[Adyu 2021] Top 10 Overseas News in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry

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Over the past year, the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has been flooded with news such as price fluctuations after breaking the all-time high of Bitcoin, joining the cryptocurrency market by global institutions, and approval and trading of the first Bitcoin ETF in the United States.

Blockchain Today conducted a survey by summarizing the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in the past year through Real Research, a survey research platform. The survey was conducted on the topics of top 10 domestic news in the cryptocurrency industry, top 10 overseas news, 7 top domestic figures, and 7 top foreign people.

1. Bitcoin price surges after hitting the highest price

2021 was the year when Bitcoin recorded a series of highs in a row. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world last year, central banks around the world have introduced large-scale economic stimulus packages. As the unprecedented monetary easing policy unfolded, cryptocurrencies began to attract attention as a hedge against inflation concerns.

Bitcoin, which was traded at 8.3 million won (close price, hereafter referred to as Upbit) on January 1, 2020, broke through the 30 million won mark for the first time in history on December 27 of the same year. Bitcoin, on a sharp upward trend, broke through the 40 million won mark in January, and recorded a new high of 82.79 million won (high price) on November 9. Altcoins (cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin) also jumped in the Bitcoin bull market. In particular, as the popularity of the non-fungible token (NFT) market and the growth of the decentralized finance (DeFi) market accelerated, the price of ‘Ethereum’, the key currency of the two industries, also surged.

2. Elon Musk’s remarks on Tesla’s Bitcoin payment

In March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that it was possible to buy a Tesla car using Bitcoin (BTC), and the world’s attention once again turned to Bitcoin. At the time, Musk said, “We will operate our own Bitcoin nodes, and we will keep the Bitcoins we have accumulated without converting them to fiat.” After purchasing $1.5 billion in digital assets, Tesla first announced that it was willing to pay for its products in Bitcoin when filing with the SEC in early February.

Prior to Tesla’s Bitcoin payment adoption, in January Elon Musk posted the hashtag ‘#bitcoin’ on his Twitter account, leading to a rise in the price of Bitcoin. At the time, Bitcoin surged about 14% in less than 30 minutes after Musk mentioned it. In addition, billionaire investor Tim Draper, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian also joined in the Bitcoin mention by adding the Bitcoin hashtag. However, as the Bitcoin price fluctuates according to Elon Musk’s direction, some say that it is “close to a journey” and controversy over stock price manipulation has arisen. Meanwhile, Elon Musk has since turned to a leading supporter of the meme coin, Dogecoin, saying that Bitcoin is “not good for the environment.”

3. China’s Mining Plant Shutdown and Cryptocurrency Ban

In May, China announced a ban on bitcoin mining, cryptocurrency issuance and trading. In a statement on the 19th, the China National Internet Finance Association, China Banking Association and China Payment Clearing Association said in a statement that “Institutions shall not provide savings, trust or dividend services for cryptocurrency or issue cryptocurrency-related financial products.” The statement also highlighted the risks of cryptocurrency trading, including that “virtual currencies are not backed by real value, their prices are easily manipulated, and their trading contracts are not protected by Chinese law.”

Due to China’s cryptocurrency warning, Bitcoin fell below $40,000, a three-and-a-half-month low, and the price of altcoins also fell. Since then, all businesses related to cryptocurrencies have been banned in China as well as bitcoin mining. Before the crackdown, China was a holy city for bitcoin mining, accounting for three-quarters of the global hash rate, but since then, countries such as the United States and Kazakhstan have become bitcoin mining countries due to a sharp drop in hash rates.

4. El Salvador designated as the world’s first Bitcoin fiat currency

On June 9 (local time), El Salvador’s parliament passed a proposal to approve Bitcoin as a legal currency submitted by President Nayb Bukele with a majority in favor. As a result, El Salvador became the first country in the world to use Bitcoin as a legal currency.

El Salvador attended the ‘Bitcoin 2021 Conference’ in Miami, USA earlier, and announced that it would submit a bill to the Congress on the legalization of bitcoin. As the news became known, the price of Bitcoin also soared from 37 million won to 43 million won. Since then, Cuba and Ukraine have followed the El Salvador procedure, pursuing Bitcoin legalization.

Cardano founder Charles Hoskins said in a video on his YouTube channel that “El Salvador’s acceptance of bitcoin further legitimizes the belief that people should control their money. In the future, many more countries will eventually follow El Salvador by accepting cryptocurrencies as part of various government structures.”

5. Global NFT Metaverse craze

▲ Beeple’s ‘The First 5000 Days’.

The biggest issue in the cryptocurrency industry in 2021 was definitely NFT and Metaverse. In March, the work of American digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as ‘Beeple’, once again wrote a new history in NFT. Beeple’s ‘The First 5000 Days’ sold over $69 million at Christie’s auction house. After ‘Everydays’ was released on February 16 (local time), it started at $100 and was auctioned off on the 25th. The auction ended on March 11th. Through the final winning bid, Beeple became one of the elite artists of today’s era.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s wife and singer Grimes made NFT digital paintings and put them up for auction, earning 6.5 billion won in 20 minutes. The first tweet, written by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, “just setting up my twttr,” sold for $2.9 million to Sina Estavi, CEO of BridgeOracle, a Malaysian blockchain company. Since then, NFT has established itself as a mainstream industry, with companies from all fields such as art, games, and music joining.

