Cryptocurrency in 2022: A Look Back at the Year's Biggest Moments

Cryptocurrency in 2022: A Look Back at the Year's Biggest Moments

As the dust of 2022 begins to settle, it's a great time to look back and reflect on the biggest moments and trends of the past year in cryptocurrency. The past year has been an incredible roller coaster ride for the industry, with some particularly high highs and some disheartening lows. As we head into 2023, it's essential to take a look back at the year in cryptocurrency to better understand what the future holds. In this blog post, I'll be taking a look back at some of the biggest moments of the year for cryptocurrency and what the year has taught us about the future of the industry.

January:

  • The global crypto exchange FTX raised a $2 billion venture fund and was valued at $32 billion.
  • NFL star Tom Brady's sports platform Autograph raised $170 million in a Series B funding round.
  • Goldman Sachs predicted that Bitcoin could reach $100,000 as a "hypothetical store of value," and billionaire investor Bill Miller revealed he held 50% of his net worth in Bitcoin.
  • Celebrity podcaster Joe Rogan expressed his optimism for crypto, and Tesla began accepting Dogecoin as payment for merchandise.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook showed interest in the potential of the metaverse, and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro moved 1% of the city's treasury into Bitcoin.
  • The Australian Open launched innovative NFTs using court data, and the AFL and AFLW signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Crypto.com exchange.
  • Walmart also signaled its intention to enter the metaverse, and Robinhood began testing its crypto wallet.
  • Coinbase partnered with Mastercard to allow for NFT purchases.


February:

  • Alex Ohanian's crypto-focused venture capital firm raised $500 million, while FTX secured an additional $400 million in funding and Polygon raised $450 million.
  • Russia moved to legalize and license crypto exchanges, and crypto donations to Ukraine reached $20 million in a matter of days.
  • There were rumors that BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, was planning a major foray into crypto.
  • Canada sanctioned 34 crypto wallets connected to the Freedom Convoy trucker protest.
  • MicroStrategy purchased $25 million worth of Bitcoin at a rate of $37,865 per BTC.
  • The New York Stock Exchange filed a trademark for NFT trading.
  • The Solana decentralized finance (DeFi) bridge "Wormhole" suffered a hack resulting in a loss of $320 million.
  • GameStop partnered with Immutable on a $100 million gaming fund, and Luna Foundation Guard raised $1 billion to create a reserve for the stablecoin UST within the Terra Luna ecosystem.


March:

  • Luna Foundation Guard purchased $1.3 billion worth of Bitcoin as a treasury reserve for the UST stablecoin, with plans to eventually buy a total of $10 billion. The LUNA token saw significant growth as a result.
  • Several other companies also raised significant amounts of funding, including Immutable ($200 million at a $2.5 billion valuation), Helium ($200 million), and Yuga Labs ($450 million at a $4 billion valuation).
  • More funding in the crypto industry, with companies such as Optimism, Mina Protocol, LayerZero, Lido Finance, and ConSensys all benefiting, and several large crypto venture funds launching or raising funds.
  • MicroStrategy took out a $205 million loan from Silvergate Bank to purchase more Bitcoin.
  • Yuga Labs acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs, and Instagram announced plans to integrate NFTs. However, the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity's side chain bridge Ronin was hacked for a loss of $620 million in ETH.
  • ApeCoin was airdropped to Yuga Labs, VC investors, and Bored Ape holders, but the token's value immediately dipped.
  • The US government released an executive order on digital assets, calling for more focused research on the subject, and Florida decided to accept Bitcoin for tax payments.
  • The price of Bitcoin hit a wall as US inflation rose, and HSBC purchased a virtual land plot in the blockchain metaverse The Sandbox.
  • Legendary investor Ray Dalio's hedge fund was rumored to be investing in Bitcoin and crypto.
  • Mark Zuckerberg's sister, Randi, also made headlines for her involvement in a crypto-related controversy.


