A joint report named "What Does the Future Hold for Crypto Exchanges?" published by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Bitget, and Foresight Ventures in July this year showed that despite the recent crypto market slowdown, the crypto economy is here to stay.
"The top 20 coins today look very different from just 5 years ago. Among these is Layer 1 tokens, which can validate and finalize transactions without the need for another network. Overall, the crypto ecosystem has matured significantly, with around 10,000 applications today, compared to 800 in 2017," said the report.
In addition, the report pointed out that institutional money has poured into the asset class, leading to lower volatility and a maturing market profile. Citing Coinbase's annual company filing, the BCG report noted that the institutional trading volume of the crypto exchange increased from 20 per cent in Q1 of 2018 to 68 per cent by the end of 2021.
The market has not witnessed any major rebound this year. The prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum have fallen by more than 50% from their all-time highs in late 2021. Despite some minor gains in recent weeks, the cryptocurrency market generally remained stagnant. In the first half of 2022, the crypto market saw several hurdles, including 30 per cent taxation by the Indian government on VDAs (Virtual Digital Assets). Additionally, 1 per cent TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) may have broken the backbone of crypto exchanges.
According to data provided to Outlook Money by crypto research and consulting firm CREBACO, the trading volume at WazirX was down by over 82 per cent on July 3, compared to June 30, while the decline on CoinDCX and ZebPay was almost 70 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively, in the same timeframe, the situation has not changed much so far.
On the point of the crypto market’s future in the second half of 2022, some experts think that market volatility is likely to remain high in the second half as it was in the first. "Relief rallies are also likely. Many tokens with inherently flawed or valueless tokenomics may not survive 2022. The industry will continue its march towards ever-increasing maturity," says Ajeet Khurana, founder of Reflexical, a Web 3.0 company.
However, BCG has estimated that just 0.3 per cent of individual wealth is currently held in crypto assets, in contrast to the 25 per cent held in equities. Relatively shallow penetration indicates that there is headroom for growth. "Crypto adoption is rising among both retail and institutions. However, adoption is still low compared to traditional investment assets such as equities, payment technologies, and private equity allocation by institutions," said the report.
Kumar Gaurav, founder and CEO of crypto bank Cashaa, said that most of the gains in the crypto market in 2021 were eroded by the bearish sentiments that started this spring. The stock market suffered a dip due to inflation, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, new regulations, and other factors. "It's hard to predict what will happen exactly in the next few months of the year, but as of now, we are looking at a small rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The bull market can start any moment by the end of the year as Blockchain developers are looking on long-term crypto plans," he said.
Crypto and blockchain enthusiast Jayjit Biswas believes that the crypto market will continue to struggle because of the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary policies to calm inflation and recession fears. Investors will have to wait for cues from global trends before taking informed decisions about their future investments in cryptos. "In India, exchanges have to find a way out with government to ease out the trading activities but at this moment GOI is not ready to do so but they are waiting for some directions from G20 or US about the stance on crypto," he said.
Interestingly, amid the negative sentiments in the crypto market, some experts gave a positive outlook for cryptocurrencies. "Looking at global cues, the markets are expected to stabilize later this year. Projects and companies that have had stronger fundamentals and have been focusing on their tech in the bearish markets will launch new and innovative products that will drive positivity. Plus, there are a lot of expectations with the upcoming upgrade of the Ethereum network," said Anshul Dhir, co-founder and COO (chief operating officer) of EasyFi, a decentralized finance blockchain company.
Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO of Unocoin crypto exchange, said that given the sentiment towards crypto was not strong enough during the first half, it has appeared to be the start of a stable market. "The present involvement of corporates has not let the industry get into the bear market. I am anticipating the second half of this year to be more stable than being bullish unless there is an unreasonable trigger to push it back to the bull market like last year," he said.