2020 was a defining year for Figment and the Web 3 ecosystem, but we are already thinking about 2021. Listed are some 2021 predictions and needs from the Figment Team.
Lorien Gabel, CEO
Prediction: BTC will finally become a "mainstream" investment asset among traditional financial institutions (grudgingly). This will lead to demand supply imbalance driving up price unless regulators kill the golden blockchain. BTC will then act as the gateway to other decentralized networks/assets for investors and more importantly hacker developers. We'll see the first mainstream non-speculative use case for blockchains and it will not be "x but decentralized" but a totally new and novel use of technology.
Need: Hackers, developers, and builders looking to end reign of the large centralized data tech monopolies. Those who want to build a better internet.
Yannick Folla, Product Manager & Head of Learn
Prediction: In 2021 we will have at least 4 ecosystems outside of Ethereum reach $1B+ locked in DeFi smart contracts and we will see the first DeFi social network gain meaningful traction.
Protocols will start expanding their functionalities in 2021 (i.e. Cosmos, Polkadot, NEAR, Solana, etc.) with a focus on bridging liquidity and development infrastructure with Ethereum. I expect many DeFi protocols to build on 1 to multiple ecosystems outside of Ethereum because they offer high speed, predictable and cheap transactions, and better UX for users.
This will lead to the diversification and expansion of capital locked in DeFi across the Web 3 ecosystem. Once this is achieved, the opportunity to build a social platform for DeFi users will become massive as hundreds of thousands of users will make a living off trading strategies and yield generation.
Need: We need to see more developer-focused content and tutorials outside of Ethereum to help Web 2 and Web 3 developers capitalize on the unique functionalities of new protocols and create the next scalable killer DApps.
Clayton Menzel, Marketing & Communications Manager
Prediction: Initial Parachain Offerings on Polkadot will feel a lot like the Initial Coin Offering boom in 2017, and other layer-ones will develop similar ways of funding new projects on-chain whether it be through lockups, staking, governance proposals, or investing via the native token.
Need: The same thing that has been needed for years, better UX. You can't democratize anything if users interact with protocols/applications through a Command Line Interface.
Andrés Solanot, Head of Business Development
Prediction: The next big wave of "no-coiners" into crypto will be driven by dollar denominated returns from PoS coin staking rewards products. Coinbase has offered low single digit returns on USDC, but we will see 5%-10%+ USDC yield instruments backed by PoS assets. There are several companies building products like this, and 2021 will see the adoption of various solutions by Staking providers (who have platforms like Anthem and Hubble/Prime) as well as support from less risk-averse custodians.
Need: Global awakening and demand for action around data privacy and ownership rights. We need to move from "privacy technologies are cool and going to be important" to "privacy and data ownership promoting technologies are paramount and we need to start using them NOW".
Gavin Birch, Protocol Analyst & Strategy
1. I think 2021 will be the year that the blockchain silo collapses. Cross-chain traffic will be commonplace, further strengthening the hold that AMMs (eg Uniswap) have over liquidity, making centralized exchange orderbooks less relevant than ever. The Cosmos ecosystem will lead the charge, followed quickly by the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems.
2. Ethereum's Layer 2 solutions will mature into production, enabling Ethereum users to have a better user experience--faster transaction times, reduced fees. ETH "killers" clearly become ETH bridgers, boasting instead about their quality of access to Ethereum's bustling economy. They'll use their treasuries to attract developer talent from the Ethereum ecosystem, and high profile app developers will take these grants and operate their product on multiple chains. Former ETH killers will look to differentiate rather than to dominate or imitate Ethereum, ushering in the first glimpses of Web 3.0.
1. Inter-blockchain collaboration and standards that make reliable.
2. Production-ready decentralized storage.
3. Strong privacy solutions.
Andrew Cronk, CPO
Prediction: Stablecoins further explode in usage and regulation quickly follows.
Need: Identity management.
Emir Esmerdağ, Software Engineer
1. I think FAN tokens is on the way to help sport clubs. Being Turkish, I know Turkish people would like to help their football clubs by doing this.
2. Older people will start to understand cryptocurrencies more. Ex; I made my mom buy some ETH with her retired salary. She did not trust it at first, but after I explained, she became more comfortable.
Need: More simple explanations made to the public. It should not be so encrypted but we should offer very simple explanations so that everybody can understand.