This year has been eventful for the crypto space, with significant positive and negative developments across many sectors. Below is a recap of some 2022 high points in the blockchain/crypto industry.
What Happened to World-Wide Crypto Adoption This Year?
This year, leading global brands from several industries filed for Web3-related trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). These firms, including Mercedes Benz, Formula One, LG, Samsung, and eBay, claimed plans for nonfungible tokens (NFT), digital assets services, crypto trading, and more.
Michael Kondoudis, a registered trademark attorney, published many of these applications on his Twitter account. Between January 1 and November 31, 2022, there were more than 4,000 crypto-related trademarks in the United States alone.
Similarly, US-based consulting Firm Wolf & Company and the UK leading fashion luxury brand, Farfetch, announced that they had recognized cryptocurrencies as valid payment instruments for their services.
Furthermore, various Chinese governmental arms showed support for the Web3 industry. For example, the Shanghai Municipal People's Government included blockchain, NFT, and the metaverse in a five-year plan to develop its digital economy. The revelation came on July 12 in a Chinese document addressed to governments of all districts and the municipal committees, offices, and bureaus.
At about the same time, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba launched a market solution for NFT creators as China's number one cloud computing service provider.
What Happened Regarding Crypto Regulation This Year?
Not many spectacular things happened, but the multi-year legal battle between the Ripple (XRP) blockchain and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would finally end.
In the last 730 days, the two parties have had multiple court sessions. The bone of contention was that the regulator accused Ripple of raising over $1.3 billion through an unregistered digital asset securities offering.
Nonetheless, the blockchain project submitted a 65-page filing early this month to the presiding US court. Its defense lawyers noted that the latest filing marked the ultimate submission in the legal tussle and what was left was the final ruling from the court favoring Ripple.
What Happened in The Crypto Market This Year?
According to data from the market tracking site, CoinMarketCap, the global crypto market lost nearly $2 trillion of its value this year. Additionally, over 12,000 crypto projects ceased trading in 2022.
The most popular crypto, Bitcoin (BTC), opened the year at $46,311.74 but has lost over 60% of its value. Among the top cryptos, BTC, Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP) have maintained their rankings as they were in January.
However, Cardano's utility token ADA, which ranked 7th earlier this year with over a $35 billion market cap, lost its ranking. The meme Dogecoin (DOGE) climbed up from the 11th position to become the eighth largest crypto by market cap, displacing ADA and Polkadot (DOT).
One of the events that represented the high points of 2022 was the collapse of Terraform Labs projects. The utility token of the Terra Luna blockchain, LUNA, fell from its all-time high price of $119.18 to $0.00001675 within six weeks.
Concurrently, Terra Luna’s algorithmic stablecoin, TerraUSD (UST), which should exchange with the US dollar at a one-to-one ratio, lost its value from $1.05 to $0.006218. According to multiple reports, the two monumental failures wiped out around $40 billion from over 2,000 crypto investors.
Following the unprecedented collapse of the two Terra Luna projects, its founder Kwon disappeared from public view. And in September, a South Korean court declared him wanted for violating the country’s capital markets legislation.
Terraforms Lab later rebranded the ill-fated coins to Terra Luna Classic (LUNC) and Terra USD Classic (USTC) and relaunched its projects as LUNA 2.0.
The Aftermath of Major Crypto Market Crash
The implosion of Terraform was a bloodbath that affected other Web3 projects. It triggered a wave of insolvency among large crypto firms that previously managed over $10 billion in crypto assets. Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, and Three Arrows Capital were prominent among the bankrupt crypto firms.
Additionally, the Terra Luna fiasco intensified the usual investor protection and crypto regulation arguments. South Korea, India, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom are among the countries that have taken a few steps regarding protecting investors from digital asset crashes.
However, another monumental failure erupted barely seven months after the Terra Lun incident. Sadly, it was from the FTX crypto exchange, a principal crypto asset manager that previously secured regulatory licenses from multiple countries.
The Greatest Frauds in Crypto Happened This Year
According to the data analytic firm, Chainalysis, thieves carted away over $3 billion via 125 exploits this year. The firm later tagged October as the month of crypto heists, given that 11 different hacks occurred within the first two weeks.
On the other hand, the crypto community believes the bankruptcy of the former second-largest crypto exchange, FTX, was the most outstanding fraud in the industry. FTX went from a $32 billion valuation to insolvency, blowing up over $9 billion of customers’ and investors’ funds.
Its founder Sam Bankman-Fried was later arrested by the Bahamas police at the request of the US government. Interestingly, Bankman-Fried had repeatedly blamed the rival exchange, Binance, for its collapse. The CEO of Binance labeled Bankman-Fried as one of the greatest fraudsters in history.
Dan Finlay, the co-founder of MetaMask, asked the crypto community to completely abandon the iOS App Store as Apple began charging a 30% in-app purchase tax. Finlay described Apple’s action as ‘an abuse of monopoly.’
The renowned US-based publishing firm Bloomberg reposted the exact-same anti-Bitcoin post about the crypto-friendly nation, El Salvador, 11 times within 30 days on Twitter. Crypto enthusiasts dragged Bloomberg, bursting its propagandist mission.
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