As crypto becomes more mainstream, can it stay decentralized? – TechCrunch

As global markets continue to face downward trends, crypto markets are anticipating greater adoption as people see the digital asset sector as a hedge against inflation (although some prices are currently below their 52-week mark).

Whether it’s first-time cryptocurrency buyers or people learning more about NFT, Bitcoin, and the general cryptocurrency ecosystem, there has been a global increase in cryptocurrency awareness and, in turn, adoption, according to the data.

About half of all cryptocurrency owners in the United States, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Brazil, Hong Kong and India bought digital assets for the first time in 2021, a major breakthrough for the nascent industry, according to a Gemini report . Globally, 41% of those surveyed who did not own cryptocurrencies said they were interested in learning more or buying in 2022, according to the report.

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By the end of 2021, the global cryptocurrency market had 295 million users, but that number could reach 1 billion by the end of 2022, according to last year’s growth rate, according to a report. But given the current volatility of the market, with the total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market down 46% in the year to date, he is not sure if that mark of 1 billion will be reached in the next six months.

Mainstream adoption in the midst of a decentralized ethos

As cryptography becomes more common, regulators around the world have been monitoring the space more closely to (say) protect consumers. Last week, The Group of Seven, an international political forum of members from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, called for rapid, consistent and comprehensive regulation of cryptocurrency issuers and service providers.

But you can crypto really stay decentralized as governments worldwide engage in industry?

Decentralization can mean different things to different people, but most of the web3 community agrees that it is one of the key factors for encryption, well, crypto. Thus, as regulators enter the space and begin to develop frameworks and guidelines, decentralization must continue to be prominent throughout the industry if it is to remain true to the fundamental precepts on which it was founded.

“Decentralization is at the core of the web3 ethos, and should remain at the core as cryptography gets more common adoption,” Wilson Wei, co-founder and CEO of CyberConnect, told TechCrunch. “For decentralization to continue to be critical for crypto and web3 as a whole, it starts with infrastructure.”

Decentralization comes down to data ownership, Wei said. The problem with Web 2.0 is that a handful of tech giants like Facebook and Instagram own most of the user data, but in web3, the data should not be owned by the platform, he argued: “To stay decentralized, we need to ensure that applications are to build services on top of decentralized infrastructure, which guarantees the sovereignty of user data. “

This is another evolution that will be done in parallel and complemented, Jonathan Schemoul, co-founder and CEO of, told TechCrunch. “There are, and will continue to be, cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications that people use and support because of the benefits they provide over centralized options.”

For example, Aave is a decentralized lending protocol that allows users to take out unsecured collateral-backed loans without requiring personal information or KYC / AML documentation (know your client / anti-money laundering), Schemoul said. But in contrast, centralized cryptographic platforms such as BlockFi also allow secured cryptographic lending and operate in an authoritative, more intrusive, and less transparent manner than decentralized alternatives, he added.

A world that coexists with Web 2.0 and Web3

In some respects, cryptography will remain decentralized while tending to centralize in others, Schemoul said. “This is perfect; web3 will not replace web 2.0 “.

“The ethos is not simply decentralization because of decentralization,” said Kurt Hemecker, COO of the Mine Foundation and former head of business operations at Meta’s Diem Association. “On the contrary, the underlying decentralized design is what makes cryptocurrency revolutionary.”

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