April:

  • Gemini predicted that 2022 would be a breakout year for crypto adoption in Australia.
  • OTR petrol stations and convenience stores announced plans to accept cryptocurrency payments
  • Dogecoin's value increased after Elon Musk purchased a stake in Twitter and joined the board (Musk is a known fan of Dogecoin).
  • Terra Luna founder Do Kwon declared that Terra would "buy Bitcoin forever"
  • British Treasury department announced plans to make the UK a "global crypto hub."
  • The Australian Football League (AFL) and Cricket Australia both entered into multi-year deals involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs), while the National Rugby League (NRL) opted not to pursue NFTs at this time.
  • The NEAR Protocol, a layer 1 blockchain and Ethereum competitor, raised $350 million
  • Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, raised $400 million from investors including BlackRock and Fidelity.
  • Meta faced criticism for its plans to charge a nearly 50% fee for sales of digital assets in its metaverse.
  • Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) entered the Australian market
  • LUNA token and the "blue chip" NFT project Moonbirds saw growth.
  • Bitcoin was adopted as legal tender by the Central African Republic, and a report from Finder predicted that Bitcoin could reach $80,000 in 2022.
  • The cryptocurrency STEPN received a listing on Coinbase, adding to the trend of "move-and-earn" crypto opportunities.


May:

  • The Otherside metaverse project saw an NFT land rush that resulted in a "gas war."
  • Warren Buffet reiterated his negative view on cryptocurrency, and both Bitcoin and altcoins saw significant declines.
  • The Terra ecosystem faced major issues, with the UST stablecoin depegging from the US dollar. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong suggested that the coin's 84% decline was at "fire sale prices" following a $430 million loss.
  • NFT sales volumes decreased, and even "blue chip" NFTs like CryptoPunks and Bored Apes sold for significant losses.
  • The cryptocurrency market experienced the second largest "puke" in history, with Bitcoin dropping from around $40,000 at the beginning of the month to around $24,000.
  • Despite the uncertainty in the market, investment firm ARK Invest purchased $3 million worth of Coinbase (COIN) stock.
  • The new Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, raised questions about the potential impact on cryptocurrency regulations in the country.
  • VC firm Andreesen Horowitz raised a record-breaking $4.5 billion for a new crypto fund, its fourth to date.
  • Mike Novogratz, of Galaxy Digital, commented on the collapsing Terra ecosystem, and Crypto Twitter users offered suggestions for fixing the LUNA tattoo he had gotten on his arm in support of Terra.

June:

  • The collapse of Three Arrows Capital (3AC) leading to a contagion that impacted the entire industry.
  • The Australian-founded Web3 game Illuvium managed to sell out its $75 million virtual land sale, despite the bear market.
  • Canada's 3iQ launched two crypto ETFs on Cboe Australia with the lowest fees on the market.
  • The 3AC contagion, along with the collapse of the Terra Luna ecosystem, caused a number of large crypto lending firms to struggle.
  • Celsius paused user withdrawals due to a liquidity crisis
  • BlockFi lost hundreds of millions due to bad loans to 3AC and others.
  • Babel Finance also lost around $280 million trading with customer funds.
  • The Bank of England spoke positively about the crypto industry, suggesting that survivors could become the next "Amazons and eBays". In contrast, the US Securities and Exchange Commission denied Grayscale's BTC ETF, leading Grayscale to file a lawsuit against the SEC on the same day.
  • Prices for Bored Ape Yacht Club and other NFT blue chips plummeted, and crypto prices overall declined throughout the month. BTC began June at around $30k and ended it at around $20k.
  • Solana's plan for a smartphone
  • MicroStrategy continuing to buy the Bitcoin dip
  • Ronaldo partnering with Binance for NFTs
  • PayPal enabling the transfer of crypto to external wallets for the first time
  • Coinbase laying off 18% of its staff.


July:

  • The contagion from the collapse of Three Arrows Capital (3AC) and the Terra ecosystem spreading to other companies.
  • Gold bug and Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff's bank was suspended, while Deutsche Bank predicted that Bitcoin would reach $28,000 by the end of the year.
  • The India-based cryptocurrency lender Vauld froze withdrawals and eventually filed for bankruptcy, while rival lender Nexo attempted to acquire Vauld and Voyager filed for bankruptcy.
  • Despite the negative news, funding in the industry continued, with Animoca Brands raising $75 million and Multicoin Capital launching a $430 million fund.
  • Inflation in the US reached a 40-year high
  • Tesla sold 75% of its Bitcoin holdings for $936 million, but recorded a $106 million loss on the trade.
  • 3AC also filed for bankruptcy, with its founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies going into hiding due to death threats.
  • Genesis, the lending arm of cryptocurrency trading platform Digital Currency Group, lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the 3AC debacle and filed a $1.2 billion claim against the company.
  • Blockchain.com also lost $270 million amid the contagion.
  • Variant raised $450 million for two funds
  • Aptos, a spin-off from Facebook's Libra project, raised $150 million, and Christie's Auction House announced a Web3 venture fund.
  • Russia decided to ban cryptocurrency payments, and Minecraft banned NFTs.


