With plenty of moments to choose from, the cryptocurrency world has been rife with drama this year.
News that made you laugh, cry, seethe with anger, or left you completely speechless, 2021 has produced a myriad emotional rollercoasters for all of society, but today we focus on those affected in the crypto realm.
1. El Salvador makes Bitcoin legal tender
In news that stunned many globally, El Salvador became the first and only country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar.
President Nayib Bukele announced the news in June this year with it becoming legally officially in September in a move Bukele said will “generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands”.
While many praised the maverick leader’s forward-thinking and bravery to lead his nation into an unprecedented situation, protests broke out in El Salvador with thousands of its citizens unhappy with his decision arguing authoritarianism ruled the country, rather than democracy.
2. China bans cryptocurrency
China’s complicated relationship with cryptocurrency culminated in the nation stating all transactions of crypto were illegal.
With China being one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets in the world, the ban hit the industry hard with Bitcoin falling by more than $2,000 (£1,460) in the wake of the news.
Those involved in cryptocurrency activities would be prosecuted, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBC). The decision impacted China’s Bitcoin mining industry, and the hash rate plummeted from 44% to zero between May and July.
3. Saylor bets big on Bitcoin
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor couldn’t stop buying Bitcoin this year as his software company owns holds more Bitcoin than any other publicly listed company in the world.
The firm bought a staggering $1bn worth of Bitcoin earlier this year, as well as its raise of $400m to buy more Bitcoin in June and investing a further $177m to its Bitcoin holdings in August.
Saylor has spoken numerous times about his support of the cryptocurrency and said at the recent Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami that “I have to buy as much as I can, as fast as I can or someone will figure this out and I won’t be able to”.
4. Tesla buying Bitcoin
Car manufacturer Tesla broke the internet after announcing its purchase of $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin.
Owned by Elon Musk, the billionaire had very much made his feelings known about cryptocurrency on Twitter and quickly demonstrated his influence on the market, by changing his Twitter bio to just ‘Bitcoin’, where the price of the crypto surged from $33,000 to $38,000.
Despite Tesla’s intention to accept Bitcoin as payment, Musk suspended the plans due to the energy it would use to mine the crypto.
Musk, however, announced this month that Tesla will begin accepting Dogecoin as payment for merchandise.
5. Poly Network $600m hack
In what was one of the biggest cryptocurrency hacks ever, the Poly Network suffered a cyber attack where a hacker made away with $600m worth of crypto.
The Poly Network, a decentralised finance platform, established contact with the hackers after confirming the attack on its Twitter page and pleaded with them to return the crypto they stole.
After initially returning nearly half of the $600m worth of crypto, the hacker ended up returning everything they stole and was subsequently offered the position of Chief Security Advisor on the Poly Network team.