Crypto Throw Back on 2018: Top Stories and Events on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain from January to December 2018
As we are unwrapping presents beside the Christmas tree, we are looking forward to another upcoming year, so we decided to unwrap the most memorable stories and events in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.
Here are the top stories from January to December by which 2018 will most certainly be remembered.
January started off with a major bull run, perhaps representing the most memorable positive moment for cryptocurrencies in 2018. While Bitcoin (BTC) made it to is record rice already back in December 2017, the majority of digital assets went on a massive surge in January, introducing a year that was supposed to be THE year for cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
However, while blockchain development continued to boom across various industries even later on in 2018, crypto assets were in for major dips and frequent bear trends as a promising year soon turned into what appeared to many as a bubble waiting to pop.
At the same time, back in January 2018, two cryptocurrency exchanges got hacked and robbed, Coincheck and BitGrail.
The Japanese exchange Coincheck lost 523 million NEM (XEM) units, which equaled roughly around 500 million dollars back at the time, the Italian BitGrail exchange was robbed for 17 million units of NANO coin before NANO went through its rebranding phase.
February was probably one of the low points for Bitcoin in 2018. This is the case because BTC touched a low of around 7,000$ after reaching its all-time high price of 20,000$ back in December 2017.
That means that Bitcoin plummeted from a record price of 20,000$ to a new low of 7,000$ in the course of only two weeks.
Moreover, the rest of the market started to show signs of bear trends, while governments around the globe were slowly introducing bans and regulations for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Additionally, Microsoft, one of the leading tech giants showed interest in blockchain for exploring the technology for ID capabilities.
Venezuela launches their first cryptocurrency called Petro dollar with the idea of solving inflation devaluing their naive fiat currency, bolivar.
After the February market turmoil where the cryptocurrencies started to lose on values after reaching all-time high prices, regulations and restrictions on cryptocurrency and blockchain continued on a larger scale.
Back in March 2018, the New York Federal Judge ruled cryptocurrencies as equal to commodities, which is the status that CFTC insisted on pinning on cryptos starting back from 2015.
At the same time, the first cryptocurrency-based real estate purchase was completed in Vermont and the co-founder of Uber announced issuing his own cryptocurrency.
In the meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission was emphasizing the significance of regulated exchanges, as unregistered exchange markets can do whatever they please with the circulating money.
Twitter joined the massive ban-ICO-ads lobbying, prohibiting all ICO related advertisement.
As Verge foundation (XVG) announced their first ever crowdfunding campaign for revealing a mystery partnership that was supposed to send XVG to new heights and success stories, April came bringing Verge to Pornhub through their partnership with MindGeek.
As Pornhub further added more cryptocurrencies to its list of supported digital assets in form of payment methods on the website, XVG addition lost its significance even though it took 75 million XVG to “unlock” the mystery partnership.
One of the major supporters of XVG, TokenPay (TPAY) announced crypto-charged debit cards for XVG and more cryptocurrencies to come. However, even though 2019 is approaching, the debit card deal stands at “in progress” phase.
Furthermore, the market continued with more frequent dips, while the CEO of NASDAQ announced that the well-known market is open to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange, giving new hope to cryptocurrency traders and investors.
The month of May was somewhat marked by blockchain based integrations as many prominent names across various industries showed an increased interest in his innovative and rapidly developing technology.
That is how Facebook c some loose on the previously placed ban on all cryptocurrency-related ads on one of the largest media platforms, also secretly starting off a blockchain project by opening a special department on Facebook with a focus on researching and exploring blockchain technology.
Four out of the largest automotive companies expressed their interest in introducing blockchain to their car designs, while one of them, Volkswagen, partnered with IOTA (MIOTA) with the idea of launching a blockchain based product that should become available already in January 2019.
Additionally, Amazon Web Services announced entering a partnership with a back then newly launched blockchain-based startup called Kaleido.
By June 2018, the CEO of Ripple Labs, Brad Garlinghouse expresses his confidence ha many major banks will be using Ripple’s technology by 2019, while the foundation donated 50 million dollars to 17 different universities with the idea of encouraging blockchain education and development.
At the end of June, VeChain (VEN) went through a major rebranding with launching its own mainnet and changing its name to VeChain Thor (VET).
Several days before VeChain launched the official mainnet, TRON foundation announced Independence Day for all TRX supporters and holders, also launching mainnet where TRX became the native currency leaving its ERC20 history behind while preparing to launch BitTorrent-focused Project Atlas and Tron Virtual Machine, that way starting out with accelerated Dapp development.
Back in July, Charlie Lee, the CEO, and founder of one of the most famous Bitcoin (BTC) forks announced helping HTC to build a more secure smartphone that will run on blockchain.