August:

  • The US Treasury imposes sanctions on the use of Ethereum-based cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash. The developer of Tornado Cash, Alexey Pertsev, is later arrested.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia announces plans to test the viability of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Some cryptocurrency supporters view CBDCs as a potential threat to decentralization.
  • BlackRock partners with Coinbase to provide cryptocurrency access to its institutional clients.
  • CoinFund raises $300 million, while Shima Capital raises $200 million in funding. Other cryptocurrency investment firms, such as a16z, FTX Ventures, Alameda, and Jump Capital, are also active in the market.
  • FTX and Alameda Research merge their venture investing operations.
  • The CEO of Genesis steps down, and the company reduces its staff by 20%.
  • Sam Trabucco resigns as Co-CEO of Alameda Research.
  • Nomad, a cross-chain bridge protocol designed to facilitate faster and simpler transactions between different blockchains, suffers a hack resulting in the loss of approximately $190 million.
  • The Washington DC Attorney General sues Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy for tax fraud.
  • BlackRock further invests in Bitcoin with the launch of a BTC private trust.
  • Skybridge Capital predicts a $300,000 Bitcoin price, while JP Morgan's CEO warns of a potential recession.
  • The value of Dogecoin increases on the back of the launch of the Ethereum-compatible Dogechain.
  • The US dollar strengthens, causing cryptocurrency prices to remain stable.
  • The Australian government announces plans to study and audit the cryptocurrency industry as part of a "token mapping" process before regulating the market.
  • It is revealed that Google has invested $1.5 billion in cryptocurrency firms to date.


September:

  • Ethereum completes its much-anticipated transition from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, but this does not have a significant impact on the price of ETH. Some even refer to it as "The Floppening".
  • The hard fork for ETH Proof of Work takes place, causing some fluctuations in the price.
  • Liz Truss becomes the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and is seen as positive for the cryptocurrency industry due to her previous supportive comments.
  • The death of Queen Elizabeth II prompts the creation of numerous cryptocurrency meme coins, such as Queen Elizabeth Inu.
  • FTX acquires Voyager Digital for $111 million.
  • The US Federal Reserve continues to rattle the markets with its hawkish stance and interest rate hikes.
  • Sui, a spin-off of Facebook's Libra project, raises $300 million at a $2 billion valuation, with funding led by FTX, a16z, Jump, Binance, and Coinbase.
  • Wall Street firms Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and Citadel Securities launch EDXM, a cryptocurrency exchange.
  • The chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, declares that most cryptocurrency tokens, with the exception of Bitcoin, are securities.
  • The SEC's lawsuit against Ripple Labs continues, with some XRP supporters feeling confident that Ripple could win the case.
  • Nasdaq announces plans to enter the cryptocurrency market with custody and other services.
  • FTX Ventures acquires a 30% stake in Skybridge Capital, owned by Anthony Scaramucci.
  • Alex Mashinsky, CEO of cryptocurrency lender Celsius, resigns, as does Brett Harrison, President of FTX US. An arrest warrant is also issued for Do Kwon in South Korea, with Interpol stepping in to assist in the search.
  • Cryptocurrency market maker Wintermute is hacked for $160 million.
  • The states of California and New York issue orders for Nexo to stop offering yield products.
  • Stanley Druckenmiller, a well-known investor, hints at a "renaissance" in the cryptocurrency market
  • Pantera Capital announces plans for a $1.25 billion fund.


October:

  • Google plans to integrate Coinbase as a payment option for users
  • America's oldest bank, BNY Mellon, announced that it could now custody BTC and ETH for select customers.
  • Fidelity also enabled ETH trading for its institutional clients
  • Twitter announced the capability to buy and sell NFTs through tweets.
  • Google Cloud also announced a blockchain node service, starting with Ethereum.
  • Uniswap Labs raised $165 million in a Series B round led by Polychain, and Binance launched a $500 million fund to offer loans to struggling Bitcoin miners in the bear market.
  • The Australian National Basketball League (NBL) also announced plans to get involved in the metaverse with some NFT-related marketing.
  • Mango Markets, a DeFi protocol built on the Solana blockchain, was hit with a $100 million exploit. The culprit later admitted to the attack but claimed that it was not a hack. They agreed to return $67 million.
  • Binance Smart Chain was also hacked for $100 million, and its blockchain was temporarily frozen to prevent further drainages.
  • Aptos, a layer 1 blockchain, experienced a rocky debut
  • Dogecoin saw a pump on news of Elon Musk's potential takeover of Twitter.
  • Cathie Wood, the CEO of ARK Invest, predicted that Bitcoin could reach $1 million in the future.
  • Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Polkadot, also stepped down from his role.


