Blog post

Gartner Hype Cycle for Blockchain and Web3, 2022

By Avivah Litan | July 22, 2022 | 10 Comments

We just published our  Hype Cycle for Blockchain and Web3, 2022   Crypto and token prices crashed in 1H22, but coin prices should not be conflated with technology value. Consumer apps like NFT games and commerce are driving innovation as enterprises gradually begin to realize business value. A tipping point in adoption will soon be reached, as risks are managed proactively.

Corruption got the Upper Hand

The recent cryptocurrency crashes were in large part caused by corrupt players who lied to customers or lenders about what they were doing with their money.   In contrast, DeFi protocols did not crash – the smart contracts closed automatically when the collateral was insufficient or when other terms were met.

You could reasonably argue that the market crashes caused by corrupt players would have been avoided had everyone been using decentralized finance where no single party had control.

It’s easy to throw the baby out with the bath water so it’s important for market observers to untangle the facts and recognize the value of blockchain innovations – as described in our Hype Cycle – that have not heretofore existed.

Smart contracts and tokens are just computer code and are independent of the greed and corruption of the ‘centralized’ bad actors that took advantage of them.

In fact, bad guys experiment with new technologies much faster and earlier than the good guys do.  That’s a historical fact. It takes time for the ‘good use cases’ to catch up and it takes even more time for fraud and security controls to be deployed.

No Killer Use Cases

In the meantime, other than cryptocurrency trading, we still have not seen killer use cases yet. They need to leapfrog over current applications in terms of making our lives better. For example, wouldn’t it be helpful if you had a car accident, that you received your insurance payment for the damage within ten minutes?  That could conceivably happen with the combination of Web3 and other technologies, like AI and IoT. It’s just a matter of time before it does.

Gradual Improvements

We are witnessing gradual improvements using blockchain technologies. Enterprise applications ranging from aircraft maintenance to food safety use tokenized real-world assets and smart contracts to manage them, and reap benefits that are starting to materialize. Hybrid identity systems that use blockchain will soon allow football fans in Spain to enjoy special perks at their games. See Wise Security in Spain  Teachers will soon be able to innovate by owning and marketing their online content, without being bound to a specific platform or service provider.  See  Animoca Brands invests in Tiny Tap

Ongoing Risks

Still, risks are high, thorny problems remain and “killer apps” that drive mainstream adoption have not yet arrived.  And most U.S. regulators do not seem to be moving any faster to protect and regulate the parts of the market that should and can be regulated.


Note: Gartner added “Web3” to the title of this year’s Hype Cycle because Web3 represents the larger ecosystem of innovations underpinned by blockchain.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

Comments are closed


  • Elton says:

    Since “decentralized applications” are in the “slope of enlightenment”, other topics should be together with them in the same cycle stage.

    Since most CBDC experiments are running on private blockchain / DLT networks, this topic should be at least in the “innovation trigger” stage of the cycle — if not ahead.

    Please advise.

  • Avivah Litan says:

    Great questions

    We look at Dapps generically in the hype cycle. Specific Dapps like DeFi have their own trajectories

    CBDCs can use Blockchains as an option but are not blockchain innovations and don’t use blockchain ledgers

  • Elton says:

    Avivah Litan, the statement that CBDCs “are not blockchain innovations and don’t use blockchain ledgers” is incorrect. The most relevant CBDC initiatives around the world are at least inspired by, if not using, blockchain-based networks. Just to mention a few, according to CBDC Tracker website: e-krona (Sweden), Digital Tenge (Kazakhstan), Jura (France / Switzerland), Jasper (Canada), Stella (Japan / Europe) use R3 Corda DLT. France CBDC, Aber (UAE), Aber (Saudi Arabia) use IBM Blockchain (based on Hyperledger). Atom (Australia) uses ConsenSys Ethereum-based blockchain. Republic of Palau CBDC and Digital Ngultrum (Bhutan) use Ripple XRP Ledger. Khokha (South Africa) uses ConsenSys Quorum. Ithanon-LionRock (Thailand) and LionRock (Hong Kong) use both R3 Corda and ConsenSys. Please advise.

  • Avivah Litan says:

    Hi I am referring to public decentralized Blockchains not blockchain inspired projects or private or permissioned Blockchains.

    By definition CBDCs are managed by central authorities ie central banks. While any asset can be represented on a public blockchain they are not innately decentralized blockchain technologies which is the scope of our hype cycle. We certainly could have included them and explain all this in the definition but they are part of our banking hype cycle instead which is a better home for them

  • Fran says:

    Per your comment, “I am referring to public decentralized Blockchains”.

    So does the hype cycle published only cover public blockchains?


  • Avivah Litan says:

    Hi Fran, this Hype Cycle is for Blockchain and Web3. Permissioned or private blockchains are ‘blockchain inspired’ projects – they are not complete blockchains. However we certainly understand they have their place in the ecosystem. Hope this helps, Avivah

  • “…they are not complete blockchains.”.

    i. What do you mean by “they are not complete blockchains”?

    ii. Do incomplete blockchains exist?

    iii. Should not the Gartner’s Blockchain Hype Cycle include as well close-sourced, permissioned, centralised and private blockchains?

  • Avivah Litan says:

    Check this research out for Gartner definition of complete blockchains

  • Avivah as always is on point!

    Thanks for providing such important and useful information.

    My organization is Nebulai, Nebulai is a blockchain platform for solutions and talent, heading to the slope of enlightenment.

    Nebulai is a technology for good organization. Looking to bring value to the market.

  • Yak Dao says:

    We found in incredible use case. Dynamic NFTs on short term rentals.