After what seemed like a thousand years, 2020 finally ended and the first 20 days of 2021 have been exciting for the crypto space! Last year brought many lows along with the highs and we can’t deny that it gave us some crypto moments to remember. Today, we’re looking back at the 10 biggest crypto headlines of 2020 that set the pace for everything we expect in 2021. Enjoy!!!
1. Paypalling out of 2020
Towards the end of 2020, Paypal graced the headlines for finally embracing crypto. It was an important time because many people were still uncertain about Bitcoin. But knowing that Paypal with all its strict security measures could list Bitcoin, painted cryptocurrencies in a new light. Suddenly, crypto became this serious thing that everyone wanted to know about and we live for it.
2. USDT to the world!!!
Tether (USDT) made the news in December for passing a $20 billion market cap. The best part was that it gained $10 billion in just 3 months, making it the 4th largest cryptocurrency in the world. USDT is a stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar. This makes it extremely useful for escaping inflation and parking your funds when you’re trading. Hopefully, Tether will continue to grow as the other currencies grow too.
3. A growing Yearning for Defi
Many people think that Yearn.finance ($YFI) was the beginning of Decentralised Finance (DeFi). This is far from true. Before Yearn, there was COMP. In fact, Yearn is just the version of COMP that went to Harvard.
COMP was launched by Compound, a decentralised lending company in June 2020. It’s price immediately doubled and it passed MKR, another DeFi token. Since then, people have jumped on the DeFi train and opened a whole new world of crypto use.
4. Ethereum: On the Low
Early 2020 wasn’t great for Ethereum! As Covid-19 affected crypto prices, Ethereum dropped to a low of $127 (₦60,000). This was terrible for many people who sold at that point, thinking it would drop even lower. But you know how the saying goes: it’s not a loss until you sell.
Those who held out had cause to celebrate at the end of the year when the price of Ethereum went all the way up to $1,270 (₦600,000). But the biggest winners were those who saw the crash as an opportunity to buy more Ethereum and cash out later!
5. Ethereum Miners earned $500,000 per hour
The thing about Ethereum mining is that it presents a lot more opportunities than mining Bitcoin. Because the Ethereum network is so diverse, there’s always a lot going on there.
Whenever there’s a surge in a DApp or DeFi platform hosted on Ethereum, the fee you pay miners increases. This means that miners smile to the bank regularly. But September 2020 was out of this world as Ethereum miners were raking in almost $500,000 per hour. What a time to mine ETH!
6. The Birth of Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum is popping. They have decentralised apps, decentralised finance, decentralised games and other things that people access every day globally. For the longest time, Ethereum users have faced system problems due to overloading.
So in 2020, Ethereum developers finally said “nah, we need a new system that can take the load”. That’s how Ethereum 2.0 was born and is set to roll out in 3 phases. Phase 0 was rolled out in December and broke the internet.
7. New Year New Bitcoin All-Time High
If you read any news on Bitcoin between December 2017 and early 2020, then you know that ever since Bitcoin hit $20,000, that’s all anyone could talk about. This is a currency that people including silicon valley bigwigs swore would crash. So imagine the excitement when Bitcoin passed $20,000 and even passed $30,000 in 2020!!!! Trust us, we’re about to spend the next few months talking about it.
8. Bitcoin: Way Too Big for Your Faves
Okay, this was awesome! While Bitcoin was doing its thing in 2020, its market cap was also rising. It grew so much that at a point, Bitcoin had a larger market cap than Coca Cola, Exxon Mobil, and Bank of America!
9. 600,000 Reasons to Love Crypto in Africa
2020 was a big year for African Crypto. People are increasingly interested in Bitcoin as African currencies such as the Naira become more unstable. Combined with increasing inflation rates and recession, Bitcoin is fast becoming more than just a digital asset. It is an economic lifejacket.
This was proven by the 600,000 monthly crypto transfers in Africa last year. This number is definitely set to increase as countries like Nigeria increase their use of cryptocurrencies.
10. A 100+ Million Crypto Ecosystem
If you look at all the news that has come out of the crypto space in the last 3 years, 100 million people holding crypto isn’t surprising at all. The evidence is everywhere from the number of new exchanges springing up all over the world, to the number of big companies like Paypal and Square endorsing Bitcoin.
The good thing about the evidence is that it also suggests that the rise in Bitcoin popularity is exponential. So the number of global crypto holders could grow to 200 million within a short period of time.