Blockchain & Crypto

How cryptocurrency and DeFi defied the odds in 2020


The highs and lows of the cryptocurrency market mirror much of the uncertainty felt by many people this year. While speculation and excitement naturally follow any developments in cryptocurrency, the widespread adoption of digital currencies by leading payment leaders like PayPal and Cash App signal a watershed moment for the future of money. 

Whether it’s bitcoin’s never-ending ascent or the constant emergence of new currencies, the renewed interest in the crypto space thrills newcomers and veteran investors alike. As we close out the year, here are some of our favourite cryptocurrency moments from December. 

Key takeaways:

  • As bitcoin hits record prices this month, will investors still have reason to celebrate in 2021?
  • According to a new survey from the deVere Group, two-thirds of millennials believe bitcoin is a better investment than gold.
  • Forbes shortlisted its biggest crypto stories of the year, including a profile of Coinbase’s CEO and the scoop on Visa’s cryptocurrency plans.
  • Russell Okung is setting a new trend by becoming the first National Football League player to receive his salary in bitcoin.
  • The new year will include the rise of stablecoins and China trailblazing how governments create new currencies, according to a leading expert.

Merry Bitmas 

Many crypto investors are celebrating the festive season with excitement about the continued rise of bitcoin. On Christmas Day, bitcoin reached a record price of $24,661, prompting cryptocurrency enthusiasts on social media to declare a very “Merry Bitmas” to all. 

Despite several national recessions and economic upheaval spurred by Covid, bitcoin’s fast-increasing value has delighted cryptocurrency watchers.

Some predict that bitcoin will top $30k before New Year’s Eve. Fintech experts believe its ascent means more people will take cryptocurrencies seriously in 2021, citing financial powerhouses like Goldman Sachs saying bitcoin threatens the gold standard.


Millennials choose bitcoin over gold 

It’s not just investment banks that think bitcoin has the edge. A recent survey from the deVere Group found that two-thirds of millennials believe bitcoin is a better investment than gold.

The financial consultancy polled 700 of its millennial clients across the globe, with 67% responding that the often volatile cryptocurrency was a safer choice of investment than gold, which has been a trusted store of value for thousands of years. 

While limited to deVere’s clients, the poll hints at shifting attitudes towards traditional versus cryptocurrency investment.

2020: the cryptocurrency edit 

With so many big headlines in 2020, it’s no surprise if some of the most important cryptocurrency stories may have slipped your attention.

Thankfully, Forbes has listed some of the year’s top pieces on cryptocurrency. Among them is a story about Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and his plans to make cryptocurrency safer. Other highlights include how an ex-US presidential candidate created a $10bn cryptocurrency and Visa’s partnership with a crypto startup.

Bitcoin payday for top US athlete 

The US athlete Russell Okung will be the first National Football League (NFL) player to receive his salary in bitcoin. Okung, who plays for the Carolina Panthers, is a vocal cryptocurrency investor and once tweeted, “Pay me in bitcoin,” in 2019.

Mobile payment provider, Strike, will grant Okung’s wish. The fintech company will receive half of his $13m pay in US dollars and automatically convert his salary into bitcoin for the sportsman. 

Although Okung is the first NFL player to make this move, it could set precedence in sports and beyond as more people become invested in bitcoin.

2021 cryptocurrency predictions

All eyes are on cryptocurrencies as we enter 2021. Given its incredible growth this year, expectations for 2021 are high. Overall, predictions point towards cryptocurrency investment becoming more formal through government initiatives. Also, traditional investors will deepen their cryptocurrencies portfolios like never before.  Experts foresee less volatility on the horizon, with the rise of stablecoins providing more reliability for long-term crypto investments. As cryptocurrencies transform from niche to mainstream investment, laws will also follow suit with the emergence of DeFi regulation and China pioneering innovation for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

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