2021 has been quite a chaotic year in some ways. But a lot of exciting progress (and setbacks) has been made in the crypto world regarding cryptocurrencies, regulations, exchanges, business, mining, and more. Let's walk on memory lane and recount crypto's best - and worst - moments in 2021.
Miner seizures and bans rampant
Iran Shuts Down 1620 Mining Farms, seized 45000 more ASICs, and then confiscated 7000 more ASICs a few months later. The great miner exodus from China is well known by now. Even Kazakhistan, once thought of as a progressive mining-friendly country, is starting to have energy crises as a direct result of the mining, forcing some crypto miners to move out.
On the flipside: Mining became more popular
Even among those areas which allow crypto mining, miners experienced long delays getting new mining hardware, caused in no small part by the global chip shortage. But as a result of even faster ASICs being produced, Bitcoin difficulty - and price - went through the roof this year. It resulted in more profits for the miners.
Ethereum mining on gaming hardware became so widespread that the graphics card company NVIDIA made an update to its GPUs that slows Ethereum mining down by up to 50% - and has invented its own mining GPUs for that purpose. Rival AMD did not jump on the bandwagon, though.
For a time, there were GPU shortages and even hard drive shortages from people buying disks in bulk to mine the Chia cryptocurrency on them.
South Korea makes crypto exchange rules more strict, forcing exchanges to make their KYC regulations more strict. It didn't seem to have gone too bad because most of the big players had successfully implemented the new requirements by the deadline. But the future looks bleak for some smaller exchanges, though.
Doge and Tesla
Dogecoin pumped thanks to tweets by Elon Musk - but then comes back to Earth - along with a host of other meme coins.
And while we're on that subject, Elon Musk's Tesla began accepting bitcoin, only to drop it last May due to environmental concerns of Proof-of-Work mining - and is now thinking of re-accepting Bitcoin again.
Size of the population accepting crypto ever-increasing
PayPal began its initiative to accept bitcoin payments with its payment processor, which became one of the catalysts for the Bitcoin boom.
Google has finally loosened crypto ad restrictions - certified publishers can now display cryptocurrency ads in the United States as long as they are registered with FinCEN or are a bank.
Bitcoin's Taproot upgrade has finally been activated. A few other cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed, such as Shiba Inu and Solana - minting a handful of millionaires in the process. NFT trading has also boomed in the past year into a profitable industry.
What Could Come Next?
Hungary has unveiled a bronze Satoshi Nakamoto statue inside Graphisoft Park, Budapest. It has an anonymous face and a bitcoin logo on its hoodie, reaffirming once again that we are all Satoshi.
Considering that there have been notable instances of people attempting to claim Satoshi's identity (the most prominent one coming from Craig Wright), the crypto world might see counter-lawsuits filed against those kinds of people in the coming year.
Here are some other events that also might take place next year:
- Some cryptocurrencies made in the future soar in popularity
- More countries to make Bitcoin legal tender and opening up to mining and ATMs
- More types of GPUs for crypto mining to be made
- Significant upgrades to be made to cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum.