5 Trends From 2022 to Watch Out For in 2023

More than 80% of NFT trade volume in 2022 was wash trading. A flight in assets from centralized platforms (CEX) was seen throughout the year. Liquid staking remained the largest staking category and continued growing in 2022.

If 2022 was anything to go by, the cryptocurrencies industry remains a highly innovative one with new developments always in the offing.

However, not all developments were positive, indeed many contributed negatively to the industry and its reputation. As another year gets to speed, with help from several Dune dashboard, these are some of the trends we will be watching out for in 2023.


1.) ETH Staking

2022 was always going to be a significant year for Ethereum due to its transition to a full Proof-of-Stake blockchain, christened ‘the Merge.’

Staking on the beacon chain was already an established trend through 2021, but in 2022 it grew to new heights.

According to this dashboard by Dune Analytics, almost 7 million $ETH was deposited to the Beacon Chain throughout 2022, and the number of validators grew by more than 215,000. 

15.84 million ETH is now staked, 13.14% of the entire supply.

Continuing an established trend from 2021, liquid staking remained the largest staking category and continued growing in 2022:

Within the liquid staking space itself, Lido remained the market leader, increasing its marketshare from 18% to ~30% throughout the year.

This all helped to propel the network to a successful Merge and relatively seamless switch to Proof-of-Stake.


2.) The Rise of L2 Rollups

Before the much awaited Merge, a key trend on Ethereum was the emergence of L2 scaling solutions. In 2022, these platforms grew significantly, in particular Optimism & Arbitrum.

This is well captured by this ashboard showing the growth in active addresses during 2022:

Daily transactions have also been rising as those on Ethereum itself steadily fall.

For the first half of 2022, Optimism & Arbitrum combined were doing less than 200k daily transactions. By Q4 2022, this figure was regularly hitting 1 million:

3.) The Flight to Self Custody

The collapse of once important platforms like LUNA/UST, Celsius, Voyager, BlockFi, and most recently, FTX/Alameda, elicited a rise in self custody.

This dashboard illustrates a flight in assets from centralized platforms (CEX) throughout the year. We can even see upticks around the time of major blow-ups in May, June and November 2022:

This is definitely one development to keep an eye on as we get into 2023 proper.

4.) Wash Trading

In early 2022, NFT trading seemed to explode hitting several billion dollar’s worth of weekly volume for the first time.

However, as analyzed in this recent article, more than 80% of NFT trade volume was wash trading  a form of market manipulation where users trade NFTs between different wallets that they own, typically with the goal of accruing trading rewards or boosting metrics of a specific piece or collection.

Wash trading is thought to account for 58% of NFT trading volume in 2022. As overall NFT volume dropped significantly from May 2022 onwards, wash trading remained at over 50%:

5.) Investors Flee DeFi

In 2021, DeFi was one of the main stories in crypto, but the 2022 winter caused a noticeable flight to safety from market participants.

Investors withdrew their stablecoins from smart contracts, with the share of DAI, USDC & USDT held by smart contracts plummeting throughout the year with noticeable spikes.

It will be worth keeping an eye on these contracts in 2023, if just to get a bearing of the market condition.




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