2024 has already begun and many want to know what crypto and blockchain trends to look for during the year. The blockchain industry runs 24/7 and new products, services, and news quickly emerge to drive new user trends such as DeFi, NFTs, and more.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential blockchain trends for 2024 in no particular order.
It’s becoming more apparent that the blockchain industry won’t be dominated by a single decentralized blockchain protocol. Instead, it appears the overall blockchain ecosystem will have a group of decentralized networks that work in different ways and can serve separate use cases. All these blockchain networks will have to “talk” to each other when a transaction crosses from one network to the other.
Many decentralized applications (dApps) and wallets are also working on or having already built technical bridges to connect certain blockchain ecosystems, thus expanding the reach of their products and services to a wider user base. Developer tools are also available to help blockchain developers create interoperable dApps with more on the way.
As the industry matures, more emphasis will be given to interoperability infrastructure which benefits more users in the long run rather than creating blockchain and product silos.
As some of the high-profile exploits and hacks of 2023 were on cross-chain bridges, interoperable blockchain technology still requires a lot of attention and careful testing to help create safer user experiences.
Once a niche cryptographic technology, ZK proofs are now becoming one of the main focus points of the blockchain ecosystem. ZK technology enhances user privacy by shielding user data while verifying the authenticity of transactions. With an increased awareness of the public on user privacy and the increase in data breaches across traditional industries, builders are focusing their attention on merging ZK proofs with decentralized blockchain technology.
The possibilities of this technology are almost boundless and they have the potential to elevate the blockchain industry to the next level with its numerous use cases for businesses and users. The blockchain networks that can adopt ZK proofs into their ecosystems quickly and leverage the technology for both developers and users will appeal to a wider range of potential new users in the future.
Blockchain technology is leaving the early stages of the innovation curve. It no longer is a niche ecosystem for a few internet enthusiasts. Rather, it is now a global industry with more than a billion-dollar market capitalization, millions of users, and tens of thousands of projects.
More and more projects and even core blockchain developers have been talking about the need to create a greater user experience for the average person to onboard a wider segment of the general population into blockchain and Web3.
This is an enormous task as it’ll require a different approach by developers and also by future startup founders to create a seamless and simple user experience that makes it easy for any person with a basic understanding of the internet to use cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications.
While the user experience will not become simpler overnight, wallets and dApps are becoming increasingly aware of and building products with a front-end that is easier for the average person to use.
Blockchain education also will continue to play an important role for the general public in increasing awareness, explaining how to get started, and adopting safe user practices.
While many of those familiar with using cryptocurrencies are aware of and self-custody of their digital assets, there are still many users who leave their cryptocurrencies on centralized exchanges or with other third parties. This exposes users to potential security risks in which they are vulnerable to losing their digital assets if their custodian is hacked.
Those who self-custody their crypto using a self-custodial wallet such as Yoroi Wallet for Cardano ADA and others, have complete control over their cryptocurrencies at all times as they possess their private key.
However, this also means that users must be vigilant and be aware of how to preserve and protect their private key in case they need to restore their wallet as only the ones with the private key can do so.
As more users are onboarded into crypto and blockchain, there is an increasing awareness of the benefits of self-custodial practices and there are many different wallets for different cryptocurrencies that can provide this for users.
NFTs went through their first big wave of popularity and are now evolving and providing new use cases. The non-fungible token or NFT was one of the major innovations of blockchain technology, but for a while, it had remained stuck in a single role. There are now major efforts to take NFTs to a new market.
The most visible of these is asset tokenization of real-world assets.
NFTs are the perfect vehicle to bring real-world assets into blockchain. The future of NFTs lies in moving away from collectibles and collections and more and more into other use cases for businesses and users that can advance blockchain adoption.
Projects such as NMKR enable brands and creators to leverage its simple platform to mint and issue Cardano NFTs of assets for users to transact.
Using NFTs issued using decentralized blockchain technology, nearly any asset including content, stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, art, and more can be tokenized and transacted in a digital peer-to-peer method all around the world with instant settlement. Fees are lower, authenticity is verifiable in real-time, security is enhanced, and tokenized assets can even be fractionalized.
This year, more awareness of real-world asset tokenization is on the horizon.
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