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The rise of the crypto market and expectations for 2021

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With its foundation in place, the crypto market could see big changes in 2021 including the start of a bankless economy.

The online casino industry has shaped and evolved tremendously in previous years. With the COVID-19 pandemic taking centre stage becoming the main reason for the increase in industry changes.

Through it all, cryptocurrency has quickly gained popularity and is set to be among the biggest trends for 2021.

Cryptocurrency development

Cryptocurrencies are an alternative to traditional payment methods, providing ways for people to protect their savings and keep it from being directly targeted.

One of the biggest movements for the crypto market during 2020 was the third 'Bitcoin Halving'. This is an automatically triggered event that takes place once the Bitcoin chain reaches a specific length. The mining rewards for each block in the chain is then chopped in half, setting Bitcoin to 6.25 BTC per block.

The reason for this halving process is to protect and extend the currency’s lifespan. As previous 'halvings' have shown, these halved rewards lead to even bigger profits in the long-run.

Another big boost for the market was a steep rise in the Decentralized Finance sector. The main reasons for this being the rise of blockchain-based financial services and the launch of Compound's COMP token.

With the derivatives market and asset digitisation sector gaining traction quicker than expected, the DeFi sector saw a rise from $1 billion to $4 billion within 2 months. It jumped the $10 billion line in September and finished the year strong at almost $15 billion.

Other huge changes include the OCC allowing U.S. banks to hold crypto assets on behalf of their clients.

This concept has been around for quite some time but the fear of countries losing sovereignty over their own economy led to a deep dive in research and all potential outcomes of utilising this. Already Sweden's e-krona and Uruguay's ePeso are leading the way.

What's to come in 2021?

All the major events from 2020 paved the way and set the stage for the big year of cryptocurrency in 2021. BTC is on the rise and the rest of the market is following its movements. That, along with friendlier regulatory landscapes and increased interest, leads to big growth and potential for the market throughout the new year.

The public has become more approachable and knowledgeable in terms of cryptocurrency too. Big names on the crypto market such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether continue to rise with Bitcoin leading.

Tether represents 75% of the dollar-pegged stablecoins market which makes them the obvious first target for new enthusiasts and potential investors.

While Bitcoin has stepped away from its original content, many new alternatives are popping up. Ethereum is set to grow even more with its smart contract functionalities and other benefits ensuring it is serious competition for Bitcoin.

Hackers dipping into cryptocurrency

After a group of hackers gained access to specific digital servers, there is concern regarding the safety of cryptocurrency.

A series of malicious software attacks, commonly known as ransomware, took place against 5 online gambling companies. Allegedly, these attacks were made by the hacker group, Advanced Persistent Threat 27 (APT27).

While the group originally had a focus on gaining corporate intelligence, it has now shifted focus to gambling companies and potential financial gain. They demanded US$100m in Bitcoin as ransom but payments were not made as they managed to restore access to servers through backup files.

While there is a belief this was an attack in response to China's fight against cross-border gambling, the ransomware made it possible for hackers to put a stop to bets place by mainland gamblers. A theory is that this could be a new way of penalising mainland gamblers while simultaneously curbing cross-border gambling.

A year of possibilities

2021 is a year packed with potential for growth in what could be a less hostile environment. Cryptocurrency continues to evolve with new advancements made to increase its effectiveness and convenience. While the foundations have been laid, 2021 will determine how strong these are with the number of possible regulatory changes to come.

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