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The Top 10 Biggest Crypto Headlines of 2020

What a year 2020 has been. The entire world has been through a paradigm shift in terms of how we all live our day to day lives. One of the things that remains constant is that the lights are on and the internet is still growing at an unprecedented rate.

One indication that humans are not leaving our power of godly interconnectivity any time soon, is how rapidly cryptocurrencies are being adopted. As the year comes to an end, let’s reflect on the top ten events that are launching cryptocurrencies into the stratosphere.

2020 was very kind to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.

1) Bitcoin Breaks All-Time High in December 2020

This list has to start with the amazing news that Bitcoin has reached an all-time high on December 16th, 2020. It didn’t just squeeze past $20k USD, it squashed the old all-time high. By the evening, Bitcoin was humming along above $21,000. It’s essentially been going up steadily ever since then. What better holiday gift for the 100 million bitcoin users worldwide. Bitcoiners worldwide may rejoice knowing that Bitcoin is giving them the moon this holiday season.

2) MicroStrategy Is a MegaBull

Bitcoin hit an all time high this year for a number of reasons, but we must give credit to MicroStrategy. They really brought an amazing amount of institutional attention to Bitcoin this year. Before MicroStrategy converted $425 million of their cash reserves into Bitcoin at once, there was uncertainty on whether or not something like that was even possible. Not only did they show that a publicly traded company can do that, they disclosed how, and why.

Michael Saylor and company spun up an education page specifically for other companies wishing to do the same. If you’re interested, check out Hope.com. Shortly after MicroStrategy announced their investment, Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc followed suit with their own $50 million dollar investment.

3) PayPal Brings Crypto to 350 Million People

This event was pretty epic. It’s hard to not to be excited about 350 million people being introduced to cryptocurrency. Consider that right now, there are only approximately 100 million people using cryptocurrencies worldwide.

PayPal adding cryptocurrencies to their platform is set to expand that number threefold. Shortly after the news of PayPal offering cryptocurrency investments broke, it spurred an already hot bull run, inching Bitcoin closer to breaking the all-time high. The main takeaway from this story is that PayPal is going to wrap the notoriously techie user experience of investing in crypto, in their easy to use interface. People will be able to buy, and send bitcoin through the platform, to anyone else connected by PayPal.

4) The DeFi Buffet

Sushis Swap, Yams Finance, and yes even HotDog Tokens. We saw an absolute buffet of tokens explode out of the Ethereum ecosystem mid 2020 that harkened back to the 2017 ICO boom. All jokes aside, DeFi really demonstrated some fascinating functionality and potential to be extremely useful for the average individual.

The general use case is earning passive income on your idle assets. More advanced features include securing loans using your crypto as collateral. In practical terms, DeFi also demonstrated that the platform of choice (Ethereum) is not ready for mass adoption. The onslaught of activity reminded us that Ethereum gas fees get extremely high when there is too much activity for the network. Regardless, there has been more than $10 billion dollars worth of assets locked up in DeFi, and millions of people interacting with this fresh innovation.

5) Ethereum 2.0 Launch

It’s been a long time coming, but ETH 2.0 is finally here. On December 1st, 2020, the new version of Ethereum produced its genesis block marking the official launch of the blockchain. Ethereum 2.0 has been hailed as the solution to Ethereum’s congestion issues.

It is important for the overall usability of Ethereum to solve its scalability and high transaction fee issue “on chain”. Instead of a second layer protocol like the lightning network, it is important that Ethereum be able to chug through a mountain of transactions as a feature of the blockchain itself. While most Ethereumites are happy to see the launch of ETH2.0, there is a long road ahead before we will see the absolute rollout and replacement of ETH1.0. For those of you wondering how you can stake your ETH to the new Ethereum blockchain, check out our one-pager on how to stake on Ethereum 2.0.

