In the coming years, 2020 may be considered a turning point for cryptocurrencies. When Black Thursday hit in March, billions dried off the markets in a matter of hours. Anyone would have been forgiven for thinking that recovery would take years.
But by December, Bitcoin (BTC) has gone on to reach a new peak at all times, breaking the $ 20,000 resistance and nearly reaching $ 24,000 in the process. This has come at the end of the first year in Bitcoin history where it was tested against the backdrop of a global recession.
Indeed, 2020 has also seen active referrals approaching 2017 levels, according to data from Glassnode. Thus, as much as speculation points to institutional investors with the reason for Bitcoin’s meteoric recovery, the data suggests that overall adoption is on the rise.
This leads to a question: Which companies, governments and other entities have made the largest contribution to cryptocurrency adoption in 2020? In no particular order, Cointelegraph’s main choices are:
When it emerged at the end of October that the behemoth of the payments industry was planning to integrate cryptocurrencies into its platform, marketers responded with gusto. PayPal news confirmed what many had been suspecting for some time, but the announcement brought a startling cherry on its head: PayPal also announced that, from January, consumers would be able to spend cryptocurrency in any of ‘ to 26 million traders.
It’s not just Bitcoin that has benefited from the news, which seems to be creating a positive boom cycle for PayPal’s stock as well. Shares in the company have risen 17% over the months since its announcement. While consumers in the United States can already take advantage of the service, PayPal will launch crypto trading to its entire 300 million global user base starting from next year.
Office of the Currency Manager
The relationship between cryptocurrencies and US regulators has been a full-time one. However, in July, things took a sharp turn when the Office of the Currency Manager issued a memo providing banks with the green light to begin offering cryptocurrency security services.
The move encompasses all national banks and federal savings associations, effectively removing a significant regulatory barrier for cryptocurrency adoption in the country. Not only is this an essential development for cryptocurrency retail holders, but it also paves the way for institutional adoption. Furthermore, banks no longer have reason to deny services to legitimate cryptocurrency service providers, assuming they are ready to comply with general Know Your Customer standards.
From a practical perspective, it will take some time for banks to put in place the necessary security policies and infrastructure for handling digital assets. Nevertheless, the OCC’s actions represent a significant step in promoting crypto adoption in the United States.
Dow Jones S&P 500
Perhaps as a direct result of the OCC’s actions, and no doubt related to the ongoing bull market, it emerged in December that Wall Street was officially entering digital assets. S&P Dow Jones Indices issued an announcement confirming that it will launch cryptocurrency indexes starting in 2021. The news comes thanks to a partnership with Lukka, a US blockchain data provider.
It is not yet clear exactly what assets will be included in the indexes. However, with 550 cryptocurrencies within their scope, it seems like a fair bet that the vast majority of tokens at the top will be covered. The move could help drive further institutional adoption of cryptocurrency, as more mainstream market infrastructure makes digital assets more accessible to Wall Street investors.
Perhaps the CEO of Galaxy Digital has done more than any other individual to advocate the adoption of Bitcoin this year. After his company’s earnings showed a 75% year-on-year rise, he went on record to indicate his belief that Bitcoin would go on to hit $ 65,000 after surpassing its all-time high in 2017.
A few days later, he was back to recommend that everyone put 3% of their net worth into the asset and hold it until 2025. By early December, the ante rose again, prompting investors to give 5% their portfolio in crypto.
Showing that he is willing to put his money in his mouth, he also told CNN that he has 50% of his own net worth tied up in digital assets. A week later, Bitcoin rose through its highest ever.
The founder of Barstool Sports has had repeated relationships with cryptocurrencies for most of 2020. In August, Dave Portnoy, aka “Davey Day Trader,” invited the Winklevoss brothers to his house to learn about Bitcoin. Subsequently, he shifted alt coins, leading some members of Twitter’s crypto to start calling him out for his inexperience. A day later, he claimed he was on the way to becoming a crypto millionaire.
After completely abandoning digital assets, the capricious entrepreneur came back to Bitcoin two weeks later, declaring this time “my heart is crypto.”
Whether you laughed or rolled your eyes, Portnoy’s antics undoubtedly helped to highlight cryptocurrencies. Therefore, his influence in adoption earns him a place on this list.
Supreme Court of India
In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India dealt a death blow to cryptocurrency companies operating in the world’s most populous nation. As a result of government actions to prevent local banks from working with crypto companies, Indian citizens could no longer trade cryptocurrencies on exchanges, forcing them on peer-to-peer networks, and, for those who want to trade from fiat, to the black market.
In March this year, the Supreme Court of India issued an important ruling overturning the decision and considering it “unconstitutional.” The move is effectively sub-numbering cryptocurrencies to 1.3 billion people.
