The big crypto moments of 2019
1. Facebook announced its ‘Libra’ Cryptocurrency
The largest media story of 2019 hands down must go to the Facebook announcement of its own Digital Currency named Libra. When news of this story broke, bitcoin and the crypto market in general hit a 2019 all time high. However, after the initial hype died down, regulators began to pour cold water on the idea. There was significant push back from traditional currency sectors and in turn a significant amount of supporting companies began to withdraw support. Regardless of this Zuckerburg said they will keep moving forward with Libra. Time will tell whether Facebook will get Libra over the line.
2. Craig Wright and the Satoshi Nakomoto Saga
Probably the biggest crypto feud of 2019 is the claim from Craig Wright that he is the real ‘Satoshi Nakomoto’. For those not aware, Wright is the driving force behind Bitcoin SV, a fork of Bitcoin cash which he claims follows the true vision of Bitcoin. Wright spent most of 2019 fighting on multiple fronts. This included legal appearances, attacks on social media, and the delisting of Bitcoin SV from some of the largest exchanges in the world. In a very awkward public encounter with the creator of the HEX cryptocurrency, Wright was publicly questioned about his claims, which made for an interesting video which has since gone viral.
3. Growth of the Lightning Network
The Lightning Network is a ‘Layer 2’ payment protocol that utilises Bitcoins smart contract system to create an ‘off-chain’ payment system, which is perfect for extremely fast point of sale purchases, tips and transactions. A ‘Bitcoin Lightning Torch’ was started as a promotional test by the enthusiastic community. This test started with one transaction of 100,000 satoshis, with each person receiving the transaction adding 10,000 of their own satoshis. It became so popular that even the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey became involved.
4. Trump Tweets about Bitcoin
In an unexpected communication, the US president weighed in with his thoughts on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. This was around the time Facebook had announced its Libra crypto, with president Donald Trump pouring cold water on the idea of an alternative currency and ensuring the world was aware of his pro US dollar stance. Considering his position this was not a shock to anyone.
5. Ethereum Forks
The second most valuable cryptocurrency in the world has finally forked after a long period of discussion and preparation. Ethereum officially completed its ‘Istanbul’ fork which improves the speed and efficiency of the Ethereum ecosystem. Ether’s USD price grew on the back of this news, as well as rising against the BTC price. At the helm of Ethereum is Vitalik Buterin, who lives and breathes blockchain. He has also become a phenomenon on twitter with in depth discussions on all things blockchain.