As we wrap up yet another exciting year in cryptocurrency, it is time to look back at some of the defining moments of this turbulent market in 2022
With just hours until another year arrives and 2022 slips out of sight, there is no better opportunity than now to take a look back at all of the crypto’s noteworthy moments throughout this past year.
10. “The Crocodile of Wall Street” gets arrested (February)
In February, the U.S. Justice Department unveiled its largest-ever seizure of financial assets after arresting two people who conspired to launder $5.1 billion in Bitcoin stolen during a 2016 hack of the Bitfinex currency exchange. Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan were apprehended by federal agents in New York City. Morgan, who is believed to have gone by the pseudonym “razzlekhan” on social media, promoted herself as an aspiring rapper, entrepreneur and Forbes contributor prior to her arrest. She referred to herself as “the infamous crocodile of Wall Street.”
9. Joe Biden’s executive order brings more clarity (March)
In March, U.S. President Joe Biden published an executive order concerning government oversight of cryptocurrency. He mentioned that this move is meant to secure the nation’s financial system from threats like illicit financing and also increase fairness, efficiency and inclusiveness. The EO was generally praised within the cryptocurrency community as a welcome step forward.
8. Shiba Inu enters metaverse (April)
The Shiba Inu team introduced a virtual world which it dubbed SHIB: The Metaverse in April. It promises to give land owners an opportunity to generate passive income and generate various rewards. Throughout the year, the meme coin also secured several metaverse-related partnerships.
7. The EU comes close to banning Bitcoin (March)
A proposed ban, if adopted, would effectively have prohibited the mining of new Bitcoins through the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus in the EU.
However, after further deliberations, European regulators decided to scrap it as part of a revision of the MiCA legislation.
6. Ronin Network gets drained by North Korean hackers (March)
Ronin Network, which is tied to popular blockchain gaming title Axie Infinity, had $615 million worth of Ether and USDC tokens stolen in March.
Later, U.S. authorities determined that the infamous Lazarus Group, which is linked to the North Korean government, is responsible for the record-breaking heist.
5. Ethereum’s Merge upgrade and Cardano’s Vasil hard fork go live (September)
The major upgrade, labeled the Merge, was finalized in September to much fanfare. The end result of this upgrade shifted the popular blockchain from a proof-of-work system to a proof-of-stake system, thus eliminating the energy-consuming mining process that was associated with Ethereum before.
In the same month, Cardano launched its Vasil upgrade after facing delays and technical obstacles. It came one year after the Alonzo hard fork.
4. Bitcoin plunges to fresh two-year low (November)
On Nov. 21, Bitcoin extended its yearlong slide, plunging to a new yearly low of $15,479. The cryptocurrency was down more than 77% from its recent peak, with the Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy and a string of bankruptcies contributing to the sell-off.
3. Celsius goes underwater (July)
The cryptocurrency lending sector was shaken to its core when Celsius Network declared bankruptcy, becoming the latest victim of a massive liquidity crisis. This came after Celsius unexpectedly suspended withdrawals for its customers, causing a market sell-off.
2. Terra implodes, Do Kwon on the run (May)
The cryptocurrency market saw tremendous losses in value after Luna and sister stablecoin TerraUSD collapsed. TerraUSD lost its peg, undermining faith in the centralized stablecoin.
Amid all this, there has been even more controversy as Interpol has posted a Red Notice for Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs. Kwon’s location has since been unknown, but he is rumored to be hiding in Serbia.
1. FTX files for bankruptcy, SBF ends up behind bars (November)
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after losing nearly $32 billion in value in only days. U.S. authorities also charged Sam Bankman-Fried with defrauding investors. He was arrested in the Bahamas, extradited to the U.S and released on a $250 million bail. The stunning downfall of the wild-haired crypto mogul, which is comparable to that of Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling and Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes, is undoubtedly the biggest crypto story of the year. The FTX saga is already getting the Hollywood treatment, with streaming giants vying to secure rights.