Imagine: it’s 2028 and somehow you’re still in the crypto space. First of all, congratulations! How do you see the future of crypto in the next 5 years, though? Let’s first imagine one of the possibilities, and then rationally speculate what factors can lead to the face of the crypto industry changing and how.
A (Perfect) Day in the 2028 Life
You wake up, and it is already a nice day, the kind that you don’t mind starting without snoozing your alarm. An AI assistant greets you and recaps the agenda for today: a few errands but other than that, it’s going to be a day to take it easy.
You GM your homies on Discord. Everyone else these days is on X or elsewhere but all of you still do it for old times’ sake. Exactly like you did in the 2021 bull run when you all met online and in the years that followed, through thick and thin. You still wish the app was as usable as the newer ones on Web3 but respectfully, those are for more casual exchanges and conversations.
Before pouring yourself a cup of scolding, deep-black joe, you glance over the AR headset in your living room. It is a gift from your significant other, and you are really happy they know you wouldn’t have wanted the old-fashioned Apple one. You remember how much of a hot stuff it seemed when it was just announced but Apple’s decisions in the past few years really set it back. Indeed, especially the crypto-related ones. In any case, you decide to take your time and log on to the Net just a little later.
For now, glancing through the news on X seems to be a good idea. The Mars program seems to be progressing, and the first manned missions seem to be just around the corner. The NFT community as always is quick on the uptake, and new collections drop one after another. You take a mental note to check the NFT markets later today: it is going to be a busy day there.
Speaking of the markets, things feel pretty neutral these days. BTC’s halving was not long ago, and you have about a year to get ready for the new craze. Thankfully, you don’t have to grind as hard anymore, since the last cycle you made enough money to cover for all you need for years ahead. You still do it occasionally for the thrill, even though the crypto market is not as volatile as before.
What would you flip today? Bitcoin is in cold storage, stashed extra safely, so rather not touch that for a quick trade. They still make low-cap memecoins these days, although you wonder why hadn’t they gone extinct when DeFi became more regulated. No, you need something in between these extremities. Perhaps you should unload some bags that you kept for so many years.
Checking your hardware wallet that you set aside for long-term HODLing, you see some familiar names and can hardly believe how much these coins have exploded. First, you decide to open a position in Dogecoin (DOGE). For sure, it was one of the first altcoins you bought for pocket change, and now a single coin is worth a few dozen dollars because of X. But still, this 2014 meme wasn’t truly funny back then, and surely is barely alive now. Maybe someone else will appreciate the retro appeal, or need it for tipping their X faves. Shiba Inu (SHIB) or whatever it is called these days has grown to be a more recognizable brend, anyway.
Then you notice XRP. You can vaguely remember the long story with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but now that it is plugged into the CBDC network, it is unrecognizable. Of course, the added utility and worldwide adoption did wonders for the coin. You reluctantly consider loading off this bag, since you’d prefer your digital cash as private as it can be.
For that reason, you missed out on Worldcoin and only got a handful of WLD off the exchange. Too bad, the initiative got stuck in regulatory hell and never achieved what it set out to do. You spend a minute or two mentally tallying if you’d made a profit today if you signed up for World ID in 2023 before coming back to reality.
Next up is some Polkadot (DOT) but you decide against selling it. Your friend made a fairly popular marketplace app on one of its sidechains, and from time to time you use it, too. You know that it’s not the most ubiquitous thing but you much rather prefer someone you know to a megacorp. Even better when that friend of yours makes apps that connect peers with no intermediaries at all. The same goes for web browsing, and thankfully, now it’s no longer the same three websites everyone uses.
What else have we got here? OP and ARB? Should check the DAOs first, how they are doing now that Ethereum has sharding. DAI? Selling it won’t bring much profit but can send it to a hot wallet and put it to work in whatever is hot in DeFi. Terra Classic? Is it from that time when everyone bought it at zero, hoping the community could recoup? It seems to be doing better but not as “good” as before the crash. Lido stETH?! Better check how much interest was accrued, if it will let you.
Now that was a blast from the past. You do the necessary transactions and open the positions you wanted, wait a while for it all to shake out, and decide that it should be enough for today. After that would be the time to check the budget, do taxes, or pay rent, but now it’s handled by smart contracts, and you barely remember what it’s like to have a bank account. The rest of the day will be spent without a worry in the world, with the people you care about. Today’s checkup made you remember five years ago and realize: We. All. Made. It.
Of course, the first half of the article is purely fictional. Neither our team nor anyone else can reliably predict the future of the crypto world, especially as far as five years. All we did was imagine things with some basis in the current state of affairs.
This groundwork can give us a few hints as to how events can possibly unfold. Let’s look at the few factors that can considerably influence the future of the crypto industry and already exist today.
