2019 the Year of DeFi
Decentralized Finance saw massive growth in 2019. BTCMEX looked back at the departing year and its major events in cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and Fintech.
When we think about what happened in 2019, probably the most significant story that comes to mind is Facebook’s Libra and its many missteps. Libra was formally announced on June 18, 2019, and its wobbly first steps quickly caused outrage among regulators. Policymakers accused Mark Zuckerberg of trying to create his own money to compete against the traditional financial system.
In July, Facebook announced the currency will not launch until all regulatory concerns have been met and Libra has the “appropriate approvals”. A month later, Zuckerberg announced during the meeting with top Senate Democratic leaders that Libra would not be launched anywhere in the world without first obtaining approval from United States regulators.
PayPal left the Libra Association on 4 October 2019. eBay, Mastercard, Stripe, Visa and Mercado Pago followed on 11 October, and Bookings Holdings on 14 October. Facebook projects to release the coin in 2020, but it seems the chances of the digital currency going live are slowly melting away.
Fin Regulators Got in the Game
Central banks all over the world have announced plans to launch their digital currencies. From Switzerland to Korea to France to Lithuania came proposals to regulate crypto assets. After the Libra announcement, China accelerated the development of its own CBDC, even announcing major local partners such as WeChat.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire proposed the European Central Bank issue its own public digital currency instead. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney also threw the idea of a Libra-like digital currency issued by central banks to replace the US dollar as the reserve currency of the world.
Digital currencies are not always cryptocurrencies though. This distinction is important. A digital currency is simply a currency issued by an entity in digital form. In the case of CBDCs, that bank is a central bank.
Stablecoins were named the industry’s best hope in 2019. Stables strike off the volatility in the Cryptoverse. Stablecoins are digital tokens that are pegged to a fiat currency that act as hedging mechanisms against the potential decline of underlying cryptocurrency collateral prices.
One of the earliest stablecoins to reach the mainstream was Tether (USDT), backed by the US dollar. Sub-industry developed quickly and other stablecoins have already entered the field. Bitcoin’s adoption has continued with major financial institutions, technology firms, and other
Institutional investors are climbing on board of crypto trading in a significant way for the first time. Bitcoin’s adoption has continued with major financial institutions, technology firms, and other corporations around the world increasingly acknowledging its value and potential.
There was no one specific catalyst for Bitcoin’s jump in the summer, but some industry onlookers highlighted increased appetite for Bitcoin following the launch of crypto ventures by institutional investors.
The world has talked about Bitcoin’s 11th anniversary. Back in 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin whitepaper. Last October, the 18 millionth Bitcoin was mined, leaving only three million BTC remaining out of the hard-capped 21 million BTC supply.
BTC Summer Rally
Bitcoin started 2019 on a fairly muted note, trading at just USD 3,685. In April, however, things started to take off and the coin enjoyed a strong rally that saw its price hit nearly USD 13,000 in June. Today BTC/USD pair is trading sideways on the exchanges at around USD 7,000.
One of the trends worth mentioning is social about social media. The seed of decentralized social media is currently explored by the founder and CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. He funded a special research team to study and develop the case.
More and more crypto influencers are looking for alternative ways to spread the word outside regulated corporations, like YouTube and Google, which are often cracking down on crypto-related content. The solution seems to be publishing on distributed online platforms, which grew significant popularity in 2019.