What a year it’s been. As we get closer to 2023, we’re becoming nostalgic and thinking back on what went right (and horribly wrong) in 2022. 2022 has undoubtedly been one of the most… eventful… years in cryptocurrency history. The sector has altered dramatically over the course of the year, as prices have fallen and the excesses of 2021 have been washed away.
Top 5 Heroes
5. Michael Saylor
The fifth slot on the list goes to everyone’s favorite Bitcoin permabull. Saylor has suffered a $3.4B loss in 2022 as BTC has plunged more than 63 percent YTD. Saylor’s plan is debatable in light of his performance, but his commitment is remarkable. Throughout the slump, Saylor has continued to purchase while avoiding every other asset available. There is no such thing as a second-best TradFi ape.
4. Anthony Sassano
While not as well-known as Saylor, Anthony Sassano deserves to be included on this list. Sassano is the creator of The Daily Gwei newsletter and YouTube channel, where he offers free, informative information about Ethereum. Anthony is as steady as the block production on the chain he follows, consistently delivering incredibly valuable news.
Cobie is regarded for being one of the most legendary traders in crypto, but in 2022 he shown a generous side. Cobie made headlines this year for his gifts to Twitch broadcasters and for contributing $100,000 to atozy’s defense against a spurious BitBoy lawsuit. Cobie even allowed atozy retain the money after BitBoy abandoned the suit, demonstrating his compassion.
ZachXBT has done God’s work as one of crypto’s top self-regulators in 2022. The anonymous on-chain detective has uncovered several frauds, rugs, and unethical business practices within the sector. ZachXBT’s efforts are extremely brave, since he is putting his personal safety at danger by sharing his exposés and helping to make cryptocurrency a safer and more ethical arena.
1. The Merge Devs
The Merge developers top our list of heroes. The developers, who included Hsiao-Wei Wang, Parithosh Jayanthi, Marius Van Der Wijden, Ben Edgington, Tim Beiko, and Danny Ryan, achieved one of the most momentous technical feats in crypto history by switching Ethereum from Proof-Of-Work to Proof-Of-Stake. What makes this achievement more astounding is that the merger went ahead without a hitch, despite the task’s intricacy, constant diversions from the lunacy of 2022, and the enormous stakes of managing a $200 billion network.
Top 5 Villian
5. Richard Heart
Richard Heart is ranked fifth on our list. Heart is not only the creator of the very contentious token HEX, but he has also enraged many with his extravagant and rude displays of riches.
4. Alex Mashinsky
The Celsius CEO plunged his company into the ground owing to inadequate risk management and excessive risk-taking. That wouldn’t strictly put him on this list, but Mashinsky and Celsius executives withdrew millions of dollars in the weeks leading up to the platform suspending withdrawals and declaring bankruptcy. Mashinsky famously donned a shirt that said, “Bankers aren’t your buddy.” That may be true, but Mashinsky isn’t.
3. Su Zhu and Kyle Davies
As previously said, 3AC’s demise wrought havoc on the business. Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, its prominent co-founders and super-cycle proponents, enter our list, especially following charges that they twice pledged collateral and misrepresented their financial condition to lenders. Su Zhu publicly stated on Twitter that Ethereum has abandoned its users… However, it appears that 3AC abandoned its creditors and morality in its pursuit of leverage.
2. Do Kwon
Do Kwon comes in second on our list. The algorithmic stablecoin creator coupled bad protocol design with irresponsible risk-management practices, such as backing UST with Bitcoin. Kwon didn’t help matters with his tweets, notably claiming that “DAI would DAI” with his hand while commanding an army of Lunatics at anybody who tried to criticize him or his actions.
1. Sam Bankman-Fried
Nobody should be surprised, but SBF is the worst villain of 2022. He stole $8 billion and committed one of the most heinous financial crimes in history. The newly detained SBF has caused immeasurable damage to the space. He will most likely spend a lengthy period in prison. Goodbye, sir.