November:

  • MoneyGram's app enabling cryptocurrency.
  • Sam Bankman-Fried (aka SBF), CEO of FTX, becomes embroiled in a scandal that is seen as the biggest financial fraud since Enron.
  • FTX files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and experiences a hack that potentially results in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. It is later discovered that a "back door" in the company's internal accounting system allowed SBF and certain Alameda team members to use customer funds without alerting auditors.
  • The crypto community reacts with outrage to the perceived soft coverage of SBF, Caroline Ellison, and the FTX debacle by mainstream media outlets.
  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission suspends FTX Australia's license.
  • Kraken, a large cryptocurrency exchange, lays off 30% of its workforce.
  • Class action lawsuits are filed against Tom Brady, Larry David, Steph Curry, and Shaquille O'Neal over their promotions of FTX.
  • The US Department of Justice prepares criminal charges against SBF and FTX.
  • Congress announces it will hold a hearing on FTX on December 13, with the intention of asking SBF and others difficult questions.
  • Coinbase shares sink to a new low, but Cathie Wood's Ark Invest buys more.


December:

  • The US dollar sees a drop, leading to a relief in stocks and the consolidation of major cryptocurrencies
  • Goldman Sachs is reportedly considering investing tens of millions of dollars into crypto firms at discounted valuations
  • Bloomberg commodities expert Mike McGlone predicts that Bitcoin could outperform Tesla and gold in the future
  • The SEC charges Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the US and violate campaign finance law
  • Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, former CEO and co-founder of Alameda respectively, plead guilty to charges of wire fraud in connection to the FTX case
  • The Russian government is considering using Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to bolster its economy amid sanctions imposed by the West
  • Donald Trump releases an NFT collection featuring artwork of himself in various roles, raising over $4 million


Play to Earn, Move to Earn, Metaverse and NFT's Failed Miserably in 2022

These included Axie Infinity (lost 95% from ATH), The Sandbox (lost 94% from ATH) , Decentraland (lost 94% from ATH), STEPN (lost 92% from ATH), DeFi Kingdoms (lost 99% from ATH), NFT Worlds (lost 99% from ATH), ApeCoin (lost 86% from ATH).

The problem with these projects is that they didn't provide a product or service that provided real value. Most of the developers made money at the expense of the token holder and end user.

Massive Failures and Fraud in 2022

The fall of Luna, FTX, 3 Arrows, Voyager Digital, Celsius Network, Zipmex, Hodlnaut, Vauld, FTX and BlockFi were due to fraud and mismanagement.

Investors and Users relied on honesty and transparency from centralised companies but they failed to deliver either. What is ironic is Bitcoin allows the holder to control custody of their Bitcoin and Centralised entities take that away.

Moving Forward and What  we should expect in 2023

The global cryptocurrency market cap today is valued at $847 Billion. Gold for comparison is valued at just under $12 Trillion, roughly 14 times bigger than the entire crypto market.

Bitcoin is a finite resource with only 21 Million Bitcoin. 91.64% of all Bitcoin is in circulation right now with less than 2 million Bitcoin to be mined.

The next Bitcoin Halving event will be in 2024. The block reward will reduce from 6.25 to 3.125. After each halving event, the price of Bitcoin has historically risen within 12 months

The crypto market is part of the overall financial market. Year to date the S&P500 is down 19.84% and traditionally Bitcoin has performed well when the S&P500 is making ATH's. Until we see new ATH's from the S&P500 I don't see Bitcoin moving.

It may take another 12 months before we see new ATH's from the S&P500 which means Bitcoin value may stay undervalued for a while yet

We will see projects continue to develop and bring their products to market. New categories will emerge.

What is the best strategy for accumulating Bitcoin?

Purchasing Bitcoin on a regular basis with fiat is super simple, also know as Dollar Cost Averaging. Using this method removes the stress of timing the market of when to buy.


Summary

2022 has been very challenging and if you dodged any bullets, congratulations. Most of the time, not losing your wealth is key to winning in crypto. If you can survive multi-year bear markets and accumulate Bitcoin you will win in the long run. Next year will be exciting as always. Hope to have you a long for the ride.