When you ask someone what superpower they would most like to have, they usually think of the ability to fly, read minds, or maybe see through multiple layers of clothing.
This year we just wanted the opportunity to hibernate.
Imagine! I’m going to sleep somewhere around the bushfires in Australia… look outside in mid-March and think “Ooooh, no, I’m not sure at all” and cuddle up in a warm, cheerful bed until the US election was over.
But think what you might have missed in crypto! 2020 was another decade-in-a-year for the industry, chock-full of characters who charmed, hackers who did damage, and swords who did farmers.
To celebrate a year that ended on a high level for hodlers, the Cointelegraph team of artists created a poster-sized limited edition NFT commemorating some of the greatest stories of 2020. It’s titled “In crypto it is 20/20 afterwards“ and is available for only 0.02020 ETH.
Of course there will be only 2,020 copies.
How many of the stories can you recognize? Let’s start with a few of our favorites …
January: Telegram versus the SEC
Here’s a story that could have appeared in one of the first months of the year. The Securities and Exchange Commission took a problem with Telegram’s $ 1.7 billion private sale, and eventually Pavel Durov gave up on the network’s launch.
Although the technology did not die – it was resurrected and just reached mainnet status thanks to the Free TON community – it was even more evidence that Jay Clayton’s SEC would maintain an activist stance on crypto in 2020. At least he’s gone now, and good rumor.
February: bZx Flash Loan exploits
In February we were farsightedly questioned or DeFi came to an abrupt end because bZx was attacked twice. And when we say “foresight” we mean “wrongly”.
DeFi did not disappear, exploits continued throughout the year, and the gainz multiplied in a veritable orgy of yield farming that allowed swords to trade their way to untold riches … and then lose them again when Pickle became fickle.
Since this was 2020, that cycle continued throughout the year.
The acceleration of the global pandemic sharply captured two key concepts at the heart of the crypto community. It became clear that government control over the money supply means that no fiat asset is safe (and that it makes some sort of brrrrrrr noise when turned on) and that Bitcoin’s narrative shift from medium of exchange to store of value, the the credibility of digital assets.
The disastrous response to the pandemic has brought almost nothing good. While hodlers may have benefited financially proving that their statement about Bitcoin as hard money was correct, the politicization of the virus means that the world has been a year since threatened democracy itself.
Let’s all hope for a better and healthier 2021.
April: Binance buys CoinMarketCap
Despite the wild rumors being spread by sources that should remain unnamed in case they are fact-checked, Binance did not pay $ 400 million for CoinMarketCap. Or something close to it.
But it was still a mega deal showing a 2020 trend: the slow dissipation of public worship for Binance. Response to the deal was wary to say the least, and the fledgling and incumbent operator became embroiled in controversy as rank changes appeared to unfairly benefit him, following promises of data collector independence.
These days, CoinGecko is catching up quickly. It was rumored that Bobby Ong was about to sell the site for $ 5 million earlier this year. He should be grateful for the unusual lack of vision on the part of the admirer …
May: Bitcoin halving
The third halving (or halving, for those who prefer the Westron language of Middle Earth) was almost completely devoid of drama.
It should have happened. It happened. Code is law.
Of course, the after effects were more intriguing than the event itself (although it sure is our video team threw for a loop).
Plan B’s stock-to-flow model predicted a rise in the price of Bitcoin as a direct result of the halving and subsequent supply crisis, and despite the naysayers, it is right on schedule.
Turn right. On. Scheme.
June: Wirecard bankruptcy
The hope for the mass adoption of crypto as a payment solution is often based on debit or credit cards that make spending easier. So when Wirecard, which counted big companies like Crypto.com and TenX as customers, seemed to have lost $ 2.1 billion there were… concerns about the future of the sector.
Those concerns have not diminished the ambitions of Crypto.com, which soon replaced Wirecard with PayrNet, with some seeing Wirecard’s fall as a net positive for the industry.
July: Launch of Yearn.finance
One man and a worthless sign can change the world.
Of course, that one guy now works with a dedicated team of DeFi developers, the crappy token came in at $ 43,678, and the world was already changing… but don’t let the details fool you.
The story of Andre Cronje’s contribution to technology and finance can be told for decades to come over drinks in the boardroom.
At least the Wright brothers had each other.
August: MicroStrategy arrives, left stage
Michael Saylor might be a genius (he has invested more than a billion dollars of his company’s treasury in Bitcoin) and he might be a fool (read his Twitter feed) but what we can say for sure is that he boldly going where no major company has gone before.
Saylor’s dramatic announcement was heralded as the moment when mainstream business entities outside of funds and investment banks had to face a new reality. If MicroStrategy’s bet were successful, it could immediately put other corporate treasuries at risk – especially running the risk of not claiming similar wallets due to Bitcoin’s limited supply.
There is often a fine line between courage and madness. Perhaps Saylor 2020 is the best crypto example of that truth.
September: PayPal goes crypto
If MicroStrategy was indicative of greater institutional adoption of crypto, PayPal was the biggest indicator to date that Josephine Public would soon be exposed to digital assets.
Crypto Assets are not tradable outside of the PayPal ecosystem, but that hasn’t stopped the company from buying an estimated 70% of all newly issued Bitcoins as reserve.
And while PayPal’s own shares soared on the news that it would support Bitcoin, it also sparked an increasingly parabolic price movement for the leading digital asset … the company’s market capitalization weakened.
October: McAfee eats his own… words
“Taxation is illegal”, declared John McAfee in January 2019, to clarify (for those who may have a vested interest) that he had not filed a return for eight years.
“No, you are illegal,” replied the IRS – we paraphrase – and had him arrested and thrown in a Spanish prison.
It was certainly quite a year before crypto-related arrests.
November: Bitcoin record high
Gradually, then suddenly. That’s how Bitcoin reclaimed the territory lost since the FOMO days of December 2017.
Despite ‘dying’ over and over again (in the minds of critics, at least), Bitcoin is now comfortably at well over $ 25,000 and enjoys a growing consensus that it is a true alternative to gold.
Even the most conservative prognosticators are coming.
Gradually, then suddenly.
December: Ethereum 2.0
Speaking of gradual … Ethereum took a long and winding road to the next iteration of the leading smart contract platform. But when the deposit contract expired, the prospects for a successful December 1 launch finally became clearer.
In many of the key trends of the year – from DeFi to the growing adoption of NFTs – Ethereum is a major player. It’s hard to imagine another platform taking the cake in the near future.
although the full implementation of Ethereum 2.0 takes much longer, the roadmap for it is shiny and clear.
So has the price, which is up 576% since the depths of the first COVID crash.