ‘Chief Crypto Guy’ of FlowCarbon:

“With more of an emphasis than ever on sustainable practices in virtually every sector in the world, ReFi-centred growth will be exponential, and 2023 will be the year we look back on as the time when it all took off.”

Hot: Gaming

We’ll see more gaming and NFT integration in 2023 – and we’re anticipating them to be a key method of onboarding new users onto Web3.

Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands:

“We’re going to see a big wave of high-quality games emerging in the market, which will basically bring on more mass adoption. That will come into full effect somewhere in 2023, maybe spilling over 2024. And so, we should expect a wave of potentially hundreds of millions of users entering the space for that reason.”

“Gaming will be a major driver [of mass adoption], and more generally, blockchain culture as represented by NFTs of various kinds.”

Randy Wasinger, founder and CEO of NFT data aggregator CryptoSlam:

“Gaming [will grow], probably on Polygon, but could be anywhere besides Ethereum. So much investment has been made into gaming companies over the past year or two. The gamers will first come from Asia and then eventually from the more-hesitant North American audience.”

Not: Our current NFT landscape 

With new developments in blockchain tech, we’re seeing that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can exist as more than a quick method for cash more clearly than ever. 

We’ll see improvements beyond profile pic NFTs with extra perks in 2023, and continue to find more use cases for NFTs – with better ways to reward NFT creators (who have been hit hard by the royalty-optional trends) as the year progresses.

Gary Liu, founder and CEO of Artifact Labs, a company that focuses on historical NFTs:

“Different kinds of applications are going to be invented for NFTs. They’re not just pictures that you put money into and hope that it grows in value over time. It’s not going to be just a speculative asset, but rather, the Lego blocks that will become the next version of the decentralised internet.”

Randy Wasinger, founder and CEO of NFT data aggregator CryptoSlam:

“[Next year, I expect] more advanced revenue models for creators beyond forced royalties on secondary market transactions – especially for non-art digital assets – [and] the rise of a wider array of digital asset classes, tokenized almost exclusively as NFTs rather than their fungible counterparts.”

Not: Bad governance

We’ve seen what terrible governance has done to the world. 2023 will be the year of the DAO –  with areas for governance going running companies, but also in Web3 gaming..

Saro McKenna, co-founder and CEO of play-to-earn game Alien Worlds:

“DAOs will perhaps be the most important development trend of 2023… Participating in [Alien Worlds’] DAO-based elections to a planet’s council enables a player to be elected to the governing council, to play a role in decision-making, and to oversee the expenditure of treasury funds… This kind of new opportunity is already starting to intensify the activity levels in our worldwide community of users.”

Vlad Shavlidze, the founder and CEO of xDAO, a multi-chain decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) builder:

“In 2023, new models of governance and collective financial management will be the focus, as DAOs offer a way to address current issues of centralization and lack of transparency in the crypto industry. Companies will be drawn to DAOs for their improved accountability and transparency.”

Lex Sokolin, head economist at Ethereum software firm ConsenSys:

“In terms of applications, we are likely to see growth in tools that enable DAOs to produce useful economic goods. That includes financial tooling for payroll, governance management platforms, and other on-chain collaboration software.”

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