Cryptocurrency markets

How the crypto world has changed in 5 years

How the crypto world has changed in 5 years
Traditional media notice cryptocurrencies only when they come into contact with big politics or economics, but the crypto world has been around for quite some time and not only exists, but grows and develops. My team and I got a little nostalgic here and decided to tell how the market and cryptocurrencies have changed over the past 5 years and understand in which direction the industry is moving.

Media attention and new users

For the first time, the cryptocurrency topic began to be at least somehow covered after the unknown bitcoin exceeded several hundred dollars, but attention was mainly attracted for market speculation on this unknown and unregulated asset.

Until the legendary 2017 rally, niche online media and publications on bitcointalk remained the main source of industry news. Now everything has changed - any RSS feed is replete with words like blockchain, bitcoin, tokens. Top American media write about the attitude of the new head of the SEC to cryptocurrencies, and Bloomberg leaks insights about large purchases of institutions and the entry of sites on the public market.
The level of media noise clearly correlates with the bitcoin rate, and you have probably heard about cryptocurrency, even if you don’t understand what it is in principle. This naturally led to an increase in interest from the general public and an influx of clients to:

    DeFi sites;
    investment companies offering cryptocurrency products.

The volumes of cryptocurrency transactions and the number of active wallets have grown tenfold. Here's a good example of the number of bitcoin addresses used:
If at the beginning of 2015 there were a little more than 200 thousand of them, then at the peak of prices at the beginning of 2021 - more than 900 thousand. And this situation is observed with almost all the coins from the TOP-10, although the TOP-10 is no longer the same as 5 years ago - more than half of the currencies included in it 5 years ago either did not exist at all, or the projects related to them have just started.

Well, the most vivid example is the growth of capitalization. In 2021, the crypto market crossed the $ 1 trillion mark. To say that this figure looked fantastic in 2015, when all the coins were worth less than 4 billion, is to say nothing.
How the crypto world has changed in 5 years

How the crypto world has changed in 5 years

Ease of use

Not only the media helped to achieve such results, but also the development of software. It is unlikely that Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, would have so many users if everyone had to download the full blockchain to register a wallet. The userfriendly cryptocurrency indicator has developed in many directions:

    storage - wallets with user-friendly design and even mobile applications for storing crypts have become a real breakthrough, showing that crypt is no less convenient than GooglePay. Not to mention hardware wallets that eliminate the need to generate printable cold storage keys.
    exchange - what wonderful times were when, to buy bitcoin, you had to chat with the owner on LocalBitcoin and bargain for the crypt, like for meat on the market. And only distant overseas exchanges (then even Chinese) and dubious exchangers offered to exchange BTC for it is not clear why the created LTC was offered.
    investing - in order to invest in a cryptocurrency, it was required to create a wallet and find where to buy it (read the previous paragraph).

From all this, in 5 years, the industry has grown into decentralized exchanges that don't even require email, automated market makers, automated investment algorithms, and investing in the traditional market through Grayscale or CME futures. To own a cryptocurrency, it is enough to register a wallet on any exchange (for example, Binaryx :)) by clicking on the link in the mail or downloading the application in AppStore | Google Play, and if the physical presence of the asset is not important, you can just buy several shares of the bitcoin fund.
Further more - for several years now, large exchanges like Coinbase and sites like CryptoCom, together with Visa, have been offering Europeans and Americans crypto cards that allow them to pay in the market with their hard-earned XRP or USDT. Is it worth reminding that millions of PayPal customers can become the owner of a cryptocurrency in two swipes? And soon they will also be able to pay for purchases with it.
New niches: ICO, IEO, DeFi and tokenization

Since the owner of Papa John's sold 2 pizzas for 10k BTC, people have realized that crypto has value. And if bitcoin is value in a vacuum, which is valuable already because it exists, then subsequent cryptocurrencies tried to prove their value by coming up with new formats and offering new services. For 5 years we have experienced:

    ICO boom - yes, far from the brightest moment in the history of cryptocurrencies, which ended in billions in losses of investors, but it was ICO that became the first way to invest in a developing and promising cryptocurrency (at first there were not so many of them). If it weren't for the ICO, we wouldn't have seen Ethereum, XRP, and most other second-generation coins.

    IEO - became the second stage of market development. It seems that market participants and new startups have realized that a whitepaper with smart words and a beautiful logo are not enough to attract investment. Yes, investors have ceased to like ICOs that have completely slipped into the scam. Then the key elements of the cryptocurrency ecosystem - exchanges - got down to business, turning into a kind of accelerators for crypto startups and a channel for pumping investments. Through IEO, projects like COSMOS and KAVA, who first invented staking, entered the world.

    DeFi is a real boom in 2020, services that for the first time allowed cryptocurrencies to compete with all the diversity of traditional finance. Thanks to DeFi, loans in cryptocurrency appeared, staking was unfolded in full force, and platforms that issue synthetic digital assets and wrapped tokens were unfolded. In addition, we learned that there are also farmers on the crypto market and they grow tokenized crops.

Now the crypto industry has become so strong that it is ready to enter the territory of the traditional market and it will do it through tokenization. Actually, we are already familiar with sites like Syntetix, which allow creating tokens linked to real assets, but this direction is developing.
Apparently, Switzerland will become the birthplace of mass tokenization, which has adopted a law on digital assets in DLT. They have already managed to tokenize elite wine and register a platform where such tokens can be legally sold and bought. Tokenization is a very cool thing (we are also developing this area on our platform), when it is not essential to own a physical asset, so it has already declared itself in the field of art, collectibles, and expensive wine for investment.

Out of the shadows and legalization

No, cryptocurrencies are not cocaine, so in 2015 it was unlikely to go to jail or receive a fine just for owning a cryptocurrency (with the exception of a few jurisdictions). However, the market and all coins remained in limbo for a very long time and without a certain status, which automatically closes access to the big capital market.

And in the last few years, regulators have begun to move. The period 2020-2021 generally became a breakthrough in several regions at once:

    Although China has banned the circulation of cryptocurrencies in the country, it has created a basis for regulating CDBC, which may very soon be useful to the West;
    The US has approved a cryptocurrency bank, allowed traditional banks to use stablecoins, and continue to embed crypto in the stock market (although it doesn't always end well);
    The EU does not shine with special breakthroughs, but in some countries like Estonia and Switzerland it is practically a paradise for blockchain startups. And all crypto platforms have forced AMLD to comply, which will increase trust from ordinary users.

In the United States, investment companies no longer look askance at the SEC every time they buy cryptocurrency in anticipation of sanctions or bans, and Canada is preparing to register the first ETF, which will make Bitcoin really massive.

Yes, in 5 years the cryptocurrency has lost one of its key features - anonymity. I had to pay for legalization with verifications, closing TON and putting up with the provision of information about transactions by exchanges to regulators. But in return, the crypt has gained recognition and is moving towards integration into the existing market, financial and social structures.

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