6) Kraken Becomes a Crypto Bank

The year of 2020 has been a big year for cryptocurrencies in terms of adoption milestones. One massive milestone is that one of the largest, favourite, and most respected cryptocurrency exchanges got permission to become a crypto bank.

Kraken secured a bank charter from the state of Wyoming that permits Kraken to be a crypto custodian, and participate in the federal banking system. This is huge, as it sets a precedent for other cryptocurrency exchanges, or even regular banks to engage in crypto related activities with their customers. For the last decade, a regulatory framework has been the primary hurdle for companies wishing to offer cryptocurrency related products and services.

7) The Bitcoin Halvening

On May 11th, 2020, the Bitcoin underwent its third halvening event. This is a quadrennial (once every 4 years) event that results in a halving of new bitcoin entering the system. To put it simply, there are now half as much bitcoin entering circulation every block. Before May 2020, there were 12.5 bitcoin being minted every block. Now, that number is 6.25. Another way to look at this, is how many bitcoin are minted every day. Before the halvening it was 1800, now it is 900. This reduction in new supply has been historically correlated to significant price movements for Bitcoin. Within 18 months of the halvening event, Bitcoin has always set a new all time high.

Bitcoin didn’t disappoint, it achieved a new all time high 8 months later. The reason why this particular halvening event is important, is because it stands in direct opposition to the monetary policy of every single country on earth. Their policy can be summarized with a now popular meme phrase. “Money Printer Goes Brrrrrrrr”.

8) Money Printer Goes Brrrrrr

Okay, let’s break this down. What is ‘Brrrrrr’? It’s the sound of trillions of dollars being printed by governments all over the world. It’s the sound of the money printer. Crypto trollz have been using this meme since governments announced bailout after bailout, stimulus after stimulus. Whether or not this is a good idea aside, the crypto community hasn’t missed a beat on capitalizing on this event. To this day, 35% of all US dollars in existence were created in the last 10 months. Whoops.

9) Akon Builds a Crypto City

Although this event was only covered briefly by the crypto community, it’s a big deal. For starters, the city is being built in Senegal which is on the North West coast of Africa. Cryptocurrencies have been called a skip-technology for countries and economies that have not yet adopted digital banking, or banking in general.

As the continent of Africa continues to be the fastest growing set of economies in the world, a crypto city is bound to add fuel to that fire. The 6 billion dollar project is said to run with Akoin as its primary monetary lifeblood. This ties in perfectly with the wave of government innovation being done in the domain of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The city, when executed, may become the model city of the future.

10) The Hacks and Losses

The final thing worth discussing is the hacks, frauds, and schemes that took place in 2020. There were many, but we will just name a few. We would certainly include the cornucopia of DeFi projects named after food in this category, starting with Yam Finance. A bug in the code resulted in half a billion dollars being locked in the protocol.

Then there was the Wirecard scandal. Somehow $2 billion dollars was “misplaced” by company executives. The company was supplying VISA Debit cards to companies such as Crypto.com, who recovered neatly, and swiftly from this debacle. CredEarn also ceased regular operations due to mismanagement at the executive level. This simply reinforces the fact that even the most seemingly credible companies can have fundamental flaws.

What Will 2021 Bring for Crypto?

According to the Bitcoin stock to flow chart, there is still tremendous room for growth in the price of Bitcoin. As Bitcoin leads the charge for the global adoption of cryptocurrencies, we are bound to see national bans, and exchange hacks. We are also bound to see amazing use cases be explored in the most unlikely of places. Bitcoin Beach is a micro economy based on Bitcoin; and it works! One can wonder all day about the new and exciting milestones that lay just around the corner in 2021.

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About the Author

Keegan Francis

Keegan Francis is a cryptocurrency knowledge expert and consultant. He recognized the opportunity in cryptocurrency early in his career and has been invested in it since 2014. His passion led him to start the Go Full Crypto, a project that documents his journey of totally opting out of traditional financial services. Keegan has been living entirely off of cryptocurrencies since 2019.

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