While there have been some tentative rumors that another u-turn may be on the way, the SCI ruling has significantly boosted India’s crypto scene. By June, a wave of new exchanges had launched in the country, opening up cryptocurrency services to millions of new users.
It was all the way back in February 2019 when JPMorgan’s banking behemoth announced that it was planning to launch its own cryptocurrency to help accelerate settlements within its network. In October of this year, the JPM coin was finally released, effectively a simple dollar-backed stablecoin. However, given the size of JPMorgan’s global reach, it is estimated that the coin will save the global finance industry hundreds of millions of dollars in marginal costs.
Related: The first appearance of JPM Coin marks the beginning of a blockchain-based adoption cycle
The move is unlikely to have any impact on the crypto markets as a whole, simply because JPM Coin is to be used within JPMorgan’s closed network only. However, the bank is probably processing transactions worth about $ 6 trillion over more than 100 countries every day. Thus, it could become one of the most adopted cryptocurrencies in the world by transaction volume. In mid-December, Goldman Sachs signed on to use JPM Coin for its repo trades.
Devolved Finance has had a hectic year overall, but it’s fair to say that the release of Uniswap V2 in May made 2020 a milestone year in adopting decentralized exchange. By August, the exchange had added to Coinbase Pro’s trading volume, and by December, it had achieved over $ 50 billion in lifetime volume.
Furthermore, Uniswap inadvertently found itself a victim of its own success when it launched SushiSwap in August. The new exchange emerged as a clone of Uniswap code but with its own ticket in the background. Called the “vampire attack,” the move appeared to threaten Uniswap’s dominance by draining liquidity from the exchange. Worse still, the SushiSwap movement spawned a series of similar copywriting exchanges, with several setting up home on the newly launched Binance Smart Chain.
Related: Uniswap is fighting back as competitors drain value from the DEX
However, Uniswap had the last laugh after launching its own ticket in September, distributing UNI to anyone who had ever contributed liquidity to the platform. The move helped Uniswap win the liquidity wars, and continues to outperform its competitors today.
It was in September 2019 that reports first emerged about NBA player Spencer Dinwiddie intending to streamline his $ 34 million contract extension. His plan was to sell digital tokens associated with the contract, where investors could receive principal and interest.
It is fair to say that Dinwiddie’s way to symbolic contract sales is far from smooth. After facing opposition from the NBA itself, Dinwiddie went ahead and launched the Gofundme campaign in May, seeking to raise nearly $ 25 million worth of BTC as a way to allow participating fans to decide the fate of his next team move. However, the campaign closed after raising just $ 1,160, which he donated to charity. He later sold 10% of the symbolic shares of his NBA contract to eight investors.
Nevertheless, it is fair to say that Dinwiddie’s support for cryptocurrency helped bring it to mainstream attention. Bleacher Report he called “Beneficiary of NBA bitcoin.”
Launched by eToro in September, GoodDollar is a social impact project aimed at delivering digital digital base income at scale. GoodDollar mines its tokens, called G $, based on the returns generated by investing a basket of cryptocurrency reserve assets into DeFi protocols. It then classifies them as basic daily income.
Since the launch of the platform in September, the company claims to have signed on more than 40,000 people from 180 countries, and said it has distributed over 14 million G $ tickets. Users can’t change their tickets for fiat yet, but they can use them to buy online services through GoodDollar’s Facebook market, which currently has nearly 16,000 members.
The idea of a universal basic income already had widespread support, including from former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang. However, the coronavirus pandemic has led to further support for the idea given that so many people continue to be affected by the economic downturn. Thus, GoodDollar is an interesting experiment in generating a sustainable source of funding for UBI.
Keep with us here – this last entry is controversial. But it can’t be ignored that the biggest Bitcoin bull run in history has come at a time when the world is battling the devastating coronavirus pandemic. In November, Cointelegraph highlighted the fact that the economic collapse of the virus had contributed to changing perceptions on Bitcoin and digital currencies.
Even before that, it was becoming clear that the pandemic was accelerating digital innovation thanks to stay-at-home orders and shift tracking that followed previous outbreaks of historic disease. After all, Ben Franklin first noticed that “out of adversity brings opportunity.”
DeFi’s epic crypto bull rise and 2020 underscore the true potential of cryptocurrencies to help redistribute wealth and generate new avenues of value. So, if it is possible to take something positive from the catastrophic health crisis of 2020, it will not have been free.
On a more positive note, seen only through the lens of cryptocurrency adoption, 2020 has been an extremely promising year. Furthermore, all indications are that 2021 will not repeat the events of 2018 after the last epic bull run. With that in mind, here’s looking forward to more good news from the crypto space in the coming year. Cheers, and stay safe.