Top 5 Worst Moment
5. Tornado Cash Sanctions
There’s a reason why many in crypto believe the court system is biased against the business. While many of cryptocurrency’s most heinous fraudsters and swindlers are still at large, Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev was detained in July following OFAC penalties on the system. Alexey’s imprisonment is one of the most unfair occurrences of 2022, for just designing code to defend privacy, a human right.
4. The Collapse of Terra
Terra’s demise was one of the most massive capital destruction events in human history, with LUNA and UST losing more over $60 billion in total value in a hyperinflationary death spiral. The algorithmic stablecoin’s fall was bad enough in and of itself, but it exacerbated the financial crisis and the accompanying contagion that wrecked havoc on CeFi.
3. The Collapse of 3AC
The collapse of Three Arrows Capital, formerly an industry behemoth, had a catastrophic impact on the industry. The hedge fund took out multiple uncollateralized loans in order to purchase assets and engage in unsuccessful techniques such as the GBTC discount trade. The 3AC implosion triggered a large sell-off as their positions were liquidated, wiping out more over $1T in crypto market cap and leaving a path of CeFi corpses in its wake, including Celsisus, BlockFi, and Voyager.
2. The Ronin and Wormhole Cross-Chain Hacks
Cross-chain bridges are dangerous! It’s a lesson we’ve learned time and time again as billions of dollars have been stolen in bridge hacks. Wormhole, a cross-chain messaging system, and the bridge for Ronin, an L1 that hosts the P2E game Axie Infinity, were two of the most notable losses in 2022. More than $1 billion was stolen from these two protocols, with the Ronin attack being particularly severe because it happened owing to poor private key management and aided in the imposition of OFAC penalties against Tornado Cash.
1. The Collapse of FTX
Is there anything else? The FTX debacle exposed a significant scam in which CEO Sam Bankman-Fried used client deposits as his personal slush fund to buy real estate, engage in startup companies, make political donations, and make loans to his hedge fund, Alameda Research. Over the next months and years, FTX will be a blot on the industry.
However, if there is a silver lining to this issue, it is that it has once again highlighted the significance of decentralization and self-custody. NOT YOUR COINS, NOT YOUR KEYS.
Top 4 Best Moments
4. Crypto Supports Ukraine
Crypto has shown to be a highly successful instrument for facilitating political donations in a timely, efficient, and permissionless manner. Tens of millions of dollars have been contributed to Ukraine’s defense, including a $6.5 million auction of an NFT of the country’s flag.
3. L2s Flip L1s in Transaction Activity
We were a year late, but we eventually got an L2 summer (sort of). According to L2 Beat, the average transaction per second (TPS) on Layer 2’s topped Layer 1’s in October. Although we still have a long way to go in terms of having enough blockspace to onboard millions and billions, Etheruem is slowly but steadily scaling.
2. Web2 Adopts NFTs
In 2022, a slew of Web2 companies, including Reddit, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, began to embrace NFTs. Your normie pals may still despise them, but the groundwork is being laid for NFTs to be accepted into regular life.
1. The Merge
As previously said, the Merge was a significant technological accomplishment. Its significance on Ethereum cannot be understated, as it significantly lowered energy usage and ETH inflation while opening the path for future scalability upgrades. It was strange to see the immaculate execution of the merging live, and it is a moment that the community will never forget.
Lookback at 2022
As we can see, 2022 was a hell of a year. With prices in the gutter and Crypto Twitter under the grip of Goblin Town, it’s easy to concentrate on the worst individuals and events of 2022. And, to be honest, it’s understandable. This year’s awful was particularly severe. But it’s equally vital to recall the positive. Long-term developers continued to ship, acceptance increased, and crypto demonstrated glimpses of its immense potential as a vehicle for good. Bad actors had to be pushed out, and poorly managed firms had to be washed away. We may now rebuild from the ground up. Cryptocurrency may and will reappear stronger than before.
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