Comes every saturday, Hodler’s Digest helps you keep up with every major news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more – a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Top stories this week
The biggest story of 2020 must, without a doubt, be the dazzling return of Bitcoin $ 24,000 and further. Who would have thought this was possible in March when BTC suffered an all-powerful flash crash making it only $ 3,600?
Large altcoins also basked in the glow of great returns this year. At one point this year, ETH was up 417% from where it started the year – BTC is outperforming in percentage, even though it’s a long way from record highs.
Litecoin investors will also open the champagne after prices tripled in 2020 – not bad considering the year started with $ 40. And with all these altcoins supported by PayPal’s crypto service, it’s very possible that their user base will expand even further in 2021.
And who could forget DeFi – an industry that barely existed 12 months ago. Over the course of 2020, the total value locked up in these protocols has increased by approximately 2,000%.
But as this festive edition of Hodler’s Digest was being written, an altcoin suffered a rather spectacular fall from favor. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it will take legal action against Ripple – claiming the XRP token is an unregistered security. After reaching heights of $ 0.76 At the end of November, the value of the altcoin fell sharply and on December 23, it fell below it $ 0.30.
The history books will describe 2020 as a watershed moment for cryptocurrencies, but which companies, governments, and organizations have been the biggest contributors to adoption?
PayPal, of course, makes the list. In October, it confirmed that it planned to integrate cryptocurrencies into its platform – meaning that 300 million users could buy, sell, hold and spend Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. The service is already available in the US and will be rolled out next year.
Other big moments included the S&P Dow Jones Indices, which confirmed it will introduce crypto indices in 2021 – officially bringing digital assets to Wall Street. A vast majority of the top tokens will be included, in a move that could spur further institutional adoption in cryptocurrency.
India’s Supreme Court jumped to the rescue when it sensationally overturned the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on financial institutions working with crypto companies, leaving many citizens completely unable to trade digital assets.
COVID-19 has also impacted cryptocurrency adoption as millions of us were forced to switch to digital payments. As Ben Franklin once said, “Opportunities arise out of adversity.”
It is extremely rare for public figures to reverse comments they have made in public. But Bitcoin’s dazzling performance this year has prompted several people to re-evaluate their stance on cryptocurrencies.
In 2018, the economist Nouriel Roubini famously described crypto as “the mother of all scams”, rejecting blockchain as “the most overheated technology ever”. But in November 2020, he admitted that Bitcoin may qualify as a ‘partial store of value’.
Jim Cramer also realized the flaw of his way after insisting that Bitcoin should not replace gold in 2017. In a segment on Crazy money he assured his viewers at the time that the crypto craze would run out. Fast forward three years, and he’s much more optimistic… and full of praise for BTC’s scarcity.
And with PayPal entering the industry, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman also deserves an honorable mention. In 2018, he said the cryptocurrency’s volatility made it “unsuitable for it to be a real currency that retailers can accept.” How things change. Within months, digital assets will be accepted by millions of sellers.
Every industry, group, cabal, and conclave has its own share of weirdos – cryptocurrency and blockchain are no exception.
John McAfee announced that he would run as the “crypto candidate” in the US presidential election, but ended his campaign abroad because the US was pursuing him for taxation. He threw in the towel in May and instead ran for the Libertarian Party vice-presidency. That didn’t go well either.
Bitmain suffered a bitter power struggle that affected the company’s core operations, which led to the ousting of one of its co-founders. Thousands of mining rigs are missing in Mongolia, and it looks like the drama is far from over.
In July, Twitter was paralyzed by a devastating hack that compromised the pages of high-profile figures, including Elon Musk, Kanye West, Joe Biden and Warren Buffett. Their profiles were eventually used in a Bitcoin giveaway, sending tens of thousands of dollars to fraudulent addresses.
Things got weirder when Justin Sun made a $ 1 million premium to track down those responsible, but the company failed to deliver on its high-profile promise.
And all of this comes before we even discuss John McAfee’s bizarre promise to eat his own genitals if BTC fails to hit $ 1 million by the end of 2020. Sorry, John, it seems that price target is a little off.