6. Dogecoin, Shibainu, etc. Meme Coins Soaring

▲ Tweet posted by Elon Musk.

Earlier this year, the Dogecoin craze, a representative meme coin, started on a Reddit chat room with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. On January 28 (local time), Elon Musk posted a ‘Dog’ parody of the fashion magazine ‘Vogue’ on his Twitter. In April 2019, he also posted on Twitter that he prefers Dogecoin. At the same time, a talk on Reddit’s stock chat room saying, “Let’s make Dogecoin a cryptocurrency equivalent to GameStop” appeared, and Dogecoin soared more than 1000%. One Reddit user who saw this responded by posting, “Musk is with us. Until the moon.”

Contrary to the industry’s expectation that it will be a fad, Dogecoin has been supported and adopted by several celebrities since then, and continued to break the record high. Dogecoin broke the $0.7376 mark on May 8, recording an all-time high, and its market capitalization also surpassed $55.6 billion, once ranked fifth in all cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, when Elon Musk posted a picture of a Shibainu dog on Twitter in September saying, “Floky has arrived,” other memecoins started to surge following Dogecoin. With that tweet, ‘Shiva Floki’ soared 4000%, and since then, ShibainuCoin also recorded an all-time high.

7. Approval of Bitcoin ETFs in countries such as the United States

The Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which cryptocurrency investors have been eagerly waiting for, started trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 19 (local time). The official name is ‘Proshare Bitcoin Strategy ETF’ and the ticker is BITO. ETFs are traded like stocks. On the first day of trading, the trading volume of the Bitcoin ETF crossed $1 billion (about 1.17 trillion won).

The Bitcoin ETF launched by wealth management firm ProShares traded 24.1 million shares on the first day of trading, with trading volume exceeding $1 billion. On the first day, the fund closed at $41.94. This is a 4.85% increase from the listing price of $40. As the Bitcoin ETF price soared, so did Bitcoin on the same day. On the 23rd, Banek Bitcoin Futures ETF and Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF were launched one after another. However, it received less market attention than the first ETF.

8. Coinbase listed on NASDAQ

In April, America’s No. 1 cryptocurrency exchange ‘Coinbase’ made a splendid debut on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker name ‘COIN’. On the 14th (local time), the first day of direct listing on Nasdaq, the stock price of Coinbase (COIN) was $381, much higher than the pre-listing price of $250. The intraday ransom reached $112 billion (about 125 trillion won). Coinbase shares closed at $328.28 on the same day, up 31.3% from the reference price. On a fully diluted basis, Coinbase’s enterprise value (valuation) reached $85.8 billion.

Founded in 2012, Coinbase provides a variety of cryptocurrency services to individual as well as institutional investors. It has 43 million customers and 1,200 employees in over 100 countries worldwide. In 2020, Coinbase made $322 million in revenue for the first time last year.

Coinbase was originally scheduled to go public in March, but was reportedly delayed after a $6.5 million settlement was reached with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Meanwhile, after the German securities group announced that it would delist Coinbase’s stock on the Settra Digital Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, it was settled as Coinbase avoided delisting after providing the official LEI code.

9. Facebook changed its name to ‘Meta’

Facebook, the world’s largest social media company, announced on October 28 (local time) that it would change its company name to ‘Meta’.

CEO Zuckerberg announced at the annual developer conference that “Facebook is changing its name to Meta.” “Today we are recognized as a social media company, but our genes are companies that build technologies that connect people. Over time, I want us to be seen as a metaverse company.”

Facebook has been aggressively investing in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) so far. In a recent earnings announcement, Facebook revealed its ambition to become a major player in this field by announcing that it would separate and announce the results of ‘Facebook Reality Labs’, which oversees the AR/VR business. It is also known that the non-fungible token (NFT) business will be included as part of Facebook’s metaverse strategy. “Metaverse will make it easier to sell NFTs, display them in the digital space, and resell them safely,” said Vishal Shah, Product Manager, Metaverse, Facebook.

10. The beginning of the Web 3.0 era

The Web 2.0 era is characterized by participation, sharing, and openness, and while netizens actively participate in creating and sharing information, emphasizing social connectivity, Web 3.0 refers to an era in which data is provided centering on the meaning of data. Personalization, intelligence, and situational awareness are the main keywords of Web 3.0. Web 3.0 is the era of the customized Web that extracts and shows only the information and knowledge that I need now out of the huge amount of information on the Internet.

Recently, the financial investment industry is forecasting Web 3.0 as a major trend for next year. According to the ‘Crypto Theses 2022’ report by Messari, a data analysis company translated by Korbit, a domestic virtual asset exchange, Messari predicts that the Web 3.0 trend will intensify in 2022. Experts cited decentralization as the reason why they are paying attention to Web 3.0, and they agreed that problems such as privacy infringement, market monopoly, and the possibility of information loss increased as centralized platform companies took control of data in the existing Web 2.0 era. .

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