For crypto, 2022 is full of thrilling fluctuations. Against macroscopic factors such as geopolitical conflicts, global inflation, and soaring energy prices, the total market cap of crypto has kept dropping from $2 trillion since 2022 started. Over the months, crypto also witnessed a series of black swan incidents, which cast a shadow over the whole market. As they say, history is a mirror of the past and a lesson for the present. As we approach 2023, ViaBTC has worked out the top ten words of 2022 for the crypto industry. Now, let’s look back on the extraordinary year we’ve had in this industry.
According to blockchain security company, SlowMist Hacked, hacking incidents have led to losses of over $2.8 billion in the blockchain space. In particular, Ronin, a sidechain of leading GameFi project Axie Infinity, was hacked in March, and resulted in the theft of $625 million worth of crypto assets, making it the largest attack in the history of DeFi. The Ronin hack hurt the confidence in DeFi projects.
In October, BNB Chain, a public chain run by the top exchange Binance, was attacked, and hackers withdrew about 2 million BNB coins worth $560 million. This is by far the largest on-chain attack.
In addition to these two mega hacks, the blockchain industry has witnessed 892 security breaches this year. Although 2022 has been bearish for investors, it is bullish for hackers.
2. AC’s Exit
As a core figure in DeFi, Andre Cronje is the godfather of the category. Despite his status, AC announced that he will leave both crypto and DeFi, which was a huge shock to DeFi and even the crypto market. As a result, most tokens on YFI, FTM, and Fantom suffered drastic falls.
However, shortly after AC’s exit, on November 3, Fantom Daily tweeted that AC is back in the game. On November 9, AC’s LinkedIn page showed that he has become an Architect at Fantom Foundation, which officially acknowledged his comeback.
3. Crypto’s Lehman Brothers
The collapse of the Terra empire, which was worth tens of billions of dollars, made things even worse, not to mention the butterfly effects it triggered. Following Terra, Three Arrows Capital and BlockFi were both trapped in liquidity crises and eventually filed for bankruptcy due to insolvency. Additionally, FTX, which used to be one of the top five crypto exchanges in the world, also went bust, which, once again, destroyed the confidence in crypto. Meanwhile, Solana, a trending public chain project last year, was hit hard, and its on-chain ecosystem started falling apart, with the TVL of many projects almost dropping to zero. With those incidents, one must admit that in the crypto space, any project, regardless of its size and scale, can instantly fall to pieces.
4. The Merge
Although 2022 has been bleak, there was a glimmer of light, and the Merge was one of the few crypto highlights this year. After eight long years, Ethereum finally implemented that historic change. As the total terminal difficulty (TTD) reached 58,750,000,000T, the Merge was officially activated on September 15, 2022. Following the successful merge of the mainnet and the Beacon Chain, PoW has become a thing of the past, and Ethereum ushered into a new PoS era.
The concept of Soulbound Token (SBT) was proposed by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin in an article titled Soulbound published this January. The word comes from the famous game World of Warcraft. In this game, soul-bound items cannot be sold or bought in the market, nor can they be given, meaning that they can only be used by the player himself.
In late August, Vitalik Buterin released a new book Proof of Stake and joined Gitcoin in stating that one SBT will be offered to all donors, regardless of the amount. That promotion helped SBT, a new term, gain traction in the crypto community. Later on, BAB, a new project developed by BNB Chain based on the notion of SBT, went live, which brought the SBT boom into full play.
6. Move to Earn
Yes, you heard it right. You can actually earn money by running. In Q1 2022, a Web3 application called STEPN went viral overnight. With peak daily active users of over 200,000 and more than a million downloads, the project redefined the GemaFi paradigm. After the boom of STEPN, many copycat projects appeared, including those that rug-pulled their users.
7. New Public Chains
The public chain category has always been a vital piece on the board. Previously, new public chains often advertised themselves as Ethereum killers aiming to take down the big boss. However, today’s public chain sector is undergoing subtle changes: Some new chains have decided to rely on the Ethereum ecosystem and address the scaling problem of the network; some have focused on building an app ecosystem for NFTs to attract users with decent NFT projects; and some others have dedicated themselves to solving the blockchain trilemma.
This year, the public chain category presented us with great projects like Aptos, Sui, and Aleo. In fact, most projects that thrived in a bull market had built a solid foundation against bearish market conditions, which prepared them for the bullish boom, and we also hope to see more successful new public chains in 2023.
Some crypto investors made a fortune during airdrops conducted by projects like ENS, DYDX, and UNI last year. This year, Aptos, a hit project in 2022, started another airdrop craze with its official airdrop.
Aptos announced the official launch of its mainnet Aptos Autumn on October 18 and said that it will offer APT airdrops to addresses that meet the interaction requirements. During the airdrop, 20 million APT coins were airdropped to 110,235 testnet users. Based on the APT price at the time (about 7 USDT), Aptos airdropped over $1,000 to each participant on average.
9. Bankruptcy of Listed Mining Companies
2022 has been particularly harsh on crypto miners. This year, Ethereum switched PoS, which wiped out billions of dollars’ worth of mining businesses. Following the Merge, huge hashrates are left unused, and many miners had to face unemployment. This year, the electricity fee in many places skyrocketed, which kept reducing the profit margins of mining, and many models fell below their shutdown price. This year, as the BTC price kept falling, miners continued to dump their cryptos, and many listed mining companies faced a hard time, some of which have already filed for bankruptcy.
Of the many Layer2 solutions like Arbitrum, Optimistic, and Loopring, ZK Rollup has earned investor recognition with higher efficiency and improved security, and Layer2 has also become a buzzword in 2022. Meanwhile, as the zkSync2.0 mainnet officially went live on October 28, zkSync, which is based on ZK Rollup, became the first live ZK L2 compatible with Ethereum. In the future, the Layer2 race will become fiercer.
The crypto winter has come, will spring be far behind?
We are confident 2023 will bring new momentum to crypto!