In the past year, we’ve seen multi-million-dollar NFT sales, Dogecoin drama, cryptocurrency price uncertainty, ransomware hackers being paid off in Bitcoin, and growing concern over the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining. Behind those headlines, a larger movement was happening. Cryptocurrency, and the blockchain that underpins it, is evolving as a powerful, decentralized alternative to the dominant fiat system of money and banking.
As with many aspects of tech and society, crypto’s emergence accelerated during the pandemic. But how exactly, and what’s next? We asked numerous people who are involved in crypto in various capacities. Here’s what they said.
Alex Salnikov, co-founder and head of product, Rarible:
The pandemic has accelerated everything into digital. Crypto was no exception. DeFi (decentralized finance) and NFT (non-fungible token) markets boomed as people were sitting at home and playing with digital assets.
Aaron Slotkin, CEO consultant, NFT maxi:
The fact that everybody was stuck at home and fully digital further magnified people’s focus on digital developments and specifically crypto and NFTs. As a result, this technology and these currencies, which have existed for years, have gotten further magnified. Crypto was already here to stay, but COVID has accelerated this pathway.
Kosala Hemachandra, founder and CEO, MyEtherWallet:
I’d like to think crypto is made for situations like the pandemic, and that’s why crypto was thriving all [through] 2020. It is borderless. It doesn’t care whether the airports are open or closed, or whether people can go out or not.