As crypto becomes more popular, can it remain decentralized?

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How global markets continue to face downtrends, crypto markets are expecting more adoption as people view the digital asset sector as a hedge against inflation (even though some prices are currently below their 52-week levels).

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Whether it’s new cryptocurrency buyers or people learning more about NFTs, bitcoin and the overall crypto ecosystem, there has been a surge in crypto awareness and in turn adoption around the world, the data shows.

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According to Gemini, about half of all cryptocurrency holders in the US, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Brazil, Hong Kong and India bought digital assets for the first time in 2021, marking a major breakthrough in the nascent industry. report. Globally, 41% of non-cryptoholders surveyed said they were interested in learning more or buying it in 2022, the report states.

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At the end of 2021, there were 295 million users on the global crypto market, but by the end of 2022, this number could reach 1 billion, based on last year’s growth rate. report from But considering current market volatilitywith total cryptocurrency market capitalization down 46% for the current year, it is not clear if this 1 billion mark will be reached within the next six months.

Mass adoption in a decentralized spirit

As cryptocurrency becomes more and more popular, regulators around the world are monitoring the space more closely to (they say) protect consumers. Just last week, the G7, an international political forum of members from the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, called for rapid, consistent and comprehensive regulation of crypto asset issuers and service providers.

But can crypto really remain decentralized as governments around the world focus on the industry?

Decentralization can mean different things to different people, but most in the web3 community agree that it is one of the key factors in what makes crypto, well, crypto. As regulators enter the market and begin to develop frameworks and guidelines, decentralization must remain visible throughout the industry if it is to adhere to the core principles on which it was founded.

“Decentralization is at the core of the web3 ethos, and it should remain at the center as crypto becomes more mainstream,” Wilson Wei, co-founder and CEO of CyberConnect, told TechCrunch. “To keep decentralization central to crypto and web3 in general, it starts with infrastructure.”

According to Wei, decentralization comes down to data ownership. The problem with Web 2.0 is that a handful of tech giants like Facebook and Instagram own most of the user’s data, but in Web3, the data shouldn’t be owned by the platform, he argued: “To stay decentralized, we need to make sure applications actually create services on top of decentralized infrastructures, which guarantees the sovereignty of user data.”

It’s more of an evolution that will run in parallel and complement each other, Jonathan Shamul, co-founder and CEO of, told TechCrunch. “There are and will be decentralized cryptocurrencies and applications that people use and maintain because of the benefits they provide over centralized options.”

For example, Aave is a decentralized lending protocol that allows users to take out collateral-secured loans without requiring personal information or KYC/AML (know your customer/anti-money laundering) documentation, Shemul noted. But in contrast, centralized crypto platforms like BlockFi also allow crypto-backed loans and operate in a permissioned, more intrusive, and less transparent manner than decentralized alternatives, he added.

A world coexisting with Web 2.0 and Web3

According to Shamoul, in some respects, the cryptocurrency will remain decentralized, while in others there will be a trend towards centralization. “It’s fine; Web3 will not replace Web 2.0.”

“The idea is not just decentralization for the sake of decentralization,” said Kurt Hemecker, COO of the Mina Foundation and former head of business operations at Meta’s Diem Association. “On the contrary, the underlying decentralized design is what makes the cryptocurrency revolutionary.”

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