Cryptocurrency projects and initial coin offerings became mature enough to be endorsed by the movie and music stars. Undoubtedly, there were some examples of such endorsement in the past, but this year was very bullish, and this also probably attracted celebrities to promote initial coin offerings. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission, however, already told such advertisement might be a violation of the law on securities, as any token equals security in the United States.
This is by far one of the most infamous examples when cryptocurrency is used for malevolent purposes by criminals, who harm its reputation and hamper the market development. Most experts, including the United States security services, are certain the North Korean government-backed hackers were behind this ransomware attack. A powerful virus blocked the user files and demanded cryptocurrency in exchange for unblock. Since then, Microsoft issued important Windows updates which protect from such attacks. This attack also made Monero more known to the public, as hackers eventually converted all the money in this secure altcoin which offers good ways of anonymization.
Governments of the world have recognized the importance of the new kind of money and assessing if they can do something similar themselves. Russia, Middle East countries and even Israel voiced their plans to issue national cryptocurrency. However, nobody introduced a working state-issued cryptocurrency yet, and this is the primary reason this event takes only the eighth place.
Just as the Federal Reserve chief was talking, two mischievous cryptocurrency enthusiasts showed the big “BUY BITCOIN” banner behind her back, making sure this gets the attention of the reporters and cameras. This was one of the funniest pranks in 2017 and almost certainly the most famous cryptocurrency-related prank of this year. While the pranksters were mostly doing it for fun, it also indicated the lack of connection between the mature fiat world and young cryptocurrency world.
The protocol update aimed at the block increase of Bitcoin and overall transaction optimization met criticism from the cryptocurrency enthusiasts, including local celebrities like Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin. Cryptocurrency exchanges had to take sides in this controversy as well. In the end, the protocol development was postponed due to this heated argument, but some other developers now promise to introduce it soon. At the press time, it became known to the press that the main features of this new update iteration will be activated only on January 11, the launch on block 501451 did not affect the market, and SegWit2x remains at the sixth place.
This categorical statement made huge waves of criticism both in the fiat world and cryptocurrency community. The JP Morgan Chase CEO simply stated this currency is a fraud and will eventually explode. He also told he forbids to trade with Bitcoin if one works in his company. After this all was stated, journalists started to ask anybody from the fiat world they meet “do you consider Bitcoin a fraud?”, and most answered negatively, which, in the end, improved Bitcoin’s reputation. This was one of the turning points in the history of how fiat society perceives cryptocurrency.
The most popular and oldest cryptocurrency in the world has had a profound price boom this year. This milestone indicated the volatility of Bitcoin and currently, this is the all-time high. Predictions which seemed optimistic looked too pessimistic when the price was reached, and the whole market celebrated this record. Some investors now even bet it’s going to reach $50,000 soon.
Unexpectedly, Chinese officials decided it’s better to prohibit ICOs altogether instead of taking a regulative approach, and since then, only South Korea followed in the footsteps of this decision. Other countries, including Russia, which easily forbids something it considers toxic for its well-being, did not resort to such blunt measures. As the Chinese cryptocurrency market was one of the major hubs of this digital economy, its collapse affected the price of Bitcoin and, of course, benefitted Japan, which has seen a flow of corporate outcasts from China.
This new altcoin completely changed Coinmarketcap’s Top Three and even led to a controversy on which currency is a real Bitcoin. It appeared due to the hard fork, or protocol update called SegWit, and cryptocurrency enthusiasts were not sure if such cousin emerges. But here it is, driving Litecoin out of the third place, and having a fanbase which tells that the original Bitcoin is obsolete. All this showed how new digital assets appearing out of thin air can suddenly become almost $3000 per coin. Market at its purest.
This was the moment when Wall Street recognized Bitcoin as an asset they can work with, although indirectly, and probably this led to the surge of this cryptocurrency towards $20,000. Chicago exchanges have set a trend for all other financial organizations to follow, and the process is already proven as working without any harm to the fiat economy. Bitcoin futures is the main event of 2017, because it improved the reputation of cryptocurrency like none other. Now exchanges plan to introduce Ethereum and Litecoin futures. And now experts tell this institutionalization will go further in 2018. Time will show.
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