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9 Things We Learned This Year

How Bad Did We Fumble Our 2023 Predictions?

GM DOers! 😎

Last year, we attempted to predict what would happen in 2023. 

Just like you’d expect, we nailed some and we fumbled others… 

Today, we’re reflecting on our top 9 predictions for 2023 to review how well or bad we did. 

Let’s get into it.

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1. L1s Become L2s

This was by far our best prediction of 2023. 

Polygon, Celo, Canto, Astar & Eclipse were all independent blockchains that transitioned or are in the process of transitioning to becoming a Layer 2 for Ethereum. 

What a prediction… 

2. Reddit Onboards 50 Million People Onchain

This has not happened! 😢

At the time of predicting this, Reddit had already onboarded 4 million people onchain. I thought that things would only get better from there.

And they did. 

In February of 2023, Reddit released Super Bowl-themed NFT avatars and managed to onboard over 2 million people with that collection alone 

However, after that event, things stagnated and Reddit didn’t manage to release any other (more) successful NFT avatar collections. 

In total, Reddit managed to onboard only 25 million people onchain.

I’m saying ‘only’ but onboarding 25 million people into a brand new industry is no easy feat. What Reddit has done for web3 in 2023 is immense. 

While their efforts haven’t quite met my expectations, I think that Reddit’s web3 initiatives were very successful, and I expect to hear more from them in 2024.

3. Amazon to Launch NFT Marketplace

WTF happened to Amazon’s NFT marketplace???

Amazon was set to launch an NFT marketplace – allowing users to buy NFTs with credit cards from their Amazon accounts. 

We were all so excited…

However, we’ve heard absolutely nothing new about this initiative and things remained in the ‘rumor’ stage. 

This might’ve been our worst prediction for 2023. 😅

4. Starbucks Odyssey Will Onboard 5 Million New Wallets

Last December, Starbucks launched their web3 loyalty program - Starbucks Odyssey & we made a prediction that Starbucks would onboard 5 million new wallets in 2023. 

Sadly, we were wrong. 🥲

The Starbucks Odyssey program is still in beta, with just over 10,000 users. This doesn’t mean that Starbucks hasn’t been building and shipping, though. 

Here are some quick highlights of what’s happened since Starbucks Odyssey launched:

Users have minted 254,842 NFTs across 20 collections.

That’s an average of ~25 NFTs minted per user, which is fantastic engagement.

Secondary sales have generated over $3,093,395 in volume.

Not to mention that over $2.6 million has come from free mints.

Did you ever think you’d be able to sell your loyalty points for cash on a global online market?

Starbucks has made $234,745 in revenue from royalties.

Clearly, this number is small for a billion-dollar enterprise like Starbucks, but the fact that they made any revenue in a closed beta is a positive sign.

When you consider that all of this was done while the program’s still in beta, these achievements are pretty incredible.

Unfortunately, we were way off with our prediction. However, Starbucks has written the playbook for business leaders and marketers in web3. And that’s huge.

We wrote more about what takeaways we can get from Starbucks’ web3 loyalty program here.

5. Onchain NFTs

At the end of 2022, we found out that the metadata of 99% of all NFT collections wasn’t onchain.

The metadata (NFT image) was a simple JPEG linked to the token (NFT) that’s on the blockchain. 

We predicted that a solution would be found to fix that… And we got it with Ordinals on Bitcoin. 

Ordinals are a new method of creating NFTs, meme tokens, and other assets on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Unlike most previous iterations of NFTs, the image, video, audio, or other content associated with an Ordinal is inscribed directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain.

While Ordinals have become popular on Bitcoin, we’ve seen it implemented on other chains too, like Avalanche. 

The launch of Ordinals has been controversial in the Bitcoin community because some believe the activity to be similar to spam email.

While most Ordinals activity has revolved around NFTs, the protocol may also be useful for other applications.

6. Web3 AAA Game Launches & Onboards 10 Million Wallets

Web3 gaming… The promise of every new crypto cycle. 

We thought this was the year for web3 gaming. Sadly it wasn’t. However, we now think that 2024 will (finally) be the year when web3 gaming has its moment.

Hopefully we’re not wrong in back to back years. 😅

We’re optimistic because we finally have the infrastructure, aka cheap, fast, and scalable blockchains necessary to provide a frictionless experience for players.  

Immutable has been working hard in the bear market to get this infrastructure ready, and over 200 games are expected to launch in 2024. 

Read here about the top 8 games we’re watching in 2024.

7. Regulation Is Coming And It’s a Good Thing

We were partly right… Regulation did come… But it came in like a wrecking ball. 

  • Coinbase & Kraken got sued for operating as unregulated securities exchanges

  • Binance was sued for commingling funds

  • CZ was forced to step down as CEO of Binance 

  • SBF was put in jail for a long time

  • And over 55 cryptocurrencies were classified as securities by the SEC

But it wasn’t all bad news… 

Just 1 month after, the SEC had to conclude that XRP (Ripple) wasn’t a security – something that marks 90% of other cryptocurrencies as safe too. 

Also, Grayscale won its lawsuit against the SEC regarding the approval of a Spot Bitcoin ETF, something that got us much closer to having an ETF for BTC. 

All in all, I would say that this prediction was accurate. 

8. Twitter (Now X) Becomes the Center of Social

True! If you look at what Twitter used to be in 2022, you can’t even recognize it from today.

  • Rebranded to X

  • Implemented premium tiers

  • Added long-form video and written content

  • Removed censorship

  • Improved the issue with bots

  • Started to reward creators

X has, in my opinion, become the best social media platform on the planet right now. 

While this has nothing to do with web3, X is the home of the crypto and web3 community, which is why we’re rooting for its success. 

9. NFT Utility > Speculation

We nailed this one!

We predicted that NFT dollar-denominated trading volume would not reach 50% of its all-time high from the bull market.

However, we predicted the number of NFTs minted/transacted would skyrocket to ATHs and beyond.

2023 was the year that NFTs shifted from being just speculative JPEGs to being used for actual utility i.e. memberships, credentials etc...

There's still a lot to improve on for NFTs but 2023 has been an exciting year regardless.

Wrapping Up — What’s Next? 

This was fun… Predicting things and then reflecting back on them is powerful. 

It’s like journaling. You get to almost travel back in time and see the person you used to be & how you were thinking about things. 

So we’ll do it again! On Monday (the 1st of January), we’ll send you our predictions for 2024. 

Stay tuned for that.

Thanks for reading. And remember, you're strong, you’re powerful, you’re alpha!

How'd you feel about our read today?

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not financial advice. Conduct your own research and consult a financial advisor before making investment decisions or taking any action based on the content.

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