This year, cryptocurrency has trickled into the public consciousness like never before, with the record rise of BTC making its way to the mainstream media. It is therefore no surprise that some crypto holders are planning to gift digital assets this holiday season.
But while the idea of gifting cryptocurrency to friends and family sounds appealing, there are considerations to consider before sending them to your loved ones – especially newbies.
For those tempted to follow this idea, it is critical to teach recipients how to securely store their crypto. Some of the easiest ways to donate cryptocurrencies are gift cards and ATM vouchers, eliminating the need to go through an exchange that is difficult for newbies to use.
Bill Zielke, BitPay’s chief marketing officer, told Cointelegraph that 2021 could be the tipping point for crypto to become a “ cool gift for special occasions. ”
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin is up $ 25,880Ether $ 644 on and XRP on $ 0.30. The total market capitalization has run out $ 703,139,317,451.
Among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are THETA, ZIL and SNX. The top three altcoin losers of the week are XRP, OCEAN and RSR.
To learn more about crypto pricing, read Market analysis from Cointelegraph.
Forecast of the year
Here at Hodler’s Digest, we’ve long brought you some of the most bizarre price predictions in the industry. But just as a broken clock twice a day is good, there are times when some of these predictions come with the icing on the cake.
Mike Novogratz had threatened to “hang his tracks” if BTC failed to hit $ 20,000 by 2020, but he can now breathe a sigh of relief after this all-important milestone was reached.
Back in 2013, Bill Gates had warned that currency could get “pretty clunky” – comments that would prove timely, as COVID-19 accelerates the world’s transition to a cashless society.
And it’s also worth remembering that the Winklevoss twins have been banging the drum that Bitcoin is better than gold since 2016, when they brought their case up in the Financial Times. Fast forward to 2020, they now believe BTC has the potential to wrestle market share from gold and even hit a price of $ 500,000 per coin.
FUD of the week
Sadly, 2020 didn’t really shake off crypto’s reputation as a honey jar for criminals – and from January to October, some estimates suggest that losses from thefts, frauds and hacks total $ 1.8 billion.
There were also a number of high profile figures who became involved in legal issues. BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes went missing after the US Department of Justice filed criminal charges – and he still has not been traced.
Meanwhile, John McAfee was detained in Barcelona for tax evasion by the US government. He was also charged with fraudulently promoting a series of questionable crypto projects, reportedly making millions of dollars. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.
And in China, as many as 109 people were taken into custody in connection with the PlusToken Ponzi scheme. In the end, 27 were accused of being the masterminds of the scheme, while the remaining 82 held minor roles within the organization. In December, Chen Bo and 13 of his co-conspirators were sentenced to two to 11 years in prison.
Compared to other bull run years, such as 2017, 2020 has seen far less crypto criticism – with some Bitcoin naysayers appearing to soften their stance on digital assets.
Prominent naysayers like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Donald Trump have largely kept quiet about Bitcoin and crypto this year. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, who predicted a “total collapse” of Bitcoin in 2018, also did not comment.
According to data from major Bitcoin-themed website 99bitcoins, 2020 has been the year with the lowest Bitcoin obituary since 2013.
Only seven cases of “Bitcoin death” were reported in media controlled by 99bitcoins, compared to 41 “obituaries” in 2019 and 93 in 2018.
Bitcoin has stunned investors with record highs and year-to-date returns in excess of 200% – but there are stocks that still beat it.
As of December 22, Peloton Interactive has achieved a dazzling annual return of 384% because lockdowns forced many of us to work out at home rather than at a gym.
Unsurprisingly, Moderna has also skyrocketed for its involvement in the development of a coronavirus vaccine – up 619%.
Zoom became a household name overnight as lockdowns started to be imposed and stocks soared 495% years to date.
And of course, who could forget Tesla, who stubbornly renounced any suggestion of a bubble and is now a member of the S&P 500? BTC’s profits pale in comparison to the 850% profits achieved by TSLA this year.
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