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Will crypto’s decentralized application layer boost mass adoption in 2023? 

ChainSafe’s Aidan Hyman believes that crypto’s fully decentralized application layer may finally be complete in 2023.

Welcome to Forkast Forecasts 2023. In this series, leaders, innovators and visionaries in blockchains share their industry predictions for the year ahead.

Aidan Hyman

Aidan Hyman is the cofounder and chief executive officer of ChainSafe Systems, an research and development firm specializing in blockchain and Web 3.0 infrastructure. 

Hyman is an advocate for open-source software development and a certified Scrum Master.

Predictions for 2023

Crypto will get a fully decentralized application layer

“We’re going to see a completely decentralized application stack, everything from the storage layer, which we’re incredibly proud to be contributing to with a Rust implementation of Filecoin to the block, the actual application layer with things like Ethereum and even with FVM, the Filecoin Virtual Machine, but with Ethereum and then being able to interact with Ethereum through a light client so that you don’t need access to a centralized provider. And so having your front end being served to you through a decentralized source and having all of the data associated with whatever that front end is showing being served to you from a decentralized source. That is what we’re going to be seeing in 2023. Having a fully decentralized application stack is something that we’ve been waiting for a long time to see, and we’re finally there.”

Education will help investors more than crypto regulation

“We never saw DeFi (decentralized finance) fail, we saw CeFi (centralized finance) fail. And that’s something important to stress when we talk about the ups and downs of the year. That those ups and downs weren’t a result of technology failing. They were a result of people behaving in fraudulent and illegal ways. And that’s something that no regulation can really stop but decentralization… Yet the unfortunate reality that governments don’t want to admit is that you can regulate as much as you want, but that doesn’t stop people from doing illegal things…It’s important to reflect on that point as we look to regulation, because the real solution to this problem is education, and it’s empowering people to make the right decisions themselves. I don’t believe that reducing access to technology at the end of the day is going to solve these problems. Rather, educating people and empowering them to make the right decisions with respect to ‘not your keys, not your crypto.’”

Developers will keep building decentralized technologies

“Our prediction for this year is more of what we’ve seen, which is people building. You described this up-and-down nature to the year, but really the builders have been building. If you look at how many developers have been joining the space, you’ll see that it’s continuing to skyrocket. That is what we look at as a signal of what’s to come. We’re going to continue to see an incredible wave of developers joining the space. Those developers hopefully will be building decentralized technologies and not Web2 business models within the blockchain space. And with that, what we’re going to see in 2023 is the beginning of the application layer taking a grip on our space and starting to see an average person being able to onboard into the space without having to necessarily buy crypto. And what that looks like is people earning based on contributions to decentralized applications. And so I believe that 2023 will be the beginning of mass adoption in a meaningful way.”