IBM, the tech giant who previously partnered Stellar Lumens (XLM) announced experimenting with a cryptocurrency that should actually represent the first real stable coin pegged to the US dollar.
Maltese bank passes the law that was set to allow the setting up of cryptocurrency regulation framework, and Mastercard announced a patent that would allow Bitcoin transactions.
Back at the beginning of July, the government of South Korea issued classification for cryptocurrency.
Regulatory constraints on cryptocurrencies seemed to be slowly settling down after RBI, the Central Bank of India decided to set up cryptocurrency and blockchain research unit with the idea of using Artificial Intelligence as well in order to follow up with the new digital era.
On the other hand, China decided to continue with imposing further restrictions in the domain of digital assets by blocking access to over 120 different cryptocurrency exchanges that owned offshore accounts.
IBM started to draw more attention from banks with its blockchain-based Ledger Connect and the World Bank Group announces partnership with CBA with the idea of launching blockchain bonds.
Even though the cryptocurrency market is still seen in a dip in August 2018, blockchain revolution appears to be booming.
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments from September 2018 was the announcement from Ripple foundation on the subject of xRapid. Being the only cross-border payments system that operates with XRP, xRapid is set to bring XRP to mass adoption through banks and financial institutions.
Already with the initial announcement on releasing xRapid, 7 Ripple partners were already ready for testing xRapid, while by December 2018, 6 Ripple Net partners are using xRapid and 6 more are testing the product for XRP-operated remittance payments.
In the meanwhile, the market continues with dipping, bringing new lows to the broader cryptocurrency market and Google revised their cryptocurrency ads bans to make their policy less rigorous towards the fast-developing market.
In October, xRapid goes live as promised by the team Ripple and HTC launched their first blockchain phone that Charlie Lee from Litecoin helped build.
With last days of October, the first and top cryptocurrency marked its 10th birthday, also marking a decade since cryptocurrency first came to the scene as the first live application of blockchain technology.
However, as the market dipped further, the crypto market dropped by nearly 13 billion dollars by the beginning of the second week of October.
Fidelity Investments announced a new institutional platform for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) despite the bear market in order to make cryptocurrency investments easy and simple for investors who are still new to the cryptoverse, while the financial service provider announced that the platform is to become ready in 2019.
November will, unfortunately, be remembered by one of the biggest and most intensive dips in the cryptocurrency market as the majority of cryptocurrencies went down to touch new lows.
One of the positive outcomes from the well-remembered November dip refers to the case where Ripple’s XRP managed to get to the spot of the second-largest cryptocurrency where it stayed up till the time of this writing, that way taking away Ethereum’s long-held spot one the list.
Stellar Lumens (XLM) also managed to defy the frequent bear trends for some time, also becoming the 4th largest crypto by sending BCH down the list, although XLM, later on, lost its rank back to Bitcoin Cash again.
Talking about memorable events, Bitcoin Cash had a fork back on November 15th, which resulted in a newly minted currency, Bitcoin SV (BSV), on the head with Craig Wright and his team.
Although forked as an underdog cryptocurrency, presenting a fork of a fork, BSV entered the top list of 10 digital assets by market capitalization already after 2 weeks since the currency was forked.
Still, despite its presence among the top 10 traders, BSV still remains a subject of criticism by the previous cooperative team, ABC, that now operates with Bitcoin Cash chain after the fork.
After November dips, the cryptocurrency market could take advantage of the previous week between December 15th and December 22nd as the market showed obvious signs of recovery where the entire market capitalization grew by 30%, rising from 104 billion to around 134 billion dollars.
Bitcoin managed to break the resistance of 4,000$ rising towards 5,000$, however, the top currency alongside the rest of the market soon got back to revisit lows where Bitcoin went back at 3,900$ once again in 2018.
As a consequence of frequent dips in the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin was proclaimed “dead” over 90 times during 2018 across different news portals.
Moreover, anonymous insiders from Facebook company spoke about the social media giant aiming at building its own cryptocurrency, although the company still didn’t share any updates on their blockchain research department and the project behind it.
Litecoin became the first cryptocurrency to enter the Octagon ring with becoming the official cryptocurrency partner of one of the latest UFC events and teams working on Ethereum network are working on bringing scalability solution to the platform within the planned roadmap for 2019 that should give birth to Ethereum 2.0.
Cardano teams are also working on bringing scalability to their blockchain, while Ethereum already got closer to processing 1 million transactions per one second with Raiden Network and their latest test net implementation of Red Eyes protocol that should allow easy and simple scaling on the network.
As we are only several days away from entering 2019, many investors are hoping to see another bull run similar to the previous period around this time of the year, while blockchain technology is becoming more widely accepted, researched and experimented with as a foundational technology “threatening” to change the world as we know it, and hopefully make it better with integrations across numerous sectors and industries.
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