The turn of the calendar year is a popular time to reflect on the prior one and look ahead to the next.
While the sudden and remarkable explosion of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in 2021 showcased yet another mainstream application for blockchain, the past year in crypto was largely marked by consistent growth and maturation in conversation around new use cases and benefits of blockchain and crypto. The emergence of new Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) projects, deepening policy and regulatory discussions, and a wider embrace of crypto by traditional financial institutions all signaled the technology’s continued growth within mainstream finance.
So, what do the next twelve months hold? According to Ripple’s leadership, 2022 will include a steady drumbeat of new entrants and applications, increased utility and wider adoption around the world for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovations.
Explosive Growth in Crypto Payments
The persistent and global nature of the pandemic continues to highlight inefficiencies within the world’s domestic and cross-border payment systems. This was exacerbated as remittances to low- and middle-income nations roared back to growth in 2021, putting pressure on inefficient cross-border payment systems.
Brooks Entwistle, Managing Director of APAC & MENA, points to the multiple CBDC projects over the last year and their link to national real-time payments systems that are motivated to help improve inadequate payment rails..
He believes this has cleared the way for even more crypto efforts to get off the ground in 2022 and better serve this rapidly growing demand. There is strong potential for new CBDC initiatives, increased investment in, and activity by, crypto-based payment innovators, and collaboration between traditional financial institutions and crypto companies.
In general, Entwistle expects a renewed focus on real-world applications and tangible business outcomes, all of which could lead to even greater growth for RippleNet’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution in the region.
“While remittances will continue to be a key use case, we can expect other applications to rise to the fore, such as trade flow or treasury management,” said Entwistle.