The Journey of Bitcoin in 2021


 05 January 2022 | ZebPay Trade-Desk

While 2021 offered a degree of respite to investors operating across the world in the crypto landscape, it was mostly driven by fears that initially raised their heads back in 2020. From rising inflation rates to the never-ending wave of coronavirus-related outbreaks, the uncertainty prevailed. For example, many believed that Bitcoin (BTC) would hit a value target of $100,000 — together with several ancient monetary establishments — by the flip of the new year, the flagship crypto carries on to show a huge degree of volatility though having touched an impressive high of $69,000 earlier in November, and primarily simply rapt during a broad sideways channel for the past 10 months.

That said, several developments have occurred, both positive and negative. The timeline below shows some of the major happenings with Bitcoin in 2021. 

Known as the “Land of Many Volcanoes,” the smallest nation of the Central America Republic of El Salvador surprised everybody in 2021 by changing into the first-ever country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, paving the way for alternative countries to follow, particularly those being round-faced with problems involving rampant inflation. Examples are the likes of Turkey, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.  And, although the move hadn’t quite regenerated El Salvadorans into long BTC proponents, President Nayib Bukele has been quite strategic in his outlook when it involves repairing his country’s economic problems.

Citizens of the country got access to a Chivo wallet whereas the president has conjointly vowed to deal with the internet connection problems that presently create obstacles for the country. El Salvador’s extremely touted “Bitcoin Bond” — that makes use of a federate BTC sidechain to issue a de jure viable financial bond — is being viewed by several as a gorgeous money-making avenue since it offers users with a novel means that of finance within the currency still as providing them with an opportunity to get the county’s citizenship. This week President Bukele came out in support of the asset, announcing a lot of bullish statements in his Twitter account predicting a great future for the asset.   

The Lightning Network (LN) presented an incredible growth over the year 2021 with an increasing mass of funds being poured into varied LN channels — particularly with a lot of nodes stoning up online, ostensibly with every passing day. Mathematically speaking, there is around 3,300 BTC fastened across various public Lightning channels, at the time of writing, with more funds probably contained inside alternative private/unannounced channel networks that are presently being operated between various exchanges. In terms of improvements, the infrastructure of the Lightning Network underwent a variety of major overhauls this past year (such as Amboss), up the systems’ native node body capability additionally as retail client uxor for Lightning wallets. trying ahead, LN’s BOLT-12 module guarantees to form revenant payments easier as well as modify alternative helpful options reminiscent of donations via static QR codes 

One of the most important developments for the Bitcoin network since the SegWit overhaul of 2017 — a method by which the block size limit on coin’s blockchain was multiplied by detaching signature information from transactions enclosed in every block — was the activation of the Taproot upgrade. Taproot is largely designed to assist the popular cryptocurrency community of backers and core developers get access to raise a “policy privacy” framework, permitting them to not reveal all of the attainable ways through which they might doubtless pay their BTC. 

A reported story that had Bitcoiners, and the crypto enthusiasts in general, a touch cask this past year was China’s obligatory unequivocal blanket ban on its native crypto economy. Despite the fact that the world-leading economy had several such prohibitions within the past, this point the news was more serious, as an outsized range of crypto mining corporations had to relocate from the country’s borders so as to stay their operations alive — with many even having to shut down permanently. Following the mass exodus that happened after the ban came into effect, Bitcoin’s hash rate fell quite to record lows — decreasing from around one hundred eighty exa-hashes per second (EH/s) to half ninety exa-hashes per second (EH/s) — solely to form a swift recovery shortly thereafter. The abundance of the BTCs hash rate recovery was attributed to miners migrating to additional hospitable components of the globe together like America, Kazakhstan, Canada, Belarus, and so forth. Once the ban, the crypto market additionally witnessed a growth within the range of publicly-listed miners, showcasing the power of those corporations to faucet into debt capital markets as well as scale dramatically thanks, in giant part, to their ability to borrow huge sums of cash against their natively well-mined crypto.

