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A Review of 2021 in the Crypto Space Plus a Peek into 2022

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A Review of 2021 in the Crypto Space Plus a Peek into 2022

Review of 2021: A lot has happened in the crypto space. Highlights of the year include El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as an official means of payment, record-breaking new all-time highs in many cryptocurrencies, and China banning all Bitcoin miners from the country. There’s a lot going on in a crypto review these days!

We’re still early

No review could be complete without mentioning El Salvador. For crypto veteran Aaron Koenig,  El Salvador’s decision to make the entire country “Bitcoin Beach” was one of the most impressive market events of 2021. Alexander Hoeptner, CEO of BitMex, has a similar view. Alexander says:

“The fact that El Salvador accepts Bitcoin as an official means of payment is really the beginning of the triumphal march of tokenization, blockchain technology and crypto in general. As a result, the barriers to use have fallen and a realistic use case materializes.”

Eugene Teslov, of the Everscale network, explains that the NFT hype was quite impressive for him:

“I would say it was a lot about NFTs last year. When world-famous auction houses start selling jpegs, it says something. Adidas’ recent collaboration with BAYC is also a real blast. It is a fact that such a commitment attracts millions of ‘normies.’  On-boarding through NFTs brings people to a taste for crypto, then comes staking, followed by farming and DeFi, and the next moment these people become ambassadors of decentralization. The goal has been achieved!”

As it stands, not only Bitcoin has reached an important milestone with profound consequences for our financial system. The crypto space with all its niches has shown incredible developments. It will change various economic sectors forever.

Now we can slowly ask ourselves whether we are moving from the phase of “early adoption” to the phase of “early majority.”

The sum of events

Susanne Fromm, CEO of coinIX, explains that the sum of events in the crypto market was impressive:

“Crypto technology has experienced a strong acceleration in use and adoption in 2021 and has also impressively demonstrated some special features. At the beginning of the year, in my conversations with private and professional investors, I experienced a largely skeptical sentiment towards crypto currencies. Reservations such as the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal activities or an imminent ban by regulators were still very present. Almost a year later, even the German savings bank group (50 million customers) is now working on offering investments in Bitcoin and Ethereum. A number of other banks… have similar plans.

The speed with which cryptocurrencies have established themselves as a mass-market, serious asset class is astonishing.

I also found the events surrounding China’s policy shift towards Chinese crypto miners remarkable. Even though the majority of the hash power of the Bitcoin network to date was in China, the Bitcoin network reacted to the miner exodus as expected: completely unimpressed. The decentralization and inherent adjustment mechanisms compensated for the massive drop in computing power and the hash rate has since recovered almost completely.

And not to forget: El Salvador. The fact that crypto technology can massively promote financial inclusion has already been demonstrated there. Less than 30% of El Salvadorans have bank accounts – a higher rate has not been achieved by the traditional banking system in the country in all the years before. But within a few weeks of the official Bitcoin launch, more El Salvadorans had Bitcoin wallets than bank accounts. “

Review – A patchwork of possibilities

This diversity is also reflected in Susanne’s professional life. coinIX was able to cover some exciting and new areas of the crypto universe through diversifying investments:

“In addition to some investments in decentralized finance (DeFi), for example in Sigmadex, a decentralized cross-chain exchange and at the same time a liquidity protocol, we were able to expand our metaverse investments with the NFT game Snook and the NFT marketplace Niftify, for example. With BloXmove, for example, we were also able to map the progress of the token economy in traditional industries in our portfolio. The company emerged from the Daimler Group and connects providers of urban mobility services such as electric scooters, car sharing or public transport and uses its own token for this purpose.”

What the year 2022 will bring us…

Review over, let’s look to the future. Of course, none of us has a reliable crystal ball for predicting the future at home. However, we can orient ourselves on the current trends and accordingly assume in which areas the year 2022 will surprise us. Aaron Koenig explains that hyperbitcoinization could become a big issue in 2022:

“I think that the example of El Salvador will lead many people to switch to Bitcoin, initially mainly guest workers for foreign remittances to their home countries. In particular, the Lightning Network will help ensure that you will soon be able to pay with Bitcoin everywhere.”

Alexander Hoeptner also assumes that we will see much more adoption:

“As more and more countries accept BTC as a legal tender and thus the blockchain infrastructure, cryptos will become the central and connecting element of society.”

Eugene Teslov sees great potential in the field of Web3 and WebFree:

“We’re still pretty early. DeFi is in the process of developing its strength, NFTs are only gradually becoming usable. And there are few chains that can offer a TPS comparable to VISA (yes, Everscale is one of them, sorry for bragging). I see this process as baby steps, and the biggest step to take is to convert as many normalos as possible to blockchain technologies. If millions of people are interested in, understand and feel the technology, then the time has come to further advance its use. Will 2022 be a bull year or a bear year? Who knows, for me both scenarios are conceivable – the good thing about the bear market is that we can spend more time on development and don’t have to be distracted by the hype.”

