2019 was a fulfilling year for cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Following the 2018 market meltdown, the market finally consolidated.
The unwanted hype and pseudo crypto supporters were finally gone. And blockchain companies started to focus on development and production.
As the new decade begins, let’s take a look at 10 global events that shaped crypto in 2019.
Facebook announces Libra
That’s a major one. In 2019, the social networking giant Facebook announced its own cryptocurrency, Libra. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, revealed that his main mission is to open the world to the digital financial infrastructure. And acquaint billions of people with digital currencies.
Yet, it did not work out as planned. Libra took heat both from the core-crypto community and the regulators. As a result, there’s no guarantee that Libra will be out this year. In fact, some high profile figures think it needs reworking.
Read: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Disclose all 27 companies backing Libra; Launches Calibra
BAKKT launches Bitcoin futures
Bakkt, a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange, launched the Bitcoin futures contract on 23rd September 2019.
While the launch was somewhat of a disappointment, the company seems to be doing well. Recently, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said that the contracts were tailored to customer feedback. And added that ICE Futures US self-certified the contract through the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Besides, the company launched two brand new products. One of them is called Bakkt Bitcoin Monthly Options. To that end, it is the first CFTC regulated option on a futures contract for Bitcoin.
And the other one is the Bakkt Bitcoin Cash Settled Futures. The contract is available on ICE Futures Singapore.
The first Bakkt Bitcoin Futures trade was executed at 8:02pm ET at a price of $10,115
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) September 23, 2019
Read: Bakkt Is Here. First Reactions Are Pouring In
Trump’s Tweet about Bitcoin
In a tweet, US President Donald Trump revealed that he is “not a fan” of bitcoin. He also said that he disliked Facebook’s Libra. However, this revelation hasn’t affected the crypto community. Accordingly, the price of Bitcoin didn’t decrease. On the contrary, its market value went up.
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
Read Donald Trump: “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies”
Jack Dorsey launches Square crypto
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc. and Square launched a separate cryptocurrency unit, Square Crypto. The team will seek to fulfill Square’s regular business objectives and build open-source projects. Concurrently, it will aim to expand crypto’s ecosystem and help facilitate mass adoption. It will also try to contribute toward a more accessible global financial system for the internet.
Read: Jack Dorsey has Hired a former Google Director to Lead his Exclusive Square Crypto Team
Rise of Decentralized Finance (De-Fi)
Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is an ecosystem of financial applications based on open-source protocols or modular frameworks created on the blockchain. To that end, DeFi has notable advantages like censorship-resistance and improved access.
This year companies like Paxos, MakerDao, Dharma, Harbour, Augur all chose to enter the DeFI scene and thus gained prominence.
It’s noteworthy that the second-largest stock exchange in the world, Nasdaq, recently added a Decentralised Finance Index. Thus, this sector has all the potential to bring blockchain into the mainstream.
Read: Understanding the Decentralized Finance Ecosystem: Part 1
Hackers stole $40M from Binance
In May 2019, Binance’s Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao tweeted that hackers stole around $41 million. Particularly, they got hold of close to 7,000 Bitcoins, using a variety of techniques, “including phishing, viruses and other attacks”. That said, they attacked a hot wallet that contained almost 2% of the total Binance Bitcoin holding. This event affected Bitcoin price: it lost as much as 4.2% of its value.
Yet, Binance eventually compensated its customers.
Read: Binance Exchange Hacked, Lost More Than $40M Worth of Bitcoin
Chinese President Xi Jinping embraces blockchain
China’s President Xi Jinping shocked the crypto world when he urged China to lead the development of blockchain technology. To remind, Xi said that implementing it into the Chinese economy will help solve problems with their current fintech systems. And give the country a competitive advantage in the future. As a result, the Chinese interest in blockchain and BTC has grown tremendously. Besides, Bitcoin soared from $7,500 to $10,500 in just a few hours following Xi’s remarks.
Read Bitcoin, Blockchain, & China – Everything You Need To Know
Rise of digital collectibles
NFTs are the new kids on the block. They became popular following the launch of a game called Cryptokitties. People got interested — and this created a chain reaction. Accordingly, in 2019 multiple games were launched on the blockchain.
The most notable development included the inception of Opensea and the Enjin Marketplace. For example, the Opensea platform raised $2 million to make true digital ownership more accessible. It now sells virtual items, lands, arts.
Moreover, recently, Microsoft entered into a partnership with Enjin. And Binance collectibles are selling like hotcakes.
The potential is therefore huge. We predict that the Digital Collectibles market is going to explode in 2020.
Read: What is an NFT? How Do They Work and How to Acquire Them?
Staking takes over mining
Staking is a consensus mechanism where users stake tokens to support the operation of the blockchain network. In return, they get additional tokens as a reward.
In 2019, staking took over mining as a better method of gathering consensus. Big names like EOS, Steller, Cosmos, Neo, Algorand, Tomochain and Cardano adopted it.
Is this the end of mining? It might be so, as even Ethereum is transitioning to it.
Read: Cardano Launches Daedalus Rewards Wallet
The rise of Bitcoin (again)
After seeing depressing lows in 2018, the cryptocurrency market recovered in 2019. Bitcoin effectively rose from the ashes, reaching the price mark of $12,000 at one point.
Currently, the price is hovering at around $7,200.
What’s even more important is that in 2019 Bitcoin helped the whole market recover. It is the king, after all.
Read: Bitcoin Price Rally – What Should We Expect?
Did you enjoy 2019? Let us know about your crypto experience.