Bitcoin will find its bottom

It’s difficult to say how long the crypto winter will last as global economic health will continue to exert a major influence on the timetable for the next breakout. We’re not out of the woods yet. We’ll likely see another dip. Then a slow climb back. The last bear market was over two years long. We’re only a year into this one, and the macroeconomic climate is significantly worse.

Growth will come once we’ve hit bottom. While the dollar remains strong, this won’t happen. For that, there will need to be blood in the streets. There’s blood, but it hasn’t hit Mainstreet yet. Once it does, then we’ll know that we’ve bottomed out.

Recession will kick off the next bull market

A recession in 2023 is inevitable. We are already seeing the warning signs. Treasury yields are hitting new highs while the stock market hits new lows. Production has slowed since the pandemic and will likely continue to grind into an extended period of stagflation. Retail confidence is low and will impact spending as people tighten their belts in preparation for the cost-of-living crisis.

The stock market has already taken a beating and will continue to do so as people convert their investments back to cash to avoid further devaluing their position. However, when the volatility begins to subside, they will redeploy back into commodities.

Everything comes down at once in a recession. Initially, you’ll see commodities in particular dip alongside equities. But they are also the first to bounce back again. Once we’re in the throes of a global downturn, we’ll likely see a variance in the correlation between the S&P, the crypto markets, and other commodities markets.

Bitcoin will regain its store of value narrative

It is not uncommon for stores-of-value to take a hit early in a recession with late-stage rebounds. I wouldn’t be surprised to see commodities like gold and bitcoin rebound before most other assets once the recession has taken hold. Bitcoin behaves like a commodity. Like gold, it’s a store of value that has utility. So, there’s a demand for it no matter what’s happening in the macroeconomic environment, perhaps not in making physical things but as a delivery vehicle for eCommerce and financial services.

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Corporate adoption will drive mainstream adoption

Brands will be the real driver of mainstream adoption. Next year we’ll see more pilot programs as corporations continue to test the potential of web3. They will move beyond cash-grab NFTs and look at the proper strategic integration into their ecosystems.

Starbucks Odyssey loyalty scheme is a good example. Loyalty is a use case where crypto/blockchain offers an excellent fit and opportunity for brands to innovate schemes that mutually benefit businesses and users.  Development of the underlying App chains will continue making it easier for businesses to build on. Next year, we’ll see consolidation as weaker market participants fail to gain enough traction to scale while others explode into mainstream relevance.

It’s an exciting time. You’ll see more partnerships between brand and blockchain businesses. They’ll bring the customers, and we’ll bring the technology.

Utility will be a fundamental growth vector

Utility is going to be the defining factor for crypto. Without it, all you have are catalysts on which to speculate. As more use cases become apparent and more people build on the blockchain to leverage that utility, the underlying delivery system for that utility – the coins – will increase in value. As the price improves, so will people’s interest.

Retail interest will be revived

Adoption during the last bull run was driven by two technologies. Defi and NFTs. That said, in over a decade of paying attention to the crypto space, NFTs are the most significant drivers of adoption I’ve ever seen. Why? Because it made crypto so accessible that anyone could understand it and get involved.

We now know that people will want to enter a market when you make it accessible, fun and valuable. Much as we did with the era, we’ll see a return to the boom as we introduce easier onramps and more ways to use crypto. It’s why corporate adoption is so important; because they will bring people to us.

The Metaverse

We are in the experimental phase. Next year, we’ll see more brands trialling Metaverse applications they can show off to consumers. This will be the first step in onboarding the public. The Metaverse as we imagine it, “Ready Player One” style, will start as brand popup installations in commercial and retail landscapes. Samsung already has an impressive flight simulator installation in Spain, and we’ll likely see more like that.

However, we’ll also see the definition of the Metaverse move beyond VR and gaming, which are just two aspects of the greater technology. In many ways, the Metaverse is just another aspect of our own reality that incorporates both augmented and mixed reality. It’s anywhere that technology touches and enhances our experience of reality.

Nick Saponaro, CEO of Divi