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Crypto Adoption Grew Apace in 2022 Despite Bear Market; 2023 Looking Good
With all the negative coverage, the insolvencies, the volatility and the pervasive bear market, world adoption never lost stride and 2023 looks promising. Growing global adoption of digital assets in particular and crypto-related technologies more broadly will build momentum for Web3, as well as making luddite pushes to regulate crypto out of existence nigh impossible. Here are some of the highlights showing crypto is entrenching globally from Cointelegraph.
Polygon accrues 200 million addresses despite challenging 2022
Even though an air of financial uncertainty has shrouded the crypto market since the end of 2021, Polygon — a layer-2 scaling solution running alongside the Ethereum blockchain, allowing for speedy transactions and low fees — continued to witness a lot of growth in 2022. To this point, the network’s unique address count recently surpassed the 200 million mark, reaching a new all-time high of 205,420,908 on Dec. 31.
Additionally, the Polygon ecosystem saw its unique address count surge by a whopping 8,783,568 between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, suggesting that over the last month of 2022 alone, an average of 283,340 new Polygon-related network addresses came into existence daily. Moreover, it bears mentioning that the number of transactions taking place within the network has continued to hover around the 3 million mark.
Total volume of staked Ether continues to grow
Throughout 2022, the total volume of Ether locked within the Ethereum ecosystem has continued to climb steadily. Between February and June, the amount of staked ETH rose from just over 9 million to nearly 13 million. As seen from the chart below, the trend plateaued between June and September, only to muster steam once again around mid-September, just before Ethereum’s much-awaited transition to proof-of-stake.
Starbucks’ blockchain-based loyalty program goes live
Starbucks announced the launch of its blockchain-based loyalty program and NFT community, Starbucks Odyssey, to a group of testers in the United States in September. The initiative builds upon the company’s existing loyalty program but uses a decentralized structure built atop the Polygon blockchain.
Starbucks Odyssey is a rewards program that allows users to earn perks and whose scope extends beyond the realm of simply earning free drinks. Odyssey allows customers to interact with a wide array of game-style offerings, allowing them to earn NFTs (referred to as Journey Stamps) in the process. These assets can later be traded and redeemed.
VCs continue to pour money into the Web3 ecosystem
During Q4 2022, Animoca Brands — the firm behind several successful crypto projects, including The Sandbox — created a multibillion-dollar fund to invest in various metaverse projects.
According to Animoca co-founder Yat Siu, the fund will spur the utility of the metaverse and blockchain gaming market. “More people are joining crypto every day, especially in gaming,” he stated, adding: “I’m hoping that this will also drive a scenario where digital property will be recognized like physical property in the legal system.”
In addition to Animoca, other popular firms that have invested heavily in the burgeoning metaverse economy include South Korean venture capital giant Daesung Private Equity. The company recently announced that it had allocated a total of 110 South Korean won ($83.9 million) toward its metaverse-centric fund.
Positive legislation continued to gain traction
Late in 2022, Brazil’s Congress approved a bill seeking to regulate the use of digital currencies for daily payments within its borders, thereby potentially boosting the adoption of crypto within the South American nation. The bill provides legal status to payments made in cryptocurrencies for goods and services but does not grant them status as legal tender.
Crypto adoption soars across MENA, Asia and Latin America
According to a study conducted by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was the fastest-growing market for cryptocurrency adoption last year.
Between July 2021 and June 2022, the region received $566 billion in crypto transactions, a rise of nearly 49% from the year prior. To put things into perspective, there were increases of 40% in Europe, 36% across North America, and 35% across Central and South Asia.