7 Remarkable Crypto Things in 2022, and the Challenge for 2023
The year 2022 will be one a lot of people in crypto will want to forget, move past or just try to view as a year of the necessary burning of the underbrush to leave a healthier metaphorical forest. But it was a year of positive milestones that shouldn’t be forgotten. For us, it was a seminal year in our development, one we think we will look back from a future Web3 and say, “Yes, that’s when we really started to take off.”
The following is by all no means comprehensive, but we believe these are some of the biggest developments of 2022.
1) The Misadventures of FTX/Solana/TerraUSD-Luna et al
Books will be written about FTX’s $32 billion collapse. We will still be writing about the SBF developments well into 2023. There’s no need to dwell on FTX on this list. We all know. As for other fails, we covered Solana as the hack happened, and TerraUSD/Luna is its own fiasco. We don’t want this list to dwell on the negative; here’s a rundown for those who missed it. Suffice it to say that whether it involved bad actors, bad code or bad decisions, the negative swirl of 2022 for many is a net positive for the industry, separating the wheat from the chaff.
2) The Merge
The multiyear project to take Ethereum from the wasteful, energy intensive proof-of-work protocol to proof-of-stake, was a major development for the second largest crypto. But while Ethereum’s so-called Merge generated headlines, it was not the game-changer it’s touted as.
Even with the Merge, Ethereum isn’t running smart contracts other than tokens on proof-of-stake. They still have no idea how to make that work, in their own words.
3) Crypto Adoption Grew Despite the Bear Market
Per Chainalysis, 2022 saw continued adoption of crypto around the globe, exceeding 2020 rates, despite the 2021 Bitocoin collapse and this year's bear market.
Overall adoption slowed worldwide in bear market, but remains above pre-bull market levels.
“Our data shows that global adoption has leveled off in the last year after growing consistently since mid-2019. We look at this trend in the chart below, where we apply our index methodology globally by summing all 154 countries’ index scores quarterly, from Q2 2019 to the present, and re-index that number again to show adoption growth over time across the world.”
“As we noted above, while growth has become more sporadic with the onset of the latest bear market, global adoption remains well above the levels that preceded the 2020 bull market. The data suggests that a critical mass of new users who put capital into cryptocurrency during periods of price growth tend to stay even when prices decline, allowing the ecosystem to consistently grow on net across market cycles. One reason for this could be the value that users in emerging markets get from cryptocurrency. These countries dominate the adoption index, in large part because cryptocurrency provides unique, tangible benefits to people living in unstable economic conditions. We’ll explore these dynamics more in the full report.”
4) We Reintroduced the World to Silvermint
In 2022, we developed the Silvermint node and early iteration of Symmetry, the smart contract language of Silvermint. We look forward to sharing this work in Q1 2023. Join our Discord for updates.
Why? Because existing platforms do not deliver on the promise of blockchain to deliver business and consumer solutions for fast, transparent, and censorship-resistant transactions. We’re going to change that. The Pyrofex team, led by co-founders Nash Foster and Mike Stay, PhD, have been working to solve this industry problem since 2018. They knew it was possible to design a consensus protocol that achieved significant — industry-upending — improvements.
The solution, we declared to the world, is Silvermint. Leaderless, scalable and secure, Silvermint enables developers to meet the promise of blockchain.
The race is on. And people are noticing.
5) Oh the Humanity – Crypto to the Rescue
In December 2022, the United Nations Refugee Agency launched its pilot cash-based intervention using blockchain, to facilitate humanitarian payments to people displaced and impacted by war, starting with the war in the Ukraine.
“UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), the non-profit that supports the growth and development of the Stellar blockchain network, announced today the launch of a pilot first-of-its-kind blockchain payment solution for digital cash distribution to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other war-affected people in Ukraine.”
“UNHCR, in collaboration with United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC), the UN’s technology solutions provider, are amongst the first to pilot the new Stellar-based aid disbursement solution, which ensures the delivery of cash assistance directly into the hands of those being assisted quickly, efficiently, and securely with full value transfer traceability and accountability.”
“The pilot phase of the project is designed specifically for Ukraine but can be adapted worldwide. UNHCR confirms eligibility and distributes assistance in Circle Internet Financial’s USD Coin (USDC) — a stablecoin where one USDC is equal to one US Dollar — directly into a recipient’s Vibrant digital wallet which they can download onto a smartphone. This provides a secure place to hold and transport funds in USDC, a stable store of value, allowing people to travel within the country or cross borders without the need to carry cash.”
6) Quantifiable Decentralization
The Edinburgh Decentralization Index project team published first papers this year. This group seeks ways to better quantify decentralization to support consumers and regulators understanding projects that are truly decentralized, as opposed to those who are decentralized in name only. A key risk to the success of decentralized systems is actually being decentralized. Their research and thinking is an exciting addition to the field.
The refinement of these pioneering metrics shows how the industry is maturing and gaining nuance in its evaluations.
7) Silvermint Throws Down the Ethics Gauntlet
Coming full circle to our first item, all of the negative headlines raining down on crypto, and the actions of the bad actors involved, made us realize, starkly, how very different our founding principles and guiding philosophy are. As they say, fish don’t notice the water they swim in. We didn’t realize how unique our ethical code is.
While so many of our peers work in good faith in their endeavors, we challenge everyone – including ourselves – to always do better. That is why our founder demands what he calls radical transparency, distributed governance, aggressive compliance and distributed yields. A commitment to these four pillars is critical; so too is a commitment to the means to carry through with them. We believe we have just that.
As we wrote in our declaration, Silvermint is a network that will accomplish the broader ethical objectives of cryptocurrency, while avoiding the regulatory nightmare that plagues other proof-of-stake networks. We’re going to accomplish all of this with a unique and innovative legal approach. We have spent years building a new technology that exceeds the expectations of end users in both performance, throughput, and cost. We’re also going to innovate on the legal and regulatory side, allowing us to give the crypto community and the Internet at large exactly what they want from a Layer 1 protocol.
We will do even better in 2023. We hope others take up our challenge.