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As 2019 finally comes to an end, we close out not just a single year, but a rather wild decade. Starting tomorrow, the 2020s will come roaring in, ready to spread joy throughout the land of bitcoin and its altcoin counterparts. Let’s look back at some of the biggest stories to occur surrounding cryptocurrency over the past ten years and how they’ll influence the coming months.
The Development of Bitcoin
While bitcoin wasn’t necessarily born in the 2010s (the whitepaper supporting its creation stems back to the year 2008), it did come about during this decade. We saw the currency rise to fruition and become one of the leading financial tools throughout the space.
While still widely used for speculative purposes, bitcoin has become a method of payment for goods and services through companies like Overstock.com, which first announced that it would be accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment in 2014.
From there, we have seen several other platforms, such as Bakkt – the institutional crypto trading platform owned and governed by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) – open the doors for crypto enthusiasts looking to utilize digital cash to purchase items of their choosing, i.e. Starbucks drinks and merchandise.
Hacks, Scams and Exchange Thefts
The development of new technology leads to a lot of good in the world, but it also presents new dangers and security threats. Cybersecurity is constantly having to “up” itself thanks to the many vulnerabilities that have become prevalent in the digital financial arena.
The development of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has led to some major thefts which have occurred over the last ten years. Perhaps one of the biggest ones that comes to mind is Mt. Gox, which occurred in February of 2014. The Japan-based crypto trading platform saw more than $400 million in BTC funds disappear overnight, and much of that money remains unreturned at the time of writing.
The fact that such an event could occur roughly four years ago and still hold so much precedence is a scary thought, though Mt. Gox is small compared to the Coincheck disaster which occurred roughly four years later.
In January of 2018, another crypto exchange in Japan called Coincheck was attacked and lost more than half-a-million dollars in assorted crypto funds. The event was so big that it got Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) to get involved in the regulation of crypto, something that hadn’t really occurred before. It can be argued that this event ultimately led to many arguments regarding how digital currencies can and should be regulated by monetary authorities.
While the 2010s are disappearing for good, the knowledge we’ve garnered from these past years shouldn’t vanish with them and must be maintained to prevent future problems and boost cryptocurrency’s still developing reputation.