2022 - The Year of Instability
The past year of 2022 has been tumultuous in the business world, with a string of events causing significant shifts in customer sentiment and market behavior. The collapse of FTX, 3AC, LUNA’s and UST lost peg to the USD sent shockwaves through the industry.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s decision to sell off most of its BTC holdings caused another stir, while NFTs surged in popularity before crashing back down to earth. All of this happened against a backdrop of geopolitical unrest sparked by Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Together, these events have left much uncertainty amongst customers, confusion amongst investors and turmoil in the market as a whole. It remains to be seen what will happen over the course of the next year; however, it is certain that 2022 will be remembered for some time as one of significant change and upheaval for businesses worldwide.
The Acceleration of Regulations
The need for regulation accelerated in response to these events and developments within the crypto markets. Most prominently among them was the introduction of MiCa (Markets in Crypto Assets) – an EU-wide regulatory framework aimed at increasing investor protection and preventing market manipulation associated with crypto assets.
In response to the recent regulations update, we have created a comprehensive set of guides to help our customers and partners prepare for the upcoming changes. These guidelines cover a wide variety of topics such as understanding the new regulations and their implications, how to stay compliant with them
Hacks, Frauds and Crypto Crime Investigation
The year 2022 was tumultuous for the cryptocurrency industry, as several high-profile hacks rocked the digital finance world. North Korean hackers breached the Ronin Network and made off with around $625 million worth of Ethereum and USDC stablecoin, making it the largest crypto hack in history at that time. In November, FTX declared bankruptcy, and $600 million had been stolen from its wallets. Binance Chain was also targeted by hackers in October when they were able to exploit a bridge on the network and make away with between $100 and $110 million.
In February, the decentralized finance platform Wormhole became another victim of malicious cyber activity, losing an estimated $325 million due to a security vulnerability on GitHub. Market maker Wintermute suffered a similar misfortune just seven months later in September when attackers made off with over $162 million. Nomad Bridge saw close to $190 million go missing in August due to a malicious code change that enabled users to withdraw more money than they had deposited.
Various hacks resulted in a few billion US dollars being stolen throughout the year—an immense sum that underscored how essential cybersecurity is in the crypto sector.
Our Investigation team is tracking some of these hacks.
Development of Coinfirm Analytics
2022 was very exciting year for our product development. We have made many advances and innovations in the field of blockchain analytics. We extended our capabilities to cover 66 different blockchain protocols across Solana, Polkadot, Polygon, EOS, and Filecoin, with more than 1 million tokens supported. We rolled out a new Simplified Report that provides our clients with comprehensive insights into newly-developed blockchain protocols and their various growth phases while still meeting regulatory requirements.
The Entity Due Diligence product was also released to provide detailed information about entities operating in the blockchain ecosystem. This includes entity risk score as well as distinct on-chain and off-chain data information for thorough investigations. To support cross-blockchain risk propagation and tracing in our Analytics Platform, Cross-Chain Analysis were introduced. Finally, for AML compliance purposes, users are now able to take advantage of redesigned customization features that allow for more extensive risk analysis capabilities.
It is essential for those who are involved in this industry, such as investors, traders, regulators and policymakers to have a thorough knowledge of its regulations and standards. To do this, Coinfirm Academy has developed comprehensive courses and resources that cover everything from basic cryptocurrency concepts to advanced topics like blockchain technology, regulation and compliance.
The courses are designed to provide users with an in-depth understanding of the industry and how it works. Additionally, they also provide valuable insights into the current state of the crypto market so that users can make informed decisions when investing or trading. With Coinfirm Academy’s materials, everyone can become an expert in the burgeoning crypto space, while staying up-to-date on its latest developments.
2023 - The Year of Stability
In 2022, the crypto market went through great upheaval, with many companies collapsing and others surging in popularity. It will be interesting to see what happens in the 2023 as the market tries to stabilize itself.
The year 2023 is projected to be a pivotal one for the blockchain economy, as governments around the world introduce regulations aimed at securing market participants and new discussions regarding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) come to the forefront. This will create an environment of stability in which the digital currency sector can thrive and grow, helping to create a safer blockchain economy.