DIFX Pick: Top Innovators of 2022

A new year always holds the promise of new beginnings. As we start 2023, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the top innovators of the past year that despite the bear market, helped the crypto and blockchain ecosystem to grow even further.

Top Person of 2022

2022 was a tough year for the whole crypto space with many negative incidents hitting the market one after another. Vitalik Buterin was undoubtedly the main key figure within the crypto world who kept on BUIDLing, instead of adding to the drama.

This year, the Ethereum blockchain went ahead with The Merge, the main milestone in its journey to a more sustainable and secure blockchain. Shortly after, the censorship concerns started spreading through the space which Vitalik was quick to address. He proposed The Scourge, a new stage in Ethereum’s roadmap to “ensure reliable and credibly neutral transaction inclusion and avoid centralization.”

In 2022, Vitalik and the Ethereum team played a major role in creating a more reliable, sustainable, and secure platform for many projects within the space, living up to Satoshi’s plan for Bitcoin and maybe the overall cryptocurrencies.

Top Platform of 2022

Despite the crypto winter, the Ethereum scaling platform took it upon itself to bring the applicable side of crypto and blockchain technology to people.

One important instance is the use of Polygon by the police of India which will help 2.8 million citizens in their complaints against the police without the concern of being overlooked, censored, or manipulated.

In another partnership with Walmart and Flipkart, Polygon is helping the e-commerce giants to build a Blockchain-eCommerce Centre of Excellence (CoE) which will focus on the research and development of Web 3.0 and metaverse commerce applications in India.

Additionally, Starbucks Odyssey opted for the platform for the upgraded version of its loyalty program which gives its members access to various Web 3.0 benefits like NFTs. The Polygon NFT marketplace experienced significant growth this year as well while other NFT marketplaces plunged throughout the year.

Polygon also announced its Green Manifesto in 2022 which aims to make the platform Carbon Negative, meaning “every transaction will be accounted for and its environmental impact is offset.”

Polygon was the platform of the year that properly focused on ESG, setting an example for other projects to follow in the coming years.

Top Crypto Hub of 2022

The United Arab Emirates is set to become one of the hottest crypto hubs in the world. The UAE government has an outstanding role in leading the crypto and blockchain adoption in the world. 

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) are the main bodies overseeing the crypto market, providing the required licenses to companies active in the sector. In 2022, the country licensed top cryptocurrency companies, giving them the green light to utilize the UAE’s flourishing crypto and blockchain market.

Abu Dhabi government also launched its Middle East, Africa, and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association (MEAACBA) “to develop accessible, transparent, and compliant crypto-blockchain ecosystems.” This shows the country’s positive stance toward the new technology and its byproducts.

This year, DAMAC Properties, one of the most prominent real estate developers in Dubai, started offering Bitcoin and Ethereum payments to its customers, allowing them to buy properties with their crypto assets.

Day to Day Hypermarket, an established discount store in the country, also started accepting crypto payments from its customers, allowing them to pay with their crypto tokens using their mobile app.

UAE and its government’s acceptance of the new technology is indeed an example of how authorities can benefit from the unique features of crypto and blockchain by putting in place a proper regulatory framework.

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