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But Bakkt wasn’t the only big development in the crypto world that year. Facebook made a splash by announcing its plan to launch its own cryptocurrency called Libra. Let’s just say it caused quite a stir, with regulators around the world throwing a fit over the idea of a social media giant having its own money. And while Libra/Diem is still in development limbo, it did shine a light on the potential of cryptocurrencies to disrupt traditional finance.
Meanwhile, the Lightning Network continued to gain traction as a way to scale Bitcoin and make transactions faster and cheaper. And to top it all off, major players like Fidelity jumped on the crypto custody bandwagon, making it even easier for institutional investors to jump into the digital asset game.
Overall, 2019 was a pretty solid year for crypto. Sure, there were still plenty of regulatory headaches and uncertainties, but the fact that institutions were starting to take notice and get involved was a promising sign for the future of cryptocurrencies.
In 2020, Bitcoin went on a wild ride, hitting a record-breaking high of over $64,000 per BTC in April 2021! And boy, did it get there in style. The rally was fueled by a combination of factors, including growing institutional adoption, mainstream awareness and acceptance of cryptocurrencies, and inflationary concerns due to unprecedented government stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But that’s not all folks! One notable development in 2020 was the growing interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a reserve asset. It was like everyone had suddenly realized that Bitcoin wasn’t just a fad, it was the real deal. In August 2020, business intelligence firm MicroStrategy announced that it had invested $250 million of its treasury funds into Bitcoin, making it one of the largest corporate holders of the cryptocurrency. And then, electric car company Tesla joined the party, revealing that it had invested $1.5 billion of its cash reserves into Bitcoin, and even announced that it would accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Talk about a major validation of Bitcoin as a legitimate asset class! These high-profile investments by major companies helped to drive up demand and increase the price of the cryptocurrency.
Of course, there were concerns raised about centralization and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few large players. But hey, let’s focus on the positives! 2020 was a year of significant growth and mainstream adoption for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as institutional investors and major companies finally recognized the potential of these digital assets as a store of value and hedge against inflation.
And then, PayPal dropped a bombshell announcement that it would allow users to buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its platform. Yes, you read that right! PayPal, one of the biggest names in online payments, was getting into the crypto game. Other major financial institutions and companies such as Square, Fidelity, and JPMorgan also made significant moves towards adopting and integrating cryptocurrencies into their business operations. It was like a stampede of big players getting into the game, and we were all here for it!
The COVID-19 pandemic also played a big role in increasing interest and adoption of cryptocurrencies as a hedge against economic uncertainty. People were looking for alternative ways to protect their assets from the effects of the pandemic, and cryptocurrencies seemed like the perfect solution. And then, we saw the rise of the DeFi (decentralized finance) movement, with platforms offering lending, borrowing, and other financial services on decentralized blockchain networks. It was like the Wild West of finance, and it was awesome!
And if that wasn’t enough, the Ethereum network underwent a major upgrade with the launch of Ethereum 2.0, transitioning from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. It was like a whole new world of possibilities opened up for the Ethereum network, and we couldn’t wait to see what the future held for this exciting platform.
Well, 2021 was quite the ride for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency world. We saw Bitcoin’s price fall off a cliff, dropping over 50% from its all-time high of $64,000 in April. Ouch! Some say it was due to regulatory crackdowns in China and concerns about the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining. Whatever the reason, it definitely left a mark.
But don’t count Bitcoin out just yet! Despite the price dip, it continued to gain mainstream acceptance and adoption. Heck, even El Salvador jumped on board and made it legal tender in June. That’s right, folks, you can now pay for your pupusas with Bitcoin! Other countries and businesses are now considering similar moves. Talk about a game-changer.
And it’s not just Bitcoin that’s turning heads. The overall market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies reached over $2 trillion in 2021. That’s a lot of zeroes! Institutional adoption is on the rise, mainstream businesses and consumers are starting to take notice, and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms are popping up left and right.
Speaking of DeFi, Ethereum’s blockchain has become a hotbed of activity for permissionless lending, borrowing, and trading of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. The total value locked in DeFi protocols reached over $80 billion by the end of the year. Can you say cha-ching?
But not everything was sunshine and rainbows. Regulatory scrutiny of cryptocurrencies increased, with China and India cracking down on crypto-related activities. And the US government proposed new regulations requiring crypto exchanges to report transactions over $10,000 to the IRS. Yikes!
But despite the challenges, the adoption and mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies continued to grow. Visa and Mastercard even announced plans to integrate cryptocurrencies into their payment systems. That’s right, you may soon be able to buy your morning latte with Bitcoin or Ethereum. Talk about a caffeine buzz!
Overall, 2021 was a wild ride for cryptocurrencies, with both significant milestones and ongoing developments. One thing’s for sure, the future of digital currencies remains both exciting and uncertain.
And that leads us up to 2022, quite the year for Bitcoin! We saw big moves from institutional players like JPMorgan, BlackRock, and Fidelity who decided to jump on the crypto bandwagon and invest in Bitcoin and other digital assets. And let’s not forget about the governments around the world who finally decided to provide some clarity on their stance towards cryptocurrencies, some even introducing new regulations.
Retail investors also got in on the action, thanks to the hype and media attention that surrounded Bitcoin. Platforms like Robinhood and Coinbase made it easy for everyday people to get their hands on some Bitcoin, which led to an influx of new buyers. Even some major retailers like Amazon and Walmart started accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.
Developers didn’t sit still either. They worked on improving Bitcoin’s scalability by developing layer 2 solutions like the Lightning Network, which can reduce transaction fees and make it more usable for everyday transactions. And with more miners and nodes joining the network, Bitcoin became even more secure and resistant to attacks.
But that’s not all! Developers also created new applications on top of Bitcoin, like decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms and prediction markets. These new use cases expanded Bitcoin’s reach beyond just investment and speculation.
Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Bitcoin. It remained a volatile asset throughout the year, with plenty of ups and downs. But overall, 2022 was a transformative year for Bitcoin, and it’s only going to get better from here. With increasing institutional adoption, regulatory clarity, and mainstream acceptance, the future of Bitcoin looks bright.
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Let me know if you would like to see a more indepth run of each of these timeline events, I would love to cover them with more detail if y’all wanna read it!