From Space Travel to Metaverse, 4 Trends that will shape 2022


As 2021 draws to an end, the tea-leave readers have started foreshadowing the trends that will become prevalent in 2022. Depending on which pundit the industry leaders prescribe to, the outcome may look different. Therefor we've complied a list of our own.

Methodology:

Like others, we could simply leverage artificial intelligence models, but decided to apply a simple methodology. We evaluated the foundational shifts that seemed to materialize in 2021 and applied a forward looking approach to them. From these trends, we've distilled the list down to Top-4, listed below in ascending order:

Space Travel for the masses:

2021 saw an influx of Billionaires making their mark in space travel. Privately owned space firms like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, all sent civilians into space in 2021, opening the doors to space tourism.

Private space flights will get bigger in 2022. During this time SpaceX plans to put its Starship reusable rocket and space vehicle into flight for its first missions. 

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, "This is a profound revolution in access to orbit. There has never been a fully reusable, orbital launch vehicle. This is the holy grail of space technology. It is the fundamental breakthrough that is necessary for humanity to become a space-faring civilization."


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Crytpo, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO):

From SEC approved Exchange Traded Funds to universities accepting crypto as payment, cryptocurrencies have started becoming mainstream. In 2021, Cryptocurrency exchange app Coinbase passed TikTok and YouTube to become the most downloaded app in Apple's App Store a few times, highlighting consumer interest in owing crypto as an asset. 

Cryptocurrency, DeFi and DAO's are all tethered together. As crypto becomes mainstream, so will the need to use it as an investment lever. This will where DeFi and DAO's kickin. 

In 2020 the Total Value Locked (TVL) – a measure of DeFi transaction value – grew by 14x. In 2021, TVL has more than quadrupled to a total value of $111.27 billion. This shows a shift from traditional banking to smart contracts driven transactions, using crypto. 

Similar to DeFi, DAOs are organizations that leverage crypto and DeFi to achieve their targets. In a recent run, a DAO tried to purchase one of the 13 remaining copies of the US Constitution by using ether (ETH) balance as its collateral. Whilst this project didn't work out, venture capitalist firms took notice. As reported by CoinDesk:

Syndicate, a community-based investment system that simplifies the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), has raised a $20 million Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

The Series A funding will go towards building extensive tooling, plus various types of formal and legal structuring that Syndicate needs to take DAOs to the next level, including adding a team of securities lawyers.

“When you reduce the cost of setting up an investment fund by 1,000x, what happens?” said Papper. “The answer is that setting up an investment fund becomes as easy as sending a tweet – not that we recommend setting up investment funds via tweets. But when it becomes as easy as that, the world just looks completely different, because the creativity is just absolutely phenomenal.”

Metaverse & NFT (non-fungible Tokens):

2021, or the pandemic in general, has influenced the next generations on how they can and will interact, both with technology and each other. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook (Meta), Nvidia, Google, Valve and many others are building hardware and software to be ready for this new universe. According to Wall Street, this is the next Trillion dollar market. 

U.S Investment bank has reported that, "The Metaverse will likely take many years to develop; however, NFTs and social gaming (e.g., online games and concerts attended by people's avatars) present two nearer-term opportunities for luxury brands."

According to Morgan Stanley, NFTs and social gaming could expand luxury brands' total addressable market (TAM) by more than 10% and result in upside for the industry that could reach $50 billion by 2030

According to Reuters one in five Roblox gamers (a Metaverse platform), update their avatars daily. This consumer behavior has led Morgan Stanley to suggest that luxury brands are exploring a number of collaborations with gaming and Metaverse platforms.

Privacy, Transparency, Governance and Accountability:

These 4 nouns may not be considered trends, albeit, they go hand 'n hand with and all technology shifts. By now, consumers are aware that technology giants scrape their data without consent and then sell it to advertisers for a hefty profit.

The European Union (EU) has fined Facebook (Meta) more than $250 million and Amazon nearly $1 billion for violations of its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law. Apple has limited targeted advertising from App developers, and Google is going to remove tracking cookies from its Chrome browser by 2023.

We will continue to monitor the trends and share updates, so stay tuned.

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