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My predictions for 2022

As promised, below is a list of some of my predictions for this coming year. I have tried to be both punchier and more precise in my prognostications; because, well, obvious predictions are boring and precision will allow me to better evaluate my thinking at the end of the year. So here goes.

  1. 2022 will be the year that COVID-19 becomes endemic and finally fizzles out to a point where it no longer factors into our decision making in the same way that it has for most people over the last two years or so. I think this will happen by as early as the summer.
  2. As a result, I think the majority of people will be back in their offices by this September at the very latest, with many coming back much earlier. The whole hybrid/flexible work thing won’t completely disappear, but the majority of people who used to work in offices will be back.
  3. Recreational/fringe residential real estate will soften in 2022 as a result of 1) its tremendous run-up during this pandemic and 2) the renewed pull of urban/office life. Conversely, urban apartment rents will continue to rise and eventually surpass their pre-COVID levels. The SF Bay Area could be one exception.
  4. The explosion of travel that I thought was going to happen in 2021, will truly happen this year. The summer will mark its official return, with European travel volumes (to give just one example) returning to their pre-COVID levels.
  5. We will see meaningful efforts to further breakdown the hegemony of single-family zoning throughout many North American cities. This has been building for a number of years and I think we will see some tipping point-like moments in 2022. Specifically, expanded permissions for multi-unit housing and greater densities.
  6. I wish I could say that autonomous vehicles are destined to do something truly remarkable this year, but I think we are still a few years out (2024-2025?) before a large chunk of us are ride-hailing AVs. But on a related note, I do think that Uber will come into its own this year and finally become profitable (and not just with adjusted profits).
  7. Public transit ridership will, unfortunately, remain depressed and below its pre-COVID levels for this entire year. The beneficiaries of this will continue to be cars (not good), bikes, and micro-mobility solutions like e-scooters.
  8. 2021 was a huge year for NFTs and other fun stuff like digital fashion. Given these trends, I believe there will be growing demand from people to better integrate their digital and physical lives through technologies like augmented reality. Snap has been at the forefront of this space for many years and 2022 will be an important year for its Spectacles (AR glasses). But Apple and others will also make major announcements.
  9. Miami’s ascent as an important tech hub will get interrupted by questions surrounding the climate crisis and its own resilience. At the time of writing this post, the price of carbon on the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is about $80 per tonne. I think we will see it break $125 per tonne this year, and possibly go even higher.
  10. Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Solana (in this order) will be the top three cryptocurrencies according to market cap by the end of the year. At the time of writing this post, their market caps are $446 billion, $895 billion, and $55 billion, respectively. I am also expecting some breakout web3 consumer applications that will push, maybe, 40% of Canadians and Americans into the crypto space.

Photo by Dave Xu on Unsplash

1 Comment so far

  1. Mark Harring

    Here’s a counter prediction to point #10. The L1 wars will not be won by a single L1. They will be won by the technology that successfully allows for interoperability between chains (L1’s or L2’s) along with cross-chain bridging. The future of crypto entails a multi-chain world where certain L1/L2 chains are used for their individual strengths in tandem with other L1/L2 chains for their specific strengths in what are called hybrid smart contracts.
    Think about it – without this capability – all L1 chains are relegated to what they predominantly currently are – a realm for tokens native to a particular chain with no real use-case other than to act as exit liquidity for insiders and VC firms that purchase early or OTC.
    Moreover, what use is blockchain technology to the world (decentralization, cryptographic truth, enhanced security, immutability, etc) without real-world data? How will real world data get on chain? What use is a [hybrid] smart contract without real world data?
    The crypto market is highly irrational right now, especially during a bull-run, and 99% of the market is missing the point of it entirely, in my opinion. Real world institutional adoption is near, just not in the places you are looking. Hint: google
    PS: Ethereum scaling solutions like ZK rollups are years away from being technologically feasible. In their current state they are centralized and any complex computation is too costly for it to be feasible.

    Liked by 1 person

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