This, of course, does not refer to the prices or the market caps, but rather on the awareness about the industry, and the growing number of users. Ever since the bull run of 2017, when Bitcoin first hit $20,000 per coin, the crypto industry has been seeing rapid adoption and development.
Wave after wave of investors and developers kept coming, either to trade or to create new solutions using cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. This was something that did not stop even when most coins lost up to 90% of their value, or even more in some cases.
That was also when trends started to emerge and bring more and more people, not for the promise of decentralized money, but decentralized internet, which led to the development of DeFi, NFTs, and all other products that the industry sees these days, and those that it will see in the future.
However, one of the things that pushed the crypto industry to the heights it sees today wasn’t a bull run or development, but something much more sinister. It was the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the world in March 2020 after spreading from China, where it originally emerged.
Through rapid development and being so easy to spread among people, COVID had the entire world in lockdown in less than a month after leaving China. Even now, a year and a half later, with multiple vaccines available, the virus continues to evolve, send people to hospitals, and even take lives.
But, while the world was going through this whole ordeal, the cryptocurrency sector thrived, simply because it gave hope to people.
How the Pandemic Gave a Boost to the Crypto Industry?
In order to understand why crypto thrived during the pandemic, it is important to note some of its ideas and advantages over traditional money.
As most people who have even heard about the crypto industry likely know, digital currencies are all about decentralization. Essentially, they don’t have single major entities that run the industry and projects within. Instead, the communities do it. It was created by the people, for the people, and is run by the people.
This sense of community was one of the major factors in bringing hope to people during the pandemic, when isolating yourself from others meant not getting infected and potentially dying or getting extremely sick for weeks.
More than that, cryptocurrencies offered quick and easy contactless payments, even in regions that are underbanked or completely unbanked. It offered growing prices to those who lost their jobs, and an opportunity to earn money through investments. It offered a cheap way for expats working in other countries to support their families and not waste money on paying fees that financial services are charging.
And, since the development and growth of the DeFi sector, it even offered methods to keep your money and make it earn more money for you, through staking, yield farming, liquidity providing, lending, and other similar concepts.
DeFi, or decentralized finance, brought available and affordable digital banking to everyone in the world who may need it, whether they wanted to use their existing money to make passive income, or if they needed a loan in order to start a business, pay for expenses, or just survive the month.
With this demand also came adoption by the merchants, who saw an opportunity to enter the crypto industry early and attract those who dealt in digital currencies, and were seeking places to spend them. Institutional investors’ interest also skyrocketed at the same time, as cryptos and gold became the only safe havens during the stock market crash.
After trying crypto out for the first time out of necessity, many decided to stay, partially or fully, in the crypto industry and continue to use it to make a profit even after the stock market started seeing its own recovery.
Many countries also started working seriously on regulating the sector, developing their own cryptos in the form of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), or as was the case with El Salvador, through adopting Bitcoin.
As time goes by, the cryptocurrency industry continues to grow. New people are embracing it every day, new projects are launching all the time, and development is advancing faster than ever in its history. It might not be as long as people expect before the entire world starts adopting and accepting digital coins, which will be one of the largest financial changes in the history of humanity, and it is all happening right now.