Not all gloom: Here are 5 major wins for the crypto space in 2022

Temitope Akintade
Central African Republic launches official crypto, Sango Coin

After a year like the one we just had, it feels weird to put together a piece highlighting major wins for players in the crypto space. By all accounts, 2022 was the year that crypto losses took centre stage.

Investors’ sentiments waned, prices trended down throughout the year, crypto empires collapsed, and $2 trillion was wiped out from the value of the ecosystem, but through it all, we survived. 

Every crypto believer that made it through 2022 is a hero in their own right. And now that we’re about to cross the rubicon, it is time to reflect and count our blessings. Trust me, with all the year’s storms and upheavals, you will be surprised by what ‘Satoshi Nakamoto has done.’

Below are highlights of some of 2022’s standout wins for players in the crypto space.

1. Role of Crypto in the Russian-Ukraine war

Cryptocurrencies took on an unprecedented role in the war between Russia and Ukraine in February, helping the latter to raise millions of dollars to fund its fight against the latter’s invasion.

At the onset of the conflict, Ukrainian officials posted addresses for two crypto wallets on their Twitter accounts, giving donors a direct address to send contributions. 

The Ukrainian authorities also launched a website to centralise its crypto-based fundraising effort. This website explained that Ukraine is accepting several cryptocurrencies to support its fight against Russia and that it’s also open to fiat currency donations. More than $100m worth of crypto, majorly bitcoin, Ethereum, Tron, Polkadot and tether, was raised. 

That was a defining moment because it was the first time Crypto was used in a cross-border dispute. Its image was much-rehabilitated thanks to the vast amounts of humanitarian donations it facilitated.

We have now learnt that crypto is a more mainstream part of the global financial system. This means that for good or bad, it’s inevitably a part of international conflict too. 

Related post: A list of the biggest wins of the Nigerian tech ecosystem in 2022

2. Central African Republic adopting crypto 

The Central African Republic (CAR) became the first African country and the second globally, after El Salvador, to approve Bitcoin as a legal tender in April this year. It was a landmark achievement in the space, which was lauded by prominent blockchain personalities like Binance’s CZ. 

To follow up the development, CAR president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, rolled out a project aimed at expanding the country’s blockchain infrastructure, known as the “Sango Project.” The project concept includes several plans to attract worldwide crypto businesses and enthusiasts. According to its website, the Sango project aims to “pave the way to an unending digital future.” 

Top court in Central African Republic (CAR) rules against crypto purchase of 'e-residency' and 'land'- PhotoCredit: BenjaminDada

Despite facing backlash from international bodies like the IMF, the African country continues to wax stronger in its plans to connect the physical world to the metaverse representation while providing additional layers for future growth. Hopefully, more African countries will follow CAR’s footsteps in 2023 and beyond. 

3. The Ethereum Merge 

Amid the crypto contagion in the second half of the year, one positive event occurred. An update to the Ethereum blockchain called “The Merge,” went through its final stage in mid-September, and upon completion, the network became 99.99% more energy efficient.

The Merge had been in planning for years, and its numerous phases of testing, retooling and testing again stirred up a feeling that the update might not get completed. Because of its technical complexity and the increasingly large amount of money at risk, it was delayed multiple times. 

But immediately after the upgrade was declared successful in September, many in the space were able to breathe a sigh of relief. Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, called the Merge “the difference between early-stage Ethereum and the Ethereum we’ve always wanted.”

This is the first step in Ethereum’s big journey toward being a very mature system, and there’s still steps to go,”  He said on a YouTube live stream following the completion of the upgrade.

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Ethereum developers who ensured the biggest technological update in crypto history went smoothly were applauded globally. It was a monumental moment in the history of the blockchain, and the update was branded ‘the most important event after the release of bitcoin whitepaper.”

A lack of sustainability had always been a core complaint of Ethereum. Still, with its new structure, the network not only showed that it can change for the better but also that its community of developers and users was able to come together to make it happen.

This was a big win for players in the crypto space this year. 

4. Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover 

Although not strictly a crypto event, Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter was a win for the digital asset space. Elon Musk, a noted supporter of Dogecoin, took over as the new owner of Twitter on October 27, 2022. 

Elon Musk Twitter

Elon’s acquisition, being a figurehead in the crypto ecosystem (he persistently shills dogecoin and Tesla previously owned nearly $2 billion in bitcoin), was welcomed in the crypto community due to speculations that his ownership of the social media platform will result in future integrations with crypto technology, as well as a generally friendlier acceptance of the currencies.

Read also: Here are Africa’s biggest 5 tech events in 2022

Although Musk’s tenure as ‘Chief Twit’ has had its ups and downs, his acquisition is still largely seen as a positive development for Web3 and the digital asset ecosystem.

As he establishes himself on Twitter, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to announce other crypto-related products. For now, we can appreciate and reveal that he’s an ally of the industry.

5. Despite a difficult year, the technology is still standing 

Considering the storms, crises and inferno that besieged the crypto space in 2022, a win for all crypto players is that the industry is still standing strong. Sceptics can continue with their crypto is dead rhetoric, but the fact remains that the technology behind the blockchain is still alive and thriving. 

Crypto firms continue to soar in the quest for global presence and adoption. Among them, Binance has continued to engage in a series of partnerships to extend the scope of its operations and grow crypto adoption across the board. Throughout the year, the exchange obtained operational licenses from numerous countries, including Spain, France, the UAE, and many more. 

Is Blockchain Dead?

The largest exchange in the world also announced a partnership with Nigeria around September, although the details are still vague at the moment. Also, In the immediate wake of the FTX crisis, Binance launched a $1 billion recovery fund to help save distressed assets from imminent collapse. 

There is also rising adoption among countries and institutions. In November, a Brazilian legislative arm passed a bill approving the usage of cryptocurrencies as a payment medium. Influential firms, such as Standard Chartered and JPMorgan, have also made significant strides with cryptocurrencies. 

According to some reports, more investors are buying the dip with the confidence that BTC will bounce back soon. This means that the recent developments in the market have not discouraged the allure of holding the flagship digital asset.

As a result of all these landmark developments, the sphere has expanded its reach and sets itself in good stead to see an increase in adoption going into 2023. It can only get better from here.

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