The Merge was the joining of the original execution layer of Ethereum (the Mainnet that has existed since Genesis) With its new proof-of-stake consensus layer, the Beacon Chain. It eliminated the need for energy-intensive mining and instead enabled the network to be secured using staked ETH. It was a truly exciting step in realizing the Ethereum vision—more scalability, security, and sustainability.
Blockchain is hugely compatible with the idea of the Internet of Things (IoT) because it is great for creating records of interactions and transactions between machines. It can potentially help to solve many problems around security as well as scalability due to the automated, encrypted, and immutable nature of blockchain ledgers and databases. It could even be used for machine-to-machine transactions – enabling micropayments to be made via cryptocurrencies when one machine or network needs to procure services from another. While this is an advanced use case that may involve us traveling a little further down the road before it impacts our day-to-day lives, it’s likely we will start to hear about more pilot projects and initial use cases in this field during 2022. Innovation in this field is likely to be driven by the ongoing rollout of 5G networks, meaning greater connectivity between all manner of smart, networked equipment and appliances – not simply in terms of speed, but also new types of data transactions including blockchain transactions.
It’s now clear that tackling the Covid-19 global pandemic will continue to be a priority throughout 2022 and a key use case for many of this year's top tech trends. Blockchain technology has several important potential use cases in vaccine tracking and distribution. In a world where counterfeiters are known to be creating and selling fake vaccines, blockchain means the authenticity of vaccine shipments can be proven, and their distribution can be traced to ensure they are arriving at their intended locations. There is also a need to ensure integrity at every point of the supply chain – for example, to ensure batches of vaccines are consistently stored at the correct temperature, as is needed by many of them. IBM has created a system to allow coordination between the many different and varied agencies and healthcare authorities involved with vaccine distribution, using blockchain to unify the recording of vaccination rates and efficacy across the various tools and platforms they all have in use. A pilot project also showed how blockchain could potentially speed up the ability to recognize where a product recall might be needed – for example, in a case where a batch seems to be causing an unusually high occurrence of side effects – from three days to just a few seconds. Breakthroughs that come about due to the unprecedented response to this pandemic are likely to go on to enable more use cases for blockchain technology in the manufacture, distribution, and management of vaccinations in 2022.
‘Go Green’ will be the ultimate motto for various blockchain-supported firms in 2022 as we will move towards a more sustainable economy. As we know, blockchain mining is a rigorous process that involves heavy electricity consumption and energy release. The process lifts up the level of greenhouse gas emissions significantly. The adverse environmental impact of mining was one of the main reasons for Tesla CEO Elon Musk to stop using Bitcoin as a payment tool for Tesla car purchases.It is likely to witness the active participation of firms in adopting green initiatives. The focus will shift to the reduction in the carbon footprint by acting accountable for their deeds. There are multiple ways to support this notion such as the use of carbon offsets, energy-efficient mining tools, and many more. The switch from Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism will also be encouraged to support sustainable blockchain goals.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that Web3 is the future of the innovative Internet we all desire to see. Now, with a push from blockchain technology, the sector is likely to reach new horizons in 2022 and so on. Interestingly, the concept of Web3 was introduced by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood who projected the idea of an Internet where power is decentralized unlike the centralized structure at present. Presently, global entities Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta, Apple, and Amazon own the biggest share of information on the Internet. They control and manage what goes into the web.Gavin proposed a decentralized Internet called Web 3.0 where everybody will get the right to own and control. Web3 technology supports digitalization and promotes an open-source decentralized web model. Various reports suggest that 2022 will witness the growth of the partnership between blockchain technology and Web3. Firms and developers will put their energy to craft solutions that will use blockchain to unleash the potential of Web 3.0 technology.
Non-Fungible Tokens are like a magic wand that bestows ownership rights to asset holders. They use blockchain technology to confirm the user’s right to a physical or virtual thing. Emerging as the biggest investment trend of 2021, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) allowed users to grab a share of unique and exclusive real-world assets. Digital collectibles became the most popular financial tool for celebrities, sports personalities, and business clusters.In 2022, we are likely to witness the expansion and diversification of NFTs to new verticals and users. The use of NFTs in e-gaming, promotion of products, and engagement with fans are likely to surge.
With Facebook changing its name to Meta and with Microsoft experimenting with new products, Metaverse is the next big thing for the tech space. Revolving around the concept of virtual reality, Metaverse allows users to interact, operate, and earn in a completely new paradigm. It is the future of the Internet as it promises to open a new era of technological innovation.Metaverse is a combination of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain Technology. Platforms like Decentraland, Axie Infinity, Second Life, etc. are examples highlighting the integration of blockchain technology and Metaverse.
The technology landscape is constantly evolving, and we don’t know exactly what will happen in 2022 or beyond. One thing is certain though, the future is blockchain. It is technology and community that will revolutionize how we do things for decades to come, and therefore, it is time you start thinking about incorporating this into your business model if you have not already.
Living in technological bliss exposes us to new opportunities for growth and fuels experimentation with the existing tools to find the undiscovered. Every year encourages tech enthusiasts to use their expertise and innovate something unique. In 2021, we saw the burgeoning success of cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, NFTs, Metaverse, and Web3. Ever since the start of 2022, we have witnessed the same trends taking over the industrial and financial space, and thus, blockchain data security for more traditional sectors. With Blockchain Technology supporting these new-age concepts, we can expect that the future belongs to decentralized resources. The industry is growing in heaps and bounds and as predicted in this article we are likely to see some path-breaking innovations in 2022 as well. If you are interested in learning more about blockchain technology, you can enroll in one of the best blockchain certification courses available on Blockchain Council for gaining subjective and practical knowledge.