Top 7 Crypto Market Trends and Technologies in 2024

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The crypto market is in a buoyant mood in 2024 with Bitcoin (BTC) scaling new all-time highs and Ethereum (ETH) finally getting approvals from US market regulators for spot ETH ETFs.

This means it doesn’t hurt to think about the future of the crypto market with optimism.

So let’s explore which crypto narratives will drive both buzz and utility over 2024 and beyond.

We choose our top 7 crypto market trends. Let’s dive right in.

Key Takeaways

  • We look at the top 7 crypto trends to look out for as the 2024 bull market heats up.
  • Decentralized social: Social platforms that provide users with censorship-free environments.
  • Restaking: Restaking is a concept pioneered on Ethereum by EigenLayer.
  • Data Availability Layers: Modular blockchain systems (where specific blockchains handle specific tasks) are expected to scale — offloading data storage is emerging as a top use.
  • Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePIN): DePIN protocols build, maintain, and operate physical infrastructure in a decentralized way.
  • Tokenization of Real-World Assets (RWA): Tokenizing real-world assets like real estate and gold enables fractional ownership, asset-backed stablecoins, and increased liquidity.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): The AI market narrative goes from strength to strength — a mixture of hype and utility.
  • Political memecoins – Memecoins that poke fun at political figures are trending ahead of the November 2024 US Presidential elections.

Top 7 Crypto Market Trends To Watch in 2024

7. Decentralized Social

Decentralized social networks refer to social platforms that provide users with censorship-free environments and give users control of their data, interactions, and audience.

Take Instagram for example. Meta has the power to ban you from the platform. If you are a content creator who has amassed thousands of followers, moving away from Instagram to an alternative platform like TikTok would require you to start from the bottom up with zero followers.

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Decentralized social protocols like Farcaster and Lens Protocol are built differently. These platforms provide the infrastructure base for developers to build decentralized social media platforms on top of them. Users can seamlessly migrate between various social apps, taking their followers, posts, and likes with them.

Most importantly, as there is no centralized operator, users cannot be removed from platforms and their posts cannot be censored.

In 2024, a Farcaster-based Twitter-inspired platform called Warpcast gained immense popularity within the crypto community. On Warpcast, users can not only post and share content, they can also buy and sell NFTs, play crypto games and create token-gated content.

Another popular decentralized social platform with paid chatroom and trading features is Friend.tech (FRIEND).

  1. Restaking

Restaking is a concept pioneered on Ethereum by EigenLayer (EIGEN).

The process involves validators locking up liquid staking tokens (LST) as collateral to get the chance to secure the restaking network and earn rewards for their honest work.

Simply put, restaking is almost the same as traditional staking. However,  LSTs like Lido’s stETH are deposited as collateral in restaking, instead of native ETH in staking.

Restaking not only extends the cryptoeconomic security of the base blockchain (i.e. Ethereum) but also allows token holders to earn extra yield.

Developers building decentralized applications or new protocols need not bootstrap a trust network of validators to secure their system. They can simply tap into the pooled security provided by restaking protocols like EigenLayer.

The crypto world saw the launch of EigenLayer mainnet in April 2024. As of June 4, 2024, only liquid staking platform Lido held a higher total value locked (TVL) on EigenLayer.

The popularity of restaking has given birth to several EigenLayer copycats and rivals such as Karak, Pell Network, Octopus Network and Repl.

5. Data Availability Layers

The future of blockchain is expected to be modular. This means that instead of a single blockchain system handling everything from settlement, execution, and consensus, a lone blockchain will only be responsible for a specific operation. Modularity will thus allow blockchain networks to scale and specialize in a single function.

Data availability networks provide an off-chain solution for blockchains to store and verify their transaction data. Storing data on-chain can congest the blockchain and require nodes to upgrade their hardware to cope with its ever-increasing size.

Data availability layers allow blockchains to offload their data storage needs and guarantee that the historic transaction data is available when required, allowing anyone to verify transactions. Therefore, data availability layers not only help with scale but also help keep peer blockchains secure.

The market narrative around data availability grew in 2023 mainly due to its place in Ethereum’s rollup-centric scaling roadmap. As more specialized rollups arise, the demand for data availability solutions is expected to increase proportionally.

In October 2023, Celestia became the first modular data availability blockchain to launch its mainnet. Other data availability blockchains include the NEAR data availability layer (NEAR), Avail, and EigenDA.

4. DePIN

Decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN) garnered plenty of interest from the crypto community in 2023, and due to their compatibility with the artificial intelligence (AI) industry, this is expected to grow and gain wider investor attention in 2024.

What are DePINs? DePINs are blockchain protocols that build, maintain, and operate physical infrastructure in an open and decentralized manner. The physical infrastructure can be hardware such as hotspot routers for wireless connectivity, GPU chips for computing, or data centers for file storage.

Filecoin is one crypto-incentivized peer-to-peer storage network that allows anyone to store and retrieve data. Suppliers get paid in FIL tokens for providing reliable storage service.

Other DePIN networks include computing resource providers like Render, Theta Network, and Akash, which incentivize users to supply graphic processing unit (GPU) computing power.

Meanwhile, Helium is a decentralized wireless network that incentivizes users to provide wireless network coverage using hotspots.

The beauty of DePIN networks is that they provide an open and permissionless marketplace for infrastructure to any industry, be it media, gaming, AI, information services, or life sciences.

3. Real World Asset Tokenization

Tokenization of real-world assets (RWA) represents real-world assets like real estate, fine art, credit, and precious metals as digital tokens on a blockchain.

