Blockchain technology is now being referred to as “critical for our nation’s future” by former SEC chairman Jay Clayton1. Harnessing the capabilities offered by this technology are critical to advancing the state of the financial system, bank the unbanked, and generally improve a centuries-old industry rife with convoluted, inefficient processes.

Since the introduction of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin around 2009, the concepts of blockchain and cryptocurrency have increased in popularity – and controversy. To many, it’s a ponzi-like “get rich quick” scheme with no value. To others, it’s the beginning of a new technology paradigm that will impact how we represent, store, and exchange value across the globe.

As the digitization of the world’s financial system continues to evolve, and chances are blockchain technology will be involved. Many questions remain, but one thing is certain: the pace of technological innovation is accelerating.

Here, we analyze the dominant themes of the cryptosphere as we move into 2022 – the critical concepts, the environmental impact, the regulatory environment, and institutional adoption.