It’s been a rough start to 2022 for the cryptocurrency industry. Bitcoin – the world’s most popular digital currency – is experiencing its worst slump in four years, losing 40 percent of its value in just two months. Its price has fallen for seven consecutive days over the past week, plunging to just above $41,000 from an all-time high of $68,000 in November 2021.
The prices of other popular crypto tokens, such as Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, Binance Coin etc., also appear to be in a free fall since the start of the New Year, according to CoinMarketCap data.
While this is certainly a significant drop, downward price movement and volatility in crypto markets is nothing new and not indicative of what’s ahead for the industry in 2022. In fact, despite Bitcoin’s crash and given the industry’s milestone year in 2021 – including its record-breaking $3 trillion valuation – we are already seeing evidence of cryptocurrency’s continued momentum.
For instance, Harbor Custom Development Inc., a Washington-based real estate company, recently announced it will accept Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies as payment for buyers who purchase the company’s real estate assets in Washington, California, Texas and Florida beginning January 24th.
Separately, more than 17 million metric tons of carbon offsets are now tied to digital tokens, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” investor, is among those holding them.
Furthermore, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently hinted at the possibility of accepting cryptocurrency payments in a recent Twitter poll; if they do, Airbnb would join the likes of Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal – which just announced that it’s exploring the launch of its own stablecoin.
Even GameStop, the video game and electronics retailer, is reportedly getting into cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NTFs); they hired 20 new employees for their crypto division to build a digital marketplace for people to buy, sell and trade NTFs along with other in-game items.
As for cryptocurrency’s widespread adoption, a recent study by Cantaloupe found that more than a third of customers between the ages of 18-54 own cryptocurrency, with 67 percent of those willing to consider using it for purchases if it were linked to a mobile wallet.
Interestingly, a report from Redfin found that first-time home buyers are increasingly using cryptocurrency to help fund their purchases; during the fourth quarter of 2021, 11.6 percent of first-time buyers surveyed by the property portal said that selling cryptocurrency had helped them save for a down payment.
While these are just a few of the latest developments, it’s clear that the cryptocurrency industry is poised for future growth in 2022. Indeed, a recent report from S&P Global, entitled “Global Credit Outlook 2022”, predicts that the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance sectors will continue moving full steam ahead in 2022.