Written by Erica Pimentel, Queen's University, Ontario; Bertrand Malsch, Queen's University, Ontario, and Nathaniel Loh, Queen's University, Ontario

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The year 2021 was marked by several major breakthroughs for cryptocurrencies.

For one, new crypto applications like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gained ground, with sales of these digital assets setting new records at major auction houses. Secondly, Bitcoin made strides towards mainstream acceptance with major websites like Expedia and Microsoft accepting the coin as a means of exchange. Third, in September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept bitcoin as legal tender.

There are many more examples of how the market for cryptocurrencies has expanded just in the last year. With this uptick of activity, what’s ahead in 2022 for cryptocurrencies?

We believe there are three main areas where cryptocurrencies will gain steam in the next year: greater acceptance of Bitcoin as a means of payment, increased regulatory scrutiny and a rise in NFT activity.