Central Bank Digital Currencies
Central bank(-issued) digital currencies, or CBDCs, are something that has been long in the picture and remain a factor to consider even today. In essence, it is a type of digital currency that is operated by a central bank of a state, and as a result, often ends up a digital representation of a national currency.
Some of the nations to make the news with recent announcements on CBDCs are Palau, Belarus, and Russia. Palau in particular is interesting because its CBDC pilot is assisted by Ripple, which is already associated with another preexisting cryptocurrency (XRP). Some of the nations already working on or launching a digital national currency are Brazil, Nigeria, and China, which has progressed the most.
The CBDCs and news surrounding the projects are more often than not twofold: on the one hand, it is seen as mainstream acceptance of blockchain technologies and another step toward the mass adoption of crypto. However, it is an entirely different beast: CBDCs are permissioned and centralized systems, and cryptocurrencies at their very core were designed to oppose this.
What is the worst that could happen? The Reserve Bank of India claims that CBDCs can kill private virtual currencies altogether. This scenario is regarded as unlikely almost unequivocally by the crypto industry insiders, since CBDCs fail where crypto assets succeed.
Changes in the Regulatory Landscape
At the moment, the regulatory landscape when it comes to the cryptocurrency market is very uneven. Private digital assets are banned in jurisdictions like China and Kuwait but are reasonably welcome in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. With the current status quo, it is hard to see truly global cryptocurrency adoption.
In the United States, one of the largest but not the only jurisdictions of the crypto sector, the current trend in crypto regulation seems to be especially uncompromising. Many exchanges, crypto businesses, and even coins are deemed to be operating illegally there. Crypto enthusiasts see it as nothing else other than an attack on an industry that used to be working just fine in the US. Neither point of view is absolutely right: investor protections could have dampened the impact of crashes like the FTX’s in 2022. At the same time, initiating legal action toward crypto world participants almost indiscriminately does not seem like a productive strategy.
Even in five years, it is unlikely that the laws regarding the digital asset space will become more uniform. Nevertheless, with things like administration changes in the democratic states, the outlook can change rather quickly within that time frame.
Decentralized finance? Web3? Metaverse?
Or it could be another crypto world trend that breaks into the mainstream and has not emerged yet. After all, we cycled through all the narratives in the title in less than five years. They still exist, of course, but the paradigm shift they made did not have the impact their proponents promised. DeFi, for example, at a certain point was almost picked up by traditional financial systems. But, if anything, it spells the adoption of blockchain technology, not the cryptocurrency sector itself.
Will Web3 or Metaverse become a thing in five years? Will NFTs become popular again? Obviously, nobody knows for sure but if we apply the history of crypto to these trends, we might see a pattern. Let’s take a trend that was rocking the crypto landscape five years ago: example, Initial Coin Offerings.
2021–2022 trends peaked around that time, and the interest in them seems to have subsided, although it is not gone. Similarly, searches for ICO peaked in 2018 but with legal challenges and less demand from crypto investors, the trends has almost died out by now.
Do we mean to say that the same will happen to any trend in crypto today? Take it as a historic pattern that can always change. Trends can come back at any time with a significant breakthrough or a revival. 2017’s “blockchain games” are now more commonly referred to as “play-to-earn”, although the old term is also used.
Our final prediction for the future of crypto in five years when it comes to trends is whatever ends up blowing up the crypto market is going to be absolutely unexpected.
Which crypto will 100x in 5 years?
Talk about a tough question! It depends on whether you would like to know which digital asset can surge in value during a bull run, which is expected sometime in 2025, or which coin will be worth more hundredfold by 2028.
We have already mentioned a few crypto assets that we believe in the right conditions could go to the Moon by 2028. Namely, Shiba Inu (SHIB) if it delivers on its promises and XRP if it manages to connect to the global CBDC network. “If” is doing a lot of work here, though.
At the moment, AI-related projects seem to be promising just because the large language model-based technologies are the current big thing. If things proceed at the same rate and the trend does not fade, coins like SingularityNET (AGIX) can win in a big way.
Most likely, the 2025 or 2028 biggest gainers are not even here yet. It could be brought into existence by a new meme or technology. But if we keep looking at the existing players, mid-cap coins might be the place to explore. Projects like Gnosis (GNO) or Centrifuge (CFG) — it doesn’t have to be these two, take them just as an example — which have a decent market capitalization in hundreds of millions of dollars today, and are consistently active, have the potential to soar in the right crypto market circumstances. In any case, before you decide to build a portfolio of assets for long-term holding, do thorough research and weigh all risks.
The real picture of the future of crypto in the next 5 years is anyone’s guess. There are already plenty of factors that can derail the status quo or disrupt the crypto market, and in that time, everything can change. Regardless, there is little harm in letting your imagination free and picturing a better future to strive for.
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