Congratulations on making it through one of the craziest years in the history of cryptocurrencies! Do you find it hard to believe? Here are the ten crypto news headlines that defined 2022 and made it a year to remember.
Canada Authorizes Emergency Rules to Cut Off Protesters’ Access to Funds, Including Crypto
The original article was published in Decrypt on February 15, 2022.
The year started with the news of the “Freedom Convoy” — truckers protesting against mandates on COVID-19 vaccination — sweeping through Canada, asserting their rights and disrupting communities. The government had to act, and they chose to do so against the protest, to no one’s surprise. Initially, the demonstrations were funded through GoFundMe and GiveSendGo, fundraising platforms, and raised $18.2 million CAD. The former became the first to close off the air supply by blocking the donations but the protesters quickly pivoted to Bitcoin. This is not the point where crypto comes into the story — Bitcoiners, Crypto Twitter, Jesse Powell, and Elon Musk had already voiced their support for the movement by then.
The move may have significantly damaged the truckers’ funding but in turn, it rallied anti-censorship activists to support the cause, too. “Freedom Convoy”-associated crypto addresses collected $700 thousand in BTC. The next step in the chain of events was unprecedented: Justin Trudeau invoked the 1988 Emergencies Act on February 14, extending it to the bank accounts associated with the protesters’ addresses. While it did raise the concern that government can stop you from cashing out crypto, maxis were unimpressed: the BTC accounts were still perfectly fine to use.
The emergency state lasted from February 21 to February 23. By then, the law enforcement clearout was complete and the active phase of the protest has come to an end. The economy and logistics suffered billions of dollars in losses from blockades and city occupations. The proposed mandate was not made into law, and a few months later, most of the restrictions were lifted anyway.
Following A Hefty Penalty, BlockFi To Offer The First SEC-Registered Crypto Interest-Bearing Security
The original article was published in Cryptoslate on February 16, 2022.
For the crypto lender BlockFi, 2022 has been a tough year (and probably, the final one) but not without silver linings. In early 2022, it was lauded as one of the companies that could achieve breakthrough progress for regulations in crypto.
In February, BlockFi settled a lawsuit against SEC for a record $100 million fine but instead of giving up on the product (BlockFi Interest Accounts) that drew the regulator’s attention, pledged to receive proper registration for it. However, this would not come to fruition, as the events took a turn for the worse. BlockFi appeared in the news after a user data leak, down round, layoffs, and another lawsuit, all in the first half of 2022.
A tough streak briefly concluded after the lender shed light on the crisis at Three Arrows Capital and secured a credit facility itself. Plot twist: the party providing the bailout was none other than FTX, which briefly later sought to buy BlockFi outright. After FTX collapsed in November, BlockFi suspended withdrawals, and by the end of the month, filed for bankruptcy.
Yoon Suk-yeol, Who Pledged To Deregulate South Korea’s Crypto Sector, Wins Presidential Election
The original article was published in The Block on March 9, 2022.
The South Korean presidential race became a crypto story when the Conservative candidate promised to introduce “negative regulation” to help the digital economy grow without hindrance. Yoon proposed easing the taxation of crypto yields as an example. In the election on March 8, 2022, he won with a margin of less than 1%.
Nonetheless, it was too early to relax the digital asset framework, as in the following months South Korea would become a hotspot for another news story of the year — the Terra crash. The authorities are still after the infamous founder of the failed project, Do Kwon, for violation of the capital markets act. Do, of course, denies this law applies to Terraform Labs.
EU Votes In Favor Of Sweeping Crypto Laws Targeting ‘Unhosted Wallets’
The original article was published in Protos on April 4, 2022.
The EU had a productive year when it came to crypto legislation. The problem is, not all of it was put forward with a sufficient understanding of the matter. In April, the legislation that proposed tracing all operations in crypto, regardless of the sum, was approved by EU lawmakers. This would include individuals’ personal wallets in its scope, so needless to say, the initiative was firmly criticized in the crypto community. The law’s rationale included poorly researched statements, such as strictly criminal use of crypto or law enforcement’s inability to trace cryptocurrency transactions.
Luckily, some other initiatives hailing from the EU legislators made this year, show more promise. The economic region is preparing to launch digital euro and tokenized securities in 2023. Even sooner than that, the EU is aiming to instate the Markets in Crypto Assets law, which the industry experts evaluated as a welcome step toward the long-awaited regulatory clarity.
Terra (LUNA) Getting Annihilated as UST Loses Its Peg
The original article was published in U.Today on May 9, 2022.
This headline came out in the midst of the ongoing Terra and LUNA crash and summarized the situation pretty much perfectly. Whether it was a coordinated attack on UST as proponents thought or a fundamental design flaw, the spiral of death was already in motion. One of the top-10 cryptocurrencies of 2021, LUNA lost almost all of its value in mere days due to supply dilution from smart contract seigniorage going awry.
Not only thousands of LUNA holders lost all their crypto investments, but the crypto market also took a nose dive, shedding $200 billion in total market capitalization over the week that followed. This caused a massive contagion event, which brought down a few companies of all calibers, from Celsius to Three Arrows Capital.