Susanne Fromm has a vision for 2022:

“The crypto adaptation will continue to progress inexorably next year. This will be driven by various sub-trends that we are already seeing today. There will be more and more interoperability solutions between the different blockchain ecosystems.  And there will also be more and more solutions that connect Web 2.0, the Internet as most people know it today, and blockchain-based Web 3.0, uniting elements of both, still quite separate worlds. The user experience and accessibility of crypto applications, many of which are still predominantly used via desktop computers today, will continue to improve. More and more projects are being developed according to the “mobile first” principle and thus become smartphone-compatible and friendly. Blockchain solutions are thus becoming accessible to ever broader user groups, because the majority of the internet is already being used everywhere via mobile devices. Mobile usage is particularly high in South America, Africa and Asia, also because many users there do not have access to desktop computers at all.”

Web 3.0 – centralized platforms could come under pressure

In the area of Web 3.0 applications, Susanne expects the further development of the user experience standard and an approach to Web 2.0:

“At the same time, the decentralized Metaverse creates a whole new level of user experience. In addition to the increasingly multidimensional, interactive and intense experiences of the digital worlds, the decentralized Metaverse also offers the advantages of blockchain technology. This is free accessibility, immortality and fair participation in value creation. While the users and creators of content in Web 2.0 could practically not participate in the massive profits of the Internet giants and had little control over their data, this is changing massively in the decentralized Metaverse. With self-sovereign identity solutions, everyone will be able to determine their own data. With the fungible and non-fungible tokens, i.e. with “cryptocurrencies” and NFTs, everyone can now own a part of this new Internet and participate in the massive growth.

Through this value proposition, the decentralized Metaverse will win over the majority of users and centralized Internet giants such as Meta or other major players will have to massively adapt their business model and become more open and fair if they want to be successful with their Metaverse versions in the long term.”

“Even though the mass adoption of the decentralized metaverse will probably take years, I think we will see great progress in 2022.”

While Bitcoin surprised us at Christmas in 2021 with one bullrun and one new all-time high after another, we can now look back on a solid development in so many areas of the crypto world.

What did you think of this review? Let us know here.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Fed report finds most Americans who own crypto tend to be high income hodlers

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Fed report finds most Americans who own crypto tend to be high income hodlers

Only 12% of American adults used crypto in 2021, and the demographic gap between those who invested in it and those who used it in transactions was enormous.

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Fed report finds most Americans who own crypto tend to be high income hodlers

The United States Federal Reserve Board has included data on cryptocurrency in its new Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in the 2021 report. The Fed’s ninth annual report looked at survey results from 11,000 people questioned in October and November 2021. 

The report indicated financial wellbeing is the highest it has been since reporting began, with 78% of U.S. adults “doing okay or living comfortably financially.” That is an increase of 3% over the last three years. As a diagnostic of financial fitness, the report cites the 68% of Americans who say they could cover a $400 emergency expense using cash or its equivalent alone.

The report looked at cryptocurrency usage for the first time. It found that 12% of U.S. adults held or used crypto in 2020, with 11% holding it as an investment, 2% using it for a purchase or payment and 1% sending it to friends or family. Investors holding crypto “were disproportionately high-income, almost always had a traditional banking relationship, and typically had other retirement savings.” Forty-six percent had annual incomes of $100,000 or more and 89% of those who were not retired had retirement savings. Twenty-nine percent had incomes under $50,000.

Related: Rising global adoption positions crypto perfectly for use in retail

The profile of the typical user making transactions with crypto differs starkly from investors. The report claimed that almost 60% of these users had incomes below $50,000, with 20% having incomes under $25,000. Only 24% had incomes above $100,000. Thirteen percent did not have a bank account. That compares with the 6% of adult Americans who lack bank accounts. Twenty-seven percent of those who used crypto for transactions did not have credit cards, compared to 17% of the total population.

Those who used crypto for transactions faced other disadvantages as well. Almost a quarter did not have a high school diploma, according to the results of the report.

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WEF 2022: Bankers at WEF see the need for caution and speed on central bank digital currencies

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WEF 2022: Bankers at WEF see the need for caution and speed on central bank digital currencies

Experts point out sticking points as well as greatest needs in the creation of central bank digital currencies for domestic and cross-border, wholesale and retail, uses.

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WEF 2022: Bankers at WEF see the need for caution and speed on central bank digital currencies

The process of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is fraught with unknowns, some of which were elucidated in a panel of experts gathered Monday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The panel concluded that good design is key to a successful CBDC, and there are fewer challenges for wholesale CBDC introduction.

Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said that although many central banks are considering a CBDC, there is little practical experience with them. The Thai National Bank began proof-of-concept programs in 2018. Its mBridge project began as an experiment in establishing a cross-border wholesale payment corridor with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and has grown to include the Bank of China, the United Arab Emirates and the Bank for International Settlements. Cross-border transactions using traditional banking technology can take days to complete, while CBDC transactions are much faster.

