The year of further decentralization
Through Fraser Edwards, CEO and co-founder cheqd
Despite the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 has seen a significant shift in gears for new technologies, with record amounts of capital flowing into blockchain companies. While 2021 showed us that even the best-laid plans can go wrong, it also served as a demonstration of how much innovation can continue and thrive even in uncertain times. There is no doubt that this will also be true for 2022, as technologies such as SSI (Self-Sovereign Identity) continue to gain traction. Here, industry experts at cheqd take a look at the top tech trends they expect to see take off in 2022.
SSI will go mainstream
The unforeseen emergencies of the pandemic have proven influential in accelerating the acceptance of ISS, and this widespread adoption is not expected to continue until 2022. ISS use cases exploded in 2021, the technology proving fundamental in the implementation of the NHS Staff Passport as well as the IATA Travel Pass, the first verifiable digital credential capable of providing proof of Covid-19 test and vaccination status. The fact that Everym, the world leader in SSI, has been acquired by Avast further indicates the extent to which large enterprises will increasingly adopt the technology, with many predicting that Twitter could be the next major platform to integrate SSI technology in 2022.
Over the next 12 months, cheqd believes that governments and businesses will be increasingly interested in what these technologies have to offer. Ankur Banerjee, CTO and co-founder of cheqd says:
“Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is a paradigm-shifting concept that continues to grow. Essentially, it empowers individuals to control their own data, which, while it may seem obvious, matters. given the importance of credentials, becomes a more complex topic, which is why companies like Block (formerly Square) are investing heavily in the space, and I have no doubt that SSI is capable of solving the paradigm of current identity and create new authentic data markets. The question is how? SSI will take off with its successful commercialization and the companies that innovate and capitalize on this opportunity will drive its adoption across industries. But SSI needs a network and infrastructure layer This is precisely why we foresee a significant growth opportunity for companies that build infrastructure and payment rails for SSI. »
Increased innovation around privacy and data security
Consumers are gradually realizing that they are giving their data for peanuts, which makes them increasingly vulnerable to data hacking or identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission, cases of online identity theft have indeed doubled since 2019, with the majority of these incidents related to online data breaches. In an effort to remedy this, companies have started to reduce their use of personal data, with Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection and Apple’s Smart Tracking Prevention blocking cookies that track online behavior.
Switzerland has laid down the principles for the design of future official proof of identity (E-ID). E-ID users will have the greatest possible control over their personal data (self-sovereign identity). “Data protection must be guaranteed, among other things, by the system itself (privacy by design), but also by minimizing the necessary data flows (principle of data economy) and decentralized data storage. ” – declares the official gazette.
As we move towards an increasingly digitized society in 2022 with more information shared, we can therefore expect more efforts to ensure data security and control. SSI will prove to be a major enabler in this space, allowing individuals to retain control of their data, and therefore their identity.
Final breakthrough for virtual reality
2022 could finally be the year that major breakthroughs are made in virtual reality technology, opening the door to new immersive experiences. Apple is reportedly exploring different ways to implement VR in iOS devices, with rumors that a VR headset could be launched as early as 2022. Opportunities for SSI integration in VR are plentiful, especially in gaming and of e-Commerce. With SSI credentials out of the box, players could, for example, buy real goods through a VR experience.
Governments are embracing cryptocurrency
2021 has seen a rapid boom in discussion and interest around cryptocurrency. Governments like Ukraine are increasingly adopting cryptocurrencies, while the European Central Bank has decided to launch the investigation phase of a digital euro project. El Salvador’s decision to recognize bitcoin as legal tender may also inspire others to at least consider this as an option. In 2022, we can therefore expect governments to start looking at digital currencies as a powerful tool to have in their arsenal.
Metaverse, DeFi and NFT
Metaverse, the latest buzzword, is a new way to interact and form communities in digital spaces, and with DeFi (decentralized finance) and NFT (non-fungible tokens), have a real use case while being in the virtual world. With Metaverse, the exchange of digital art and digital products becomes more transparent and decentralized, remaining securely on the blockchain. The metaverse is not going to mature overnight, it will be an ongoing process with many participants developing solutions to enable it.
NFTs will be crucial in the coming metaverse, opening up various new business models and financial models governed by smart contracts instead of financial institutions.
As work becomes more decentralized and trustless systems gain relevance, 2022 is set to be the year of increased decentralization. Web 3.0 developments, including NFTs, decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies to name a few, are inevitable as the benefits of their adoption appeal to government agencies, businesses and individuals alike. . Increasingly, content creators will opt for independence from big tech companies and reap the benefits of data ownership, empowerment and self-sovereignty.