Cryptocurrency is one of the many emerging technologies that continue to change the world with each passing day. Since the dawn of Bitcoin in 2009, thousands of other digital coins have been created in the last ten years, drawing influence from the world’s first cryptocurrency.
This only proves that the crypto craze is not just a phase and is here to stay. Discover what powers the industry rivalling today’s traditional systems and find out how it continues to grow with each day that passes.
For all things cryptocurrency news and updates, you’ll find everything you need to know right here. Check out the individual pages for a more in-depth explanation of the following topics.
Dawn of cryptocurrency
The cryptocurrency industry has been around for more than 10 years now. It all began when Satoshi Nakamoto posted the Bitcoin whitepaper online in 2009. At first, the invention of the secure peer-to-peer cash system uncontrolled by a central form of authority garnered a small following from finance technology enthusiasts. Bitcoin’s price was so low it didn’t get a lot of attention from people aside from a choice few online.
Bitcoin was created as a result of the Great Recession in 2008 where financial markets including banking and real estate industries spiralled downwards. Caused by failures in financial regulation and extensive borrowing, the economic depression exposed numerous problems in the current monetary system mainly brought by its centralized nature.
Since banks and governments had their hands on the flow of money, people had no complete control over their own assets. So when banks collapsed, it caused bigger problems for the general public.
Fast forward a year later, this led to the creation of the first cryptocurrency that does not need any form of a centralized authority to run. It aims to free people from relying on a singular point by decentralizing the network and giving the control back to the people.
However, cryptocurrency wasn’t a big hit when it was first introduced. Many people haven’t heard the term until late 2017 when Bitcoin reached its peak and made its few owners millionaires overnight.
The crypto hype
It wasn’t until 2017 that the world’s first digital coin, Bitcoin, reached mainstream news. When its price skyrocketed to almost $20,000 in December 2017, Bitcoin became a buzzword circulating social media platforms and news sites. People started asking about its legitimacy and how an unregulated currency could have value.
While many expressed disbelief and remained unconvinced, the 2017 crypto hype brought in a large number of new investors into the growing industry. Many people bought Bitcoin, thinking that it would turn them into millionaires in just a single night. The overwhelming number of people buying Bitcoin caused its price to surge but it didn’t take long for the hype to die down.
From crypto winter to spring
By the first few months of 2018, Bitcoin’s price dropped from $18,000 in December to $6,000. The rest of the year didn’t look so good, and it carried on until the first quarter of 2019. For a long time, Bitcoin’s price remained under the $5,000 radar, which gave birth to the term ‘crypto winter’.
Eventually, the ice thawed and winter turned to spring. In 2019, Bitcoin’s price started hiking up to $10,000 at most. Though Bitcoin hasn’t peaked again to its highest point, enthusiasts remain unfazed by the topsy-turvy road. They remain focused on the bigger picture and see that in the long-run, all these drops in price are just bumps that will lead to the upward hike.
Cryptocurrency in 2020
While others joined the crypto craze head-on, plenty was sceptical about its use and purpose. Most crypto enthusiasts are people from finance and technology fields. Those who dabble into trading and investments found cryptocurrency a novel interest to try. It’s a whole new market for them to explore.
Including niche online communities, these groups are mainly the demographics of people who are interested in cryptocurrency. If you’re not in an industry that deals with finance, technology and trading, chances are you wouldn’t be interested in something as complicated and advanced as digital assets. That’s why mainstream adoption has been so difficult in the past few years. Without major players dipping their hands into the crypto market, digital coins will remain as the underdog to the current system.
Cryptocurrency amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic
Up until recently, the general public gave no mind to crypto. If the current money system works for them, then there’s no need to find an alternative. That is until economies dropped and countries entered a recession due to a global pandemic.
In March 2020, several governments put their countries in lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their constituents. People were advised to stay inside their homes and only essential travel was encouraged. As a result, businesses had to close down and thousands of people lost their jobs. It disrupted the world economy so terribly that countries inevitably entered a recession.
This phenomenon negatively affected markets on a global scale. After the announcement of lockdowns in certain countries, stock markets spiralled downwards with investors liquidating their assets as a safety net. Based on the traditional market model, it is best to hold cash rather than liquid assets during uncertain times.
The crypto market wasn’t spared from this plummeting effect. In what is now known as the ‘Black Thursday’, cryptocurrencies collapsed and Bitcoin dropped 40% on March 12 following other traditional markets. People sold their coins in exchange for cash. This led people to doubt Bitcoin’s promise of being a ‘safe haven’ due to its decentralized nature. If it isn’t spared from tragic downfalls in the market, then what makes it so different from the current system?
Start of a bullish run
Just when people’s hopes started waning, Bitcoin started surging upward immediately after Black Thursday. From below $4,000, it steadily rose to $10,000 in late July 2020 and even reached the $12,000 mark in August 2020 where it remained until the end of the month.
Come September 2020, Bitcoin dropped slightly to $10,000 but compared to other markets, it has been performing surprisingly well. Exchange sites all around the world even reported a significant increase in their incoming traffic with plenty of users buying and trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Due to the uncertainty of the times we are facing now, people have started looking for alternatives that will guarantee their money’s value amidst the recession. Now, not only people in familiar fields are investing in Bitcoin but even demographics in their late 40s to 50s across the world are dipping their hands in the crypto market.
However, aside from triumphant events such as the continuing 2020 bullish run, there are also several backslides to the cryptocurrency industry. Numerous fraudulent attacks and scams have surfaced, again and again, taking millions from victims.
One of the most popular incidents of the past is the 2014 Mt Gox issue where the once-leading exchange site was hacked and forced to bankruptcy after over $450 million worth of Bitcoins were stolen. To this day, numerous attacks still occur such as those focused on targeting exchange sites where some users leave their coins vulnerable to hacks.
There are also other types of schemes such as fake giveaways where hackers pose as well-known figures and post online about crypto giveaways they are conducting. They would create accounts of popular personalities such as SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin and post addresses where people can transfer their coins into with a promise that they would get twice the amount of what they sent.
With these fraudulent schemes lurking and resurfacing, again and again, it’s best to protect yourself and your coins. Invest in high-quality wallets, and as much as possible, store them in hardware wallets that are more secure than software wallets.
Effect of digital assets
When problems are acknowledged, issues are exposed and solutions are created. That is what’s happening today with the dawn of the cryptocurrency industry. We are now realizing that there are better options for us to use than the faulty ones we are used to.
Now, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are utilized in other industries because of the massive advancements they bring. For example, Ripple Labs is modernizing the current financial system and bringing financial institutions up to speed by offering their solutions. Based on blockchain technology, they connect banks and financial institutions all around the world to remit money in just a matter of minutes rather than days or weeks. Not only does it cut fees but it’s also efficient when it comes to reducing red tape and making services faster.
The cryptocurrency industry is slowly changing the world as we know it and shaping a better future for all of us. To be updated with the latest cryptocurrency news, make sure to read our other content right here in BTC Post.