It’s Bitcoin’s birthday week, and after 13 years we can take a step back and look at its remarkable success. In the past year, Bitcoin hit an over 1-trillion dollar market cap, solidifying itself as not only one of the best-performing assets of all time but also as a revolutionary, accessible investment vehicle for generations to come.  

And the new year brings even more momentum for crypto. Bitcoin continues to look better than gold, according to Goldman Sachs. The company’s Co-Head of Global FX and EM Strategy, Zach Pandl, expressed as much this past Tuesday in a note to clients regarding the future of crypto’s biggest name. (Cointelegraph)

Pandl’s hypothesis is derived from current market stats, with Bitcoin holding a 20% share of the “store of value” market. This means that, if Bitcoin can grow to $100K over the next 5 years (something which analysts believe seems likely in a lesser amount of time), it can surpass gold in store of value market capitalization. (Reuters)

This good news comes at a time when investors eye the charts with bated breath. Bitcoin currently sits in a stand-off between bear and bull—known as ”trading sideways”— keeping analysts guessing on the next move. Despite recent market corrections,  a report recently released by GlassNode shows 76% of the total circulating Bitcoin supply to be illiquid, meaning ¾ of the Bitcoin in the market lives in wallets with little or no history of spending. After a year of market consolidation, the supply shock on Bitcoin is still very real and these conditions point to a positive shift in the coming months. (Cointelegraph)

Prospects are up but the Bitcoin hashrate is down, as Kazakhstan struggles to maintain mining conditions under national duress. Kazakhstan has the second-largest mining hashrate in the world, partly fueled by the 2021 miner migration to the country after China’s mining ban. The Kazakhstan government enforced an internet blackout amidst rioting over government resignations, this happening shortly after mandates hiked gas prices to unprecedented costs. (Cointelegraph)

With Kazakhstan accounting for 18% of the total global BTC mining hashrate, it’s yet to be seen how this will affect Bitcoin in the coming weeks. Kosovo, another popular spot, enacted a temporary ban on mining to preserve energy during its coldest months of the year. They follow in the footsteps of Iran, a country that has taken similar measures in the past while they figure out how to best allocate energy resources. (Cryptopotato)

As we’ve witnessed in the past, Bitcoin mining is incredibly resilient, and we will likely see miners continue to mitigate these circumstances, if they don’t dissolve on their own, through migration. Bitcoin is so decentralized that during these temporary corrections in hashpower, the network re-emerges stronger than ever.

In other news, Bitcoin is giving people new means of travel. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, took a Twitter poll to see which projects their followers would most like to see from the popular vacation rental company in the coming year. Of the 4,000 responses received, the most prevalent request was for accessible crypto payment options. (Twitter)

According to Chesky, these requests are not new, and while he doesn’t have immediate updates on when this would be available to users, he implies that there may be crypto payment options on the horizon that would include more options than just Bitcoin.

"We are definitely looking into it,” said Chesky. “Absolutely. Like the revolution in travel, there is clearly a revolution happening in crypto. Airbnb and crypto both have interesting relationships with trust." (Cointelegraph)

NFTs also continue their permeation into the mainstream market, specifically sports and leisure. I think Joseph Hall of Cointelegraph put it best when he said “no sector of the economy or indeed life is safe from non-fungible tokens.” Prompting this statement was LinkDAO’s sold-out, golf-centered NFT auction that raised $10.5 billion in funding. These NFT memberships that sold for Ethereum on OpenSea currently serve as tools for governance and community access, but will eventually be the keys to LinkDAO’s future golf and leisure club. (Cointelegraph)

Next stop: the world of film, where the possibilities for NFTs appear to be endless. Quentin Tarantino immediately realized this potential, announcing his intention to release Pulp Fiction NFTs earlier last year. After a few scuffles with studio copyright lawyers, Tarantino was quick to ketchup (get it?) and has finally released details for the auction, saying that all 7 pieces will be sold between the 17th and 31st of January, with registration closing on January 10th. (Cryptopotato)

The furthering interest in crypto for payment options, VIP passes, entertainment, and more isn’t just apparent in adoption but also in the immense growth of the platforms supporting these assets. Projects are gaining funding left and right. OpenSea just reached a valuation, after the course of 4 short years on the market, of over $13 billion. Voyager surpassed 1 million funded accounts and saw a 45x increase in revenue, hitting $165 million for Q4 of 2021. (Coindesk)

If crypto can promote this level of growth at an enterprise level, imagine what it can do for the global economy over the course of 2022. This massive mainstream influx of adoption is merely scratching the surface of what’s to come for crypto and the future market. Considering the immense growth we’ve seen over the course of 2021, it’s exciting to consider the advancements to come, the ones we cannot yet imagine, that we may see this time next year. From a gold nugget to a yellow brick road, crypto is paving the way to a better tomorrow.