As this is my last update of 2020, I want to look back a bit, then ahead to the New Year.
Decentralized technologies gained a lot of traction this year, with bitcoin's record run garnering the most popular attention by far. As an old markets reporter on Wall Street, the token's performance against both its crypto peers and more traditional investments has been fascinating to me, frankly.
With just a few trading days to go in 2020, here is how bitcoin's gains so far this year stack up versus those of other assets:
Note that although Ethereum's rise has been relatively sharper in percentage terms, its current price in nominal terms (about $645) is still well shy of its all-time high above $1,400 set back in early 2018. By comparison, bitcoin has easily surpassed its old high around $20,000, set back in 2017. On Saturday, it traded at nearly $27,000, driven by fresh buying from big Wall Street institutions.
To me, this highlights how early we really are in the adoption cycle for distributed applications -- the bread and butter that ultimately drives the value of Ethereum. But we'll have to see how that progresses in '21, especially now that the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade has launched, with faster performance and staking rewards for token holders.
One final eye-popping factoid: The global market cap of all cryptoassets more than tripled to almost $730 billion in 2020, according to data from CoinMarketCap. At some point in the New Year, it will probably top $1 trillion for the first time.
The blistering run so far has of course drawn new interest in crypto (and decentralization in general) from big institutions and retail investors alike. In that spirit, I want to share some of my favorite links for newcomers as you get ready for 2021.
These are all taken from my broader collection titled "Web 3.0 For Newbies," which I curate over time for anyone just getting started in the decentralization space. But if I had to boil it down to just five favorite links right now, for the sake of brevity, here are my picks:
That's it for now. Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! If you'd like to get updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.
— Peter A. McKay
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