An increasing number of traditional finance companies are looking to leverage the power of tokenization every year due to its benefits for secure and decentralized trading, property rights transparency, and fractionalization.

For illiquid real-world assets such as real estate and fine art, tokenizations enable the ownership rights of a commercial building or an expensive painting to be divided into thousands of digital tokens. This lowers the entry barrier for small investors and allows the property rights benefits to trade seamlessly and instantaneously on the blockchain.

Blockchain transparency will also allow buyers to check and verify the transaction history of real estate, fine art pieces, and classic cars.

Intangible assets such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents — typically stored in paper or digital form — have much to gain from tokenization. An owner’s property rights to these assets are stored immutably on the blockchain.

Once tokenized, copyrights, trademarks, or patents become tamper-proof, traceable, and verifiable in real-time.

The most significant endorsement of RWA tokenization technology in 2024 came from BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager. In March 2024, BlackRock launched its first tokenized fund, called BUIDL, which invests in RWAs such as cash, US Treasury bills, and repurchase agreements, allowing crypto investors to earn yield while holding the token.

BlackRock’s crypto venture highlighted the trend of RWA tokenization that has been ongoing for several years. Today, crypto investors can remotely buy US treasuries, bonds, and cash-equivalent tokens on the Internet. Similarly, investors can earn yields by investing in tokens representing private credit loans to businesses.

Exotic products such as carbon credits are also being tokenized. Carbon credit tokens are awarded, sold, transferred, and retired on the blockchain. Tokenized carbon credits create a liquid market for these exotic products, allowing companies to buy carbon offsets more easily while enabling climate action projects to raise funds more efficiently.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Whether it is the equity or crypto market, no one can deny that the AI crypto narrative will grow stronger in 2024. The disruptiveness of AI has made it a force to be reckoned with.

Crypto investors are looking to profit from AI by identifying two types of crypto projects:

  1. Projects that support AI operations
  2. Projects that create AI solutions and provide AI services

The first category includes AI-focused DePINs, which are crypto projects that provide the basic infrastructure for AI applications to operate.

Data storage and computing resources are the two main areas that AI-focused DePINs are working on. For example, Akash and Render are two crypto projects with a decentralized marketplace where users can buy and sell GPU power required by AI applications to process data.

Fetch.ai is a good example of the second category of AI-related crypto projects that are trending. Fetch.ai is a platform that allows developers to create and sell autonomous AI software and services. These AI software can operate independently, allowing buyers to automate a wide range of business functions.

Similarly, Bittensor is a crypto project focused on creating a decentralized AI industry. Bittensor’s vision includes both producing new AI frameworks and creating decentralized markets for compute resources, data storage, data processing, and oracles, all under one ecosystem.

1. Political Memecoins

Cryptocurrencies and speculation – name a more iconic duo, we’ll wait.

Crypto investors can’t get enough of meme coins — say what you like about them; they do not mislead investors with the promise of disruptive tech innovations only to fade away like most crypto projects.

Knowing the high risks and boom-or-bust possibilities of investing in memecoins, crypto investors continue to place their memecoin bets in the hopes of making outsized returns within a short period of time.

Today, memecoins are among the top-performing sectors in the crypto market. At the start of the year, Solana-based (SOL) memecoins like dogwifhat (WIF) and Bonk (BONK) were trending.

Now, with the U.S. Presidential elections getting ever closer, political memecoins have emerged as the latest fascination of the crypto world in 2024.

Memecoins that satirize political figures such as Donald Trump and Joe Biden have been a hit among crypto traders. As of June 4, 2024, Trump-inspired memecoin $TRUMP has returned over 5,400% year-to-date. Meanwhile, $BODEN – a memecoin that misspells Joe Biden’s name – has gained nearly 600% since its launch.

Crypto Projects That Embrace Tech

We have selected the top crypto projects from each category mentioned above — Decentralized socials, DePIN, data availability, restaking, RWA tokenization, AI, and political memecoins.

Crypto project Category Token ticker Market cap Year-to-date gain (As of June 4, 2024)
Friend.tech Decentralized social FRIEND $15.1 million -30%
Degen Decentralized social DEGEN $316 million +36%
EigenLayer Restaking EIGEN Not trading in open market, at the time of writing NA
Near Protocol Data Availability NEAR $7.71 billion +95%
Celestia Data Availability TIA $11.20 billion -9%
Render DePIN RNDR $5.43 billion +113%
Arweave DePIN AR $2.97 billion +342%
Maker RWA MKR $2.37 billion +55%
Ondo RWA tokenization ONDO $1.95 billion +768%
The Graph AI GRT $2.81 billion +114%
Bittensor AI TAO $2.64 billion +43%
MAGA Political memecoin TRUMP $574.7 million +5391%
Doland Tremp Political memecoin TREMP $114.7 million +830%

The Bottom Line

These are our picks for the crypto narratives of 2024, but remember, it is important to end this article with a reminder that crypto markets can be unpredictable, and predictions can be wrong.

You should always do your own due diligence before investing. Therefore, this article should not be considered investment advice and is for information purposes only.

Lastly, we have to mention that other promising crypto trends for 2024 exist, such as Layer-2s and blockchain gaming.

FAQs

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Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer
Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Mensholong is an experienced crypto and blockchain journalist, now a full-time writer at Techopedia. He has previously contributed news coverage and in-depth market analysis to Capital.com, StockTwits, XBO, and other publications. He started his writing career at Reuters in 2017, covering global equity markets. In his free time, Mensholong loves watching football, finding new music, and buying BTC and ETH for his crypto portfolio.