British Virgin Islands Court Reportedly Orders To Liquidate 3AC
The original article was published in Cointelegraph on June 29, 2022.
Like the previous headline, the Cointelegraph’s article was published at the culmination of the developing story. What even happened there in the first place?
Three Arrows Capital (3AC) was a top crypto hedge fund established in 2012 by Kyle Davies and Su Zhu. It engaged with many, many protocols to generate revenue, including Terra and BlockFi. The latter was one of its creditors that first rang the alarm when 3AC failed to meet its margin calls. It also caused Voyager Digital to file for bankruptcy and worsened the contagion from the LUNA fallout.
Testimonies claiming 3AC refused to answer margin calls and got liquidated, as well as other rumors, swirled as Su Zhu went off the radar. 3AC quickly became notorious as more details about its operations came to light. For example, their positions in UST and LUNA, built with high-leverage trades of counterparty funds, were worth about $560 million and were put into Anchor Protocol without the knowledge of counterparties.
The hedge fund was forced to liquidate, bringing down its unwilling counterparties like Voyager and BlockFi with it. 2008 showed that no bank is too big to fail, and this year, the crypto world had its moment to learn this lesson, too.
Tornado Cash Suspected Developer Collared By Dutch Authorities
The original article was published in Bitcoinist on August 12, 2022.
On August 12, the news of Alex Pertsev’s arrest broke, to many crypto enthusiasts’ shock. The developer of an Ethereum smart contract for transaction obfuscation was given no clear charges, on the suspicion of facilitation of money laundering.
At the time, the news surrounding Tornado Cash was not too optimistic already. Before that, on August 8, the US Treasury sanctioned the smart contracts of Tornado Cash, alleging it was used by Lazarus Group to launder digital currencies. It was the first time when smart contracts were sanctioned, leading to a brief period of chaos and confusion.
Some community members pondered whether it was the same confusion on the part of the Dutch authorities that forced them to apprehend the person who wrote the contract. After all, save for the reason above, no clear charges have been put forward even now. Other community members are shocked that Alex Pertsev will be detained until early 2023 for a court hearing, while Do Kwon and Su Zhu walk free and give out interviews.
Ethereum Makes History With Merge to Proof-of-Stake
The original article was published in CryptoBriefing on September 15, 2022.
And now it’s a turn for some good news. A long-awaited event, the Ethereum merge, was finally activated on September 15, 2022. The update was years in the making due to its sheer complexity: to merge a consensus layer that ran on Proof-of-Stake since 2020 with the transaction layer, which was validated by miners, all without a second of downtime.
Ethereum finally got rid of the burden of Proof-of-Work’s environmental impact. Even though it did not stop the NFT market from blowing up in 2021, the ecological argument was frequently levied against crypto adoption. Liquid staked Ether also played a part in the crash of Celsius and 3AC, although without stETH and Lido it would have happened with any other protocol.
Google Selects Coinbase To Take Cloud Payments With Cryptocurrencies And Will Use Its Custody Tool
The original article was published in CNBC on October 11, 2022.
Another cautiously optimistic trend of 2022 can be noticed with Google. While the tech giant isn’t endorsing cryptocurrencies outright, it gradually introduces features relevant to Web3 and gives more opportunities to crypto users. One of them is collaborating with Coinbase to bring cryptocurrency payments to Google Cloud.
Google is also working with Aptos and Solana, as they have announced recently. Users will be able to run a node on these networks with Google Cloud and query data on these blockchains. In October, a few days after Hetzner Online shut down hosting for crypto services, Google announced a blockchain node engine. In other words, the IT giant’s recently formed Web3 division is diligently at work.
Divisions in Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire Blur on His Trading Titan Alameda’s Balance Sheet
The original article was published in CoinDesk on November 2, 2022.
Last but not least, one of the most impactful headlines of 2022: arguably, it was the impetus for the FTX’s demise. The story, reported by Ian Allison and citing a private financial document available to the outlet, was enough to make Changpeng Zhao consider selling Binance’s stake in FTT (which then caused a chain of events leading to FTX’s downfall). The journalist took a risk, basing a report on a single unverifiable source, but the later discoveries proved it to be correct and turned the report into a groundbreaking publication.
Even almost two months later, this is a developing story. Almost every day there is an update on the details of the case, which became a matter of federal importance in the US. Sam Bankman-Fried is extradited to the US from the Bahamas, where FTX was registered. Several executives pleaded guilty but were hit with additional fraud charges. FTT is ruled to be a security by the SEC. Politicians refund the donations from the exchange, while others are warned FTX will seek clawbacks. And all these events happened during the past 24 hours alone!
What a year, huh! Almost all of these events had a resounding impact on the crypto industry, and we will continue to see the impact well into the new year. Watch out for the digital euro, unlocking of staked Ether, or more crypto endeavors from Google — 2023 shapes up to be a ride, too.
We hope 2022 had its bright moments for you, too. If you enjoyed this recap, give the other articles in our blog a read. We are also on social media: follow ChangeHero on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Telegram.