CES 2022: What it showed us about the future of the blockchain

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It's coming connected fast, but is the accelerated enlargement of blockchain exertion happening appropriately?

If you attended CES 2022, either successful idiosyncratic oregon virtually, you astir apt noticed a fewer recurring themes, with blockchain, cryptocurrencies, the metaverse and NFTs being immoderate of the hottest topics of the year.

There were talks aplenty connected blockchain and its related technologies astatine CES, with plentifulness of discussions connected however NFT pioneers made their wealth and what's coming, and plentifulness of blockchain-related startups were contiguous pitching caller products, too. 

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As CES is simply a accidental to instrumentality the pulse of the tech manufacture successful general, it's besides a accidental to get a glimpse into emerging technologies, similar the aforementioned, and what's to travel from them. This twelvemonth we decidedly got a batch of quality related to blockchain technology, but knowing it is different happening altogether. 

CES showed america however blockchain volition spell mainstream

There's nary denying that NFTs person had a banner year, with immense income netting millions of dollars, and respective celebrities person been getting successful connected the enactment and endorsing NFT trading platforms, too. The extremity of 2021 brought different large buzzword successful the signifier of the metaverse, and it's these 2 technologies that Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst Avivah Litan sees arsenic a cardinal portion of the mainstreaming of blockchain technology.

NFTs and metaverse adoption, Litan said, volition successful crook origin "blockchain-based idiosyncratic interfaces and experiences to dramatically improve, and retail cryptocurrency payments volition people follow," Litan said. 

Litan predicts that NFT trading volition astatine slightest treble successful 2022, and she said tech connected show astatine CES, similar the caller Samsung TV that includes a Gaming Hub and extended NFT integration that makes buying and selling them thing that tin beryllium done from the couch. 

With those sorts of features successful mind, "we volition present besides spot the accelerated implementation of surrounding services that marque it casual for consumers to onboard to blockchain (via a idiosyncratic wallet) truthful that they tin bargain and commercialized NFTs," Litan said. 

Forrester VP and main expert Martha Bennett said she was struck, though unsurprised, astatine the grade to which NFTs were the absorption astatine CES. As for caller blockchain trends? She said determination was nary a happening to beryllium seen. "There wasn't truly a blockchain beingness oregon taxable arsenic such. Some practice from the cryptocurrency/crypto plus broadside that wasn't exclusively astir NFTs, but thing large oregon new," Bennett said. 

Bennett did springiness kudos to Samsung for the aforesaid reasons that Litan did: Its caller astute TV with NFT capabilities and its Decentraland metaverse store. It's inactive niche though, she said, and volition request to bash a batch of uphill climbing to pull those who aren't already progressive successful the community.

"Don't get maine wrong: I'm not trying to belittle Samsung's efforts—everything to bash with NFTs is inactive successful the experimental phase, and without experimentation we won't spot progress," Bennett said.

The electrical elephant successful the room

The 2 large players successful the cryptocurrency world, Bitcoin and Ethereum, some person a superior problem: Energy waste. Talking astir NFTs is intolerable without talking astir Ethereum, which is the blockchain that astir NFTs unrecorded on, which begs the question: Is wider adoption of NFTs, the metaverse, cryptocurrency and the blockchain environmentally sustainable?

Bennett said she was unsurprised that CES wasn't the spot for speech astir the vigor discarded created by cryptocurrencies, but she besides recovered Samsung's astute TV announcement, erstwhile contrasted to the sustainability taxable it had during CES, didn't jive excessively well.

"Today's NFTs are mostly connected Ethereum, and Decentraland uses Ethereum. While not arsenic atrocious arsenic Bitcoin successful its vigor consumption, Ethereum's vigor requirements volition beryllium excessive until the web moves distant from impervious of work," Bennett said.

Litan agreed that it's impervious of enactment that's the vigor discarded culprit. "Ethereum is successful the midst of shifting to Proof of Stake, which volition lick astir of this issue," Litan said of the lesser of the 2 vigor hogging cryptocurrencies. 

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Litan noted that, however, Bitcoin isn't going away, is the largest player, and inactive uses impervious of work, truthful that's wherever the vigor concerns mostly lie. Even successful the lawsuit of Bitcoin, however, immoderate advancement is being made.

"Bitcoin miners are already starting to usage wasted vigor astatine vigor accumulation sites successful bid to little their ain costs, and I deliberation we volition spot that inclination proceed and accelerate successful 2022, arsenic vigor costs proceed to climb," Litan said. 

With Ethereum rapidly taking the reins arsenic the astir practically utilized signifier of cryptocurrency, impervious of involvement whitethorn soon beryllium the modular by which we deliberation astir cryptocurrency and integer tokens. "The assemblage is inactive retired connected however decentralized Proof of Stake volition remain," Litan said. 

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