Suthiwartnarueput said the use of blockchain technology can have unintended consequences. It is good for transparency, he said, but anonymity affects scalability. There is risk in a CBDC’s design because smart contracts require that the handling of every situation be specified ahead of time. He cited the current sanctions on Russia as an example of a potential challenge to CBDC design. The Thai central bank is looking at a “limited pilot” for a retail CBDC in the fourth quarter of this year.

International transactions between persons, especially remittances from workers located in other countries, which make up a market of $48 billion per year, are one of the most pressing use cases for CBDCs. Suthiwartnarueput said CBDCs can carry out such transactions at 50% less expensive and 68% faster than current money transfer technology. Currently, the average fee for a transfer of this type is 6.3% of the transaction sum.

Related: WEF 2022: Crypto remittances must have allure of cash without regulatory constraints — Jeremy Allaire

Credit Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann pointed out the rapid progress being made by non-blockchain fast payment technologies and raised questions for domestic retail CBDCs, such as whether accounts with central banks would pay interest. Privacy and intermediation are other thorny issues for retail CBDCs. International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva said, “We feel a little behind the curve” in the creation of retail CBDCs, and Bank of France governor François Villeroy de Galhau agreed, saying a “CBDC is not the monopoly on progress,” and central banks should not waste time in introducing it.

Suthiwartnarueput and the French central banker agreed that cross-border wholesale CBDC settlements may become a reality within five years.

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fUSD stablecoin launch and rumors of Cronje’s return send Fantom (FTM) price higher

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fUSD stablecoin launch and rumors of Cronje’s return send Fantom (FTM) price higher

After a strong 2,000% rally in early 2021, Fantom (FTM) price collapsed alongside multiple altcoins and even though the blockchain has an impressive capability, it has yet to find mass adoption due to the lack of a compelling use case. FTM price hit an all-time high at $3.46, only to collapse to its pre-bull market lows under $0.25 after the failure of the Solidly DeFi project and the departure of developer Andre Cronje.  

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since dropping to $0.238, FTM has rallied 119.23% to $0.5216 on May 23.

FTM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the uptrend in FTM price are the launch of the first native stablecoin on the Fantom network, new protocol upgrades and partnership announcements, which bring new functionality to the network, and speculation that Andre Cronje is working with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols on Fantom.

Fantom launches its first native stablecoin

The most notable development to occur in the Fantom ecosystem in the past few weeks was the release of fUSD, the first native stablecoin on the network.

The launch of fUSD comes on the heels of the collapse of TerraUSD and looks to capture some of the capital flight from algorithmic stablecoin by offering an over-collateralized alternative.

On May 20, the Fantom Foundation released an update outlining the maximum collateral factor and minting cap for each supported form of collateral. The foundation also set the fUSD staking reward at 11.3%

The update also included details on Fantom liquid staking, setting a global cap of 150 million staked Fantom (sFTM), removing validators for the list of those eligible to mint sFTM and setting a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of FTM at 90% for the purposes of minting sFTM.

New partnerships improve sentiment for FTM

A handful of recent protocol updates and new partnerships have also helped to bring a boost in momentum to Fantom, including the launch of Snapsync, which allows new nodes to quickly join the network.

With the integration of Snapsync, the time it takes for new nodes to synch could be reduced from 24 to seven hours, helping to enhance network reliability, improve scalability and create a greater degree of decentralization.

Fantom has also announced that it is currently in the process of launching Gitcoin on the Fantom network to simplify the process of obtaining grants to develop in the Fantom ecosystem.

Fantom also partnered with Unmarshal and XP.Network. Unmarshal is a Web3 infrastructure provider that will integrate its indexing services with the Fantom protocol to give developers easy access to organized and granular on-chain data.

Through the partnership with XP.Network, Fantom users will be able to bridge nonfungible tokens (NFTs) between Ethereum (ETH), BNB Smart Chain (BNB), Elrond (EGLD), Aurora (AURORA), Tron (TRX), Avalanche (AVAX) and Velas (VLX).

Related: Crypto remittances must have allure of cash without regulatory constraints — Jeremy Allaire

Did Andre Cronje return?

Another factor, albeit speculative, bringing a boost FTM price is speculation that well-known DeFi developer Andre Cronje could be contributing toward DeFi development on the Fantom network.

Amid rumors about the return of lead DeFi developer Andre Cronje, the price of the native FTM token has risen by almost 40%. Cronje proposed a number of measures aimed at stabilizing the situation and increasing the sustainability of the Fantom ecosystem as a whole.

— Ashley Torres (@torresamba) May 23, 2022

The speculation started when Cronje submitted an fUSD optimization proposal that designed to solve a major depegging issue with the stablecoin on May 20 . A Fantom wallet that is believed to belong to Cronje has also added more than 100 million FTM over the past two weeks.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for FTM on May 20, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. FTM price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for FTM spiked to a high of 89 on May 20 at the same time as its price began to increase 62.3% over the next three days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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