Winston Churchill once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” It seems proponents of cryptocurrencies have missed no opportunities whatsoever. COVID-19 may have dominated the news in 2020, but we had our fair share of positive crypto stories too. They brought joy to everyone who believes crypto is the future of finance. Here are ten top stories of 2020:
1. Visa raised $271 million in partnership with Ethereum-based startup Circle.
A partnership between Visa and crypto startup Circle raised the impressive amount of $271 million to build a new currency based on the Ethereum blockchain. The credit card giant linked its international payments network to Circle Internet Financial’s USDC (US Dollar Coin), which is currently worth almost $3 billion.
2. Bitcoin passed $20,000.
On December 16, Forbes Magazine reported that the reigning champion of cryptos passed $20,000 per Bitcoin. Its price reached $20,440 on Bitstamp, an exchange based in Luxembourg. Admittedly, this development was not unexpected. Investors are turning to Bitcoin to protect their assets from inflation, as governments are escalating spending during the pandemic, plus institutional interest in Bitcoin is higher than ever. Many investors predict the price will keep climbing in 2021.
3. The year of decentralized finance.
Assets in decentralized finance (DeFi) were valued approximately $15 billion in December 2020, up from about $660 million at the beginning of the year.
4. Bitcoin survived halving.
About once every four years, Bitcoin is halved to reduce its issuance rate. A maximum of 21 million Bitcoin can be issued. Generally, every halving is accompanied by elevated anxiety because the miners’ block reward is cut in half.
Bitcoin underwent its scheduled halving in May – from 12.5 to 6.25 Bitcoin. Before that, some feared a collapse of the hash rate (computing power) or a departure of miners. Ultimately, nothing bad happened. Bitcoin was selling at $8,566 in May and passed $20,000 in December.
5. PayPal embraced cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin gained hundreds of millions of potential users after PayPal announced its users could hold, sell, and buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. This development will likely accelerate the number of new Bitcoin coin holders beyond the 100 million users who have joined its ranks over the past 12 years.
6. The first central bank digital currency in the world emerged.
All signs indicated that China would have the first CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) in the world. Ultimately, The Bahamas beat them to it. The West Indies island nation launched the Sand Dollar on October 20, 2020, making history. This central bank digital currency is based on a blockchain platform.
7. Coinbase planned a public listing.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced plans in December to be listed on a major stock exchange in the US. If this happens, it will become the first business of its kind in the world to achieve this record. According to expert estimates, the corporation, which has 35 million users, will be valued at $28 billion if it realizes its IPO. Fortune magazine reported the initiative was a “milestone for the crypto industry.”
8. MicroStrategy made Bitcoin its main treasury reserve.
The business intelligence corporation, listed on Nasdaq, announced it was making Bitcoin its main corporate treasury reserve in 2020. In August, the company had $250 million in Bitcoin. They continued buying Bitcoin and had raised $650 million by the end of the year. This amount, accumulated through a convertible note sale, will be used to buy even more Bitcoin.
While many institutional investors and publicly owned corporations embraced crypto in 2020, none has done so with the fervor of this intelligence firm. MicroStrategy had 70,470 Bitcoin in total as of December 21, purchased at just under $16,000 per Bitcoin on average. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company is nearing the status of a hedge fund, making it incredibly appealing to investors.
9. Facebook neared its crypto launch.
At the beginning of December, the social media giant announced plans to launch USD-backed Diem (previously Libra) in early 2021. If it overcomes regulatory issues, the stablecoin will become a historic event: the first cryptocurrency created by a Big Five tech corporation.
10. China’s big ambitions came to fruition.
If there’s any country that hasn’t let the crisis go to waste, it’s China. They may not have launched the first CBDC in the world, but they did achieve other important milestones. The fact that the pandemic turned daily life upside down did not stop them. In a series of large-scale tests, the innovative DCEP digital currency began circulating nationwide.
The Chinese also launched a national service network based on the blockchain called BSN. It is expected to include public chains, thereby globalizing China’s blockchain technology. That was not all for China last year. In April 2020, the digital yuan first appeared publicly through leaked videos and pictures of e-RMB wallets.
These stories highlight the ever-growing potential of cryptocurrencies like META 1 Coin to transform daily life and drive abundance and freedom for Humanity. We are excited to see what exciting new opportunities and advancements will be revealed in 2021.