Despite an eventful year fraught with crypto collapses and price drops, Steven Goulden, a senior research analyst at crypto trading firm Cumberland has pointed to several âgreen shootsâ to break the surface in crypto in 2023.
In a 14-page âYear in Reviewâ report released on Dec. 24, Goulden said he saw four âemerging narrativesâ in 2023 that will lead to âsignificant progressâ for crypto over the next six to 24 months.
These include non-fungible tokens (NFTs) becoming a âgo-to methodâ of tokenizing a brand’s intellectual property (IP), Web3 apps and games becoming âgenuinely popular,â while Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) could become more commonly used as a nationâs reserve asset.
In 2023, we anticipate that weâll see meaningful green shoots break the surface in several key areas, which will pave the way for significant progress in the next 6-24 months. Hear from a senior research analyst on emerging narratives for 2023: https://t.co/8E0cZOp6Ta pic.twitter.com/rO1KKvxIdA
— Cumberland (@CumberlandSays) December 23, 2022
Goulden argued that while NFTs have until this point, been âlargely been confined to the art space,â he believes the next step for NFTs will lie in the marrying of NFTs and a brandâs intellectual property.
The analyst noted that many non-Web3 companies are already making âsignificant progressâ to monetize IP and improve customer engagement using NFTs.
Among those include Starkbucks partnership with Polygon to generate NFTs for Starbucks customers, and Nikeâs launch of Swoosh, which enables users to design customized sneaker NFTs.
âListening to these companies talk about Web3 initiatives, itâs clear they see digital engagement with customers and fans as a new aspect of the retail experience,â said Goulden.
He also noted that âselling NFTs to retail users has the potential to generate material, high-margin revenue.â Nike is a textbook example of that, having generated $200 million from digital sneakers alone. The analyst expects Polygonâs MATIC, LooksRareâs LOOK and 0xmonâs XMON token to lead the way on this front.
The Cumberland analyst also said that NFTs will become a âgo-to method of tokenizing IPâ, sharing that there is around $80 trillion of intangible assets that exists on corporate balance sheets today.
Real-world utility apps to gain traction
Goulden also sees the adoption of Web3 platforms providing âreal world utilityâ starting to gain traction in 2023, acknowledging it has been âextremely challengingâ to disrupt Web2 monopolies thus far:
âThe reality is that it takes time to build and bootstrap projects like these, and so we anticipate material traction is probably 12+ months out, with serious user adoption probably 2-5 years away.â
Some âgenuinely useful real worldâ platforms that Goulden highlighted included IT recruitment platform Braintrust, Internet of Things protocol Helium, GPU rendering service Render, global mapping project Hivemapper and ride sharing app Teleport.
Web3 games to attract âseriousâ gamers
The analyst was also optimistic about the Web3 gaming market, noting that there is around three billion gamers in the world, 200 million of which are âseriousâ â representing $200-300 billion in total addressable market.
â[…] yet these users usually donât own in-game items and have little control or governance over these gaming ecosystems,â said Goulden.
Related: 5 cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on in 2023
Goulden says the play-to-earn aspects of blockchain-based gaming will lead to significant profitability for developers but added that because it takes âaround 2-3 years to build a triple A (highest-quality blockbuster) game,â we probably wonât see a âWeb3 game that becomes a starâ until 2023 or 2024.
BTC and ETH as reserve asset
Finally, the research analyst suggested that close attention should be placed on BTC and ETHâs potential role as a reserve asset, particularly for nations focused on exports.
Goulden said many high-export nations around the world may choose to stock up its reserves with alternative assets such as cryptocurrency instead of U.S. treasury bills as a means to depress their own currencies against the U.S. Dollar.
âEven a small central bank allocation to BTC or ETH would be material and would likely lead to other exporting states following suit.â