To borrow from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, 2022 is not a year on which the cryptocurrency world shall look back with undiluted pleasure. Crashes, contagion, collapses came in such quick succession that investors were, towards the end of the year, asking serious existential questions. After all, the largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, has not kept its head above water for more than a week at a time, and is down about three-quarters from last November’s $69,000 peak. The market value of the 22,000-odd tokens and coins is now at less than a third of the peak $3 trillion in November 2021, and many of them are comatose, if not outright dead. That’s been a brutal reality check for an industry that kicked 2022 off with dreams of widespread mainstream institutional adoption, of bitcoin supplanting even gold as the world’s inflation hedge, as well as endorsements from the likes of Tesla Inc chief Elon Musk and the wild celebration of billion-dollar non-fungible tokens. Not only did cryptocurrencies get slammed by the Fed’s uber hawkishness, their slide also triggered the crash of a stablecoin called TerraUSD, that then wrought a ‘Lehman moment’ as funds and brokers such as Celsius and Voyager went bankrupt.
Full story : Cryptocurrencies at crossroads after annus horribilis.