As we usher in the New Year, let’s reflect back on the best Aha moments for crypto enthusiasts during 2019. There have been many ups and downs throughout the year. But what stands out are those moments when you learn of a certain bit of technology. Or maybe you hear some news that switches something on in your brain because of its uniqueness or its revolutionary elements. It’s those beautiful Eureka moments that make the cryptosphere that much more enjoyable during a bull run, and more tolerable during the darkest of crypto winters.
Because let’s face it, when the markets are bearish, the building continues. It even turns up a notch during a quiet and FOMO-less cryptoscape. So even while this year was not what many hoped it would be for bitcoin and altcoins, we still had many opportunities of discovery – for that sweet Eureka! moment. Whenever we have the chance to learn something new that is utterly OG, those are the very best crypto moments.
We’ve curated the Top 10 Aha moments for our crypto year in review for 2019. They include some of the very best moments of discovery and amazement, brought to you by the blockchain builders of the world. To them, we say thank you!!
#10 Wealth building tools now available to all
What surfaced in earnest during 2019 was a trend that put wealth management tools into the hands of anyone with an Internet device. No longer are hedge fund managers, brokerages and investment banks the only entities privy to elite financial and data tools. Crypto index funds and ETFs (among other things) showed us that with crypto, wealth building is for everybody.
#9 Newbies learn the tricks of the ‘trades’
The rate of newcomers to the crypto space picked up pace when bitcoin surged to over $12,000 in June of 2019. At the same time, crypto companies continued to educate this new audience to prepare them for crypto trading. Many of these newbies had never owned a stock, much less participated in trading on exchanges.
As the year went on, news and educational pieces on subjects like wash trading and buy and sell walls started to become par for the course for crypto businesses seeking to educate their users. So not only were newbies flocking to cryptocurrency, they were also getting a crash course in some of the Wall Street tactics that contributed to this need for new money.
#8 Financial privacy debuts as a human right
As regulations, particularly in the US, began to take shape, we realized that the governments would do what governments do – they would try to control crypto just like they have with all other assets and currencies. 2019 was also the year that Edward Snowden published his book, Permanent Record, outlining how US security agencies developed and implemented a mass surveillance program on its own people.
But bitcoin, as many crypto enthusiasts came to learn, cannot be regulated since there is no corporation, no owner, no CEO. The only thing they can do is regulate the on and off-ramps. Fortunately, bitcoin was devised in such a way that transactions do not require 3rd party banks, payment processors and credit card companies.
But one of the beautiful Aha moments that many of us experienced is that with bitcoin, and other privacy projects like Monero, MimbleWimble, and Grin, not only do they make the freedom to transact a basic human right, but they also enable us to the financial privacy we all deserve in this age of surveillance.
#7 Earning bitcoin becomes the thing to do
Not too long ago, the main way to earn bitcoin was to mine it. After that, traders began trying their hand making the most of bitcoin’s volatility. During 2019, the ‘earn bitcoin’ trend gained traction with companies like BlockFi and Lolli becoming popular ways for crypto enthusiasts to earn cryptocurrency.
With BlockFi, you hold a small amount of bitcoin in their account and earn crypto dividends. At Lolli, you simply download their extension and earn bitcoin when shopping at about 900 online locations.
Now that crypto exchanges are charging more and more to sell bitcoin to you (and even more to cash it out), earning is becoming more and more appealing. So it was perfect timing for many of us to learn about additional ways of stacking sats. Many people got their very first earning statement from BlockFi this year, while many more earned bitcoin shopping with Lolli at retailers from Walmart to Barnes & Noble for the very first time.
#6 Censorship resistance hops up to Internet level
Our year in review would not be complete without a nod to the decentralized Internet developing in our midst. With bitcoin, Ethereum, and other decentralized protocols, we’ve seen the foundation of censorship-resistant systems of money and governance take root. Projects like Unstoppable Domains, Open Application Network, and Bluzelle (and many more) worked all year on infrastructure projects for building a decentralized Internet.
Think….an Internet where Google is not firewalled for an entire country, or where political dissidents can’t have their Facebook page taken down.
#5 Wall Street moves in
Big banks, institutional investors and Wall Street all sharpened their gaze on the crypto economy in 2019. Early in the year, J.P. Morgan made their Valentine’s announcement that they would be rolling out their own coin to use with other banks for settlement. Traditional finance mainstays like Fidelity and Wells Fargo also jumped into the mix during 2019.
Between the financial sector’s interest in bitcoin and with Facebook announcing their Libra coin, it was a huge wake-up call to central banks worldwide. Apparently, they’ve had their own Aha moment. Because now they, too, are developing their own, central bank digital currencies.
#4 The Bitcoin/Gold Connection
Anyone joining the crypto space and following Crypto Twitter (CT) was bombarded with posts about gold in 2019. Most of them had never invested in gold other than to buy jewelry. It became clear that bitcoin and gold actually share a lot of characteristics.
During the year, it also became evident that Peter Schiff, though a firm disbeliever in bitcoin, would use the popular coin to increase engagement and educate crypto believers on the benefits of gold.
#3 Bitcoin is the best asset of the decade
Outperforming every asset during the last ten years, bitcoin has kept growing despite volatility, FOMO, and FUD. Say what you will about bitcoin, there’s hardly a reason not to invest in some when you look at its 10-year history.
#2 China’s double about-face
There were many false starts when it comes to cryptocurrency Aha moments out of China. We went from a complete ban of cryptocurrencies to a highly publicized ‘all in’ attitude on the blockchain.
Then we settled back into the old realization that if China allows cryptocurrency, it will be so they can economize their money system while firming up their grip on financial surveillance. Not to mention, they now are building financial tools to counteract trade wars and sanctions. Maybe even a new way to further demoralize the waning US dollar as the number one global reserve currency.
#1 Bitcoin miners fueling the green energy
Other than the false claim that most bitcoin advocates are criminals or scam artists, the other big criticism of bitcoin has been the high level of electricity usage required to maintain the Proof of Work protocol. Some critics claim that it goes against efforts to rein in our world’s dependence on fossil fuels.
But the facts were made crystal clear this year. Bitcoin miners, during the long crypto winter of 2018 (and its unwelcome comeback in mid-2019), became quite possibly our best advocates and implementers of green energy policy.
And with good reason. Within a bear market, they must still pay massive electricity costs even as the value of their earned income (bitcoin) reduces. One way they’ve overcome this dilemma is to cluster in areas where the cheapest energy sources are abundant, such as in Canada, China, and the Pacific North West. In fact, CoinShares reported in June that approximately 74% of the energy used by bitcoin miners comes from renewable sources like wind, solar and hydroelectric.
“Miners are still majorly confined to regions dominated by cheap hydro-power, such as Scandinavia, The Caucasus, The Pacific North West, Eastern Canada, and Southwestern China. We believe this to be a direct consequence of the extremely low electricity prices available in these regions, especially where the hydro-power is relatively under-utilized.” – CoinShares Report
2019 Crypto Year in Review – Aha Moments
Thank you for reading all the Aha moments experienced by cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide during the past year. We’re sure that there are many more instances that gave people that Eureka! moment feeling. What were some of your Aha moments of 2019? Share them with us on Twitter!