What Mark Cuban is most excited for in the crypto space next year

It’s no secret that billionaire Mark Cuban is bullish on the cryptocurrency market and the technology that surrounds it.

And looking ahead to 2022, Cuban is most excited to see the “new and unique” crypto applications that may “replace existing business processes,” he tells CNBC Make It. “Smart contracts can change the world.”

Smart contracts are digital agreements written in code and stored on the blockchain. They’re essential in powering decentralized finance, or DeFi, applications and nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, among other things.

This isn’t surprising, as Cuban has repeatedly mentioned his belief in smart contracts. In the past, he’s even attributed being an “Ethereum maxi” to the blockchain’s smart contract capabilities.

“I like [ether] more [than bitcoin] because I can see an unlimited number of applications that will change the [business and] consumer world forever,” Cuban tweeted on Oct. 16. “And to use them, you need to buy [ether].”

In the next year, the “Shark Tank” investor and Dallas Mavericks owner is hoping to see other use cases for smart contracts develop. As one example, Cuban mentions the potential to monetize carbon offsets using the blockchain.

In theory, carbon offsets are supposed to help balance your carbon footprint by funding environmental projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But some experts have expressed deep skepticism over carbon offsets in regard to their effectiveness and reliability.

Critics of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology also cite their potentially negative impacts on the environment.

Nonetheless, Cuban sees the potential for carbon offsets to be verified and monetized using blockchain applications and tokens, he says. “I’m already talking to all of my companies that can create carbon offsets and discussing whether they can start monetizing them.”

But this idea of monetizing carbon offsets using blockchain technology is still new. Like with any investment, experts recommend researching thoroughly before buying in. When considering any investment in cryptocurrency, experts warn to only invest what you can afford to lose.

Cuban is an avid investor in the space, with a cryptocurrency portfolio of various digital coins, NFTs and investments in many blockchain companies.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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