No story concerning Bitcoin’s over twelve months is complete without mentioning the number of the largest investors within the world continuing to get their part of the dominant crypto. The past year started off with the Dogefather aka Tesla CEO Elon Musk financing a sum of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, creating one in every one of the most important investments into the BTC by a mainstream and popular corporation. For a quick window of time, Tesla even noted in AN SEC filing that it had been attending to permit its purchasers to use BTC as a medium of payment for its numerous offerings — a call that was eventually rescinded. As was to be expected, before long when Musk’s apparent backing of the digital quality became public knowledge, its value shot up to a then incomparable high of $43,000 inside a matter of minutes. That said, the sole man to outdo Musk along with his Bitcoin purchases this year was

Microstrategy chief corporate executive Michel Saylor whose maximalist perspective was mirrored by his constant accruement of the flagship cryptocurrency, each once it had been hovering at its uncomparable highs and is its lowest levels. Numbers-wise, Microstrategy currently lays claim to a thumping 124,391 BTC that were purchased for nearly $6 billion. Conservative estimates recommend that the firm has already gained the $2.1 value of profits from its BTC investments. After Musk created his encroachment upon the globe of Bitcoin, a variety of other money services giants equivalent to Mastercard and U.S.-based loaner Bank of New York Andrew W. Mellon proceeded to start out providing their purchasers a large number of crypto-related services spanning from custody to payments.

Similarly, the U.S. Bank, America’s fifth-largest industrial financial entity, additionally disclosed that it had been offering its clients a totally useful crypto custody service, aiding them in storing their personal keys for Bitcoin, Bitcoin money (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC) with facilitation from NYDIG. State Street and Northern Trust were among other influential U.S.-based money establishments to disclose similar plans.

At the beginning of the year, Nasdaq-listed Marathon Patent cluster went ahead with a $150 million purchase of Bitcoin as a part of its reserves, a call that was followed by social media juggernaut Twitter sanctionative a ‘crypto tipping’ possibility for its patrons. Not solely that, however, Jack Dorsey helmed payments supplier sq. additionally declared that it had been progressing to be allocating 5% — calculable to be price $170 million — of its assets to Bitcoin. Lastly, a variety of different companies as well as WeWork, AXA, and Substack also announced their call to start out acceptive payments in Bitcoin — a move that was aped by firms of a comparatively smaller market cap across the globe.

Another major topic of rivalry encompassing Bitcoin the past year was the asset’s environmental impact, with a rising quantity of studies revealing the crypto currency’s large annual power consumption. In recent months, however, a lot of mining companies are transitioning toward the utilization of renewable sources. For example, MintGreen, a Canada-based cleantech cryptocurrency mining outfit recently signed an agreement with Lonsdale Energy Corporation to produce heat generated from BTC mining to the residents of North Vancouver in British Columbia by the beginning of 2022.

Similarly, several alternative firms as well as CleanSpark and Bit Digital have transitioned toward a lot of environmentally acutely for the harvest of BTC. In fact, a study recently discharged points to the fact that hydroelectricity power is the commonest supply of energy for miners presently, with over 60% of all mining farms across the world utilising this renewable power medium to facilitate their day-after-day operations. 

Monetarily speaking, the augmented regulative pressure was combined by the actual fact that Bitcoin miners were able to generate over $15.3 billion in revenue, a variety that painted a year-on-year increase of 206% when put next to 2020. This could have caused governments to start out viewing ways in which to regulate this sector’s exponential growth.

In nations like India where the digital currency gave the impression to have gained a robust foothold over the previous few months, the govt was determined to begin observing ways in which of introducing new laws — specifically the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 — seeking to ban “private cryptocurrencies,” a term whose definition that has, however, to be created clear. That said, India remains keen on promoting the employment of blockchain technology and also as sure as different digital assets which will completely make up its regulative purview.

On 19th October 2021, we saw a historic movement bringing good news to crypto enthusiasts everywhere the globe, because it was the day the planet saw the debut of the world’s 1st Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock exchange. ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF became the world’s first U.S. exchange-traded fund supporting Bitcoin futures to be approved by the SEC, permitting investors across the board with a unique suggestion of investment within the premier cryptocurrency.

And as soon it touched the market it had attracted a record quantity of institutional capital. In fact, the demand was thus monumental that before long once its launch, the CME cluster — ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF’s parent establishment — had to file an application with the SEC asking the restrictive body to remove any restrictions touching on the most amount of contracts that one might supply respect to the ETF.

Moving into the new year, Bitcoiners everywhere on the planet are apprehensive to visualise how the future for the market looks, particularly with fears of inflation and economic instability looming massive across the globe. That said, it seems as if the scheme encompassing digital quality has continued to mature, with an increasing variety of conferences and meetups ready to take place in 2022. Also, as a progressively suburbanised future looms closer, more folks are starting to notice the importance of securing their BTC — especially within the approach they spend/receive their coins additionally to facilitate their transactions in a very personal manner.


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