2020 – The Year That Bitcoin Truly Arrived

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  • 2020 has been a year like no other, particularly for Bitcoin
  • After 12 years of being dismissed, Bitcoin’s fundamental properties have finally been realized
  • Pandora’s box has now been opened

The world was a very different place in January 2020. Very few people outside of China were talking about the coronavirus, the U.S. election system was a globally respected example of democracy, and Bitcoin was the preserve of brave retail investors. A year later and the world has been turned upside down, as has Bitcoin’s image, with institutional investors clamoring to swap a sinking dollar for digital gold and retail giant PayPal providing the biggest mainstream platform for crypto that it has ever seen. We look back at Bitcoin’s 2020 and the major changes it has seen this year.

The Halving

The four-yearly Bitcoin halving was already being discussed as far back as December 2018. Rightly or wrongly, the event had taken on a kind of mystical significance as the starter pistol of the next bull run. Bitcoin had been in a bear market since January 2018 and so anything that might lead to a resurgence in the market was being talked up, but no one could have predicted that the Bitcoin price would rise by more than double within six months of the 2020 halving.

The event itself, which saw the block reward halved to 6.25, passed off without a hitch, with many looking forward to the 2024 halving and dreaming about the Bitcoin price at that point.


The first notion that payment processing giant PayPal was interested in a cryptocurrency platform emerged in late June. There was talk of a way for PayPal users to buy and sell cryptocurrency, which was in marked contrast to the days when their CEOs were calling Bitcoin a “scam” and a “colossal pump and dump scheme”. Such an eventuality would represent what the cryptocurrency crowd had been after for years – a way for millions of people to safely and easily experiment with cryptocurrency.

Four months later it was made official – PayPal users in the US could buy and sell four cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin of course, and shop with it at any of the platform’s 26 million merchants. The news made international headlines and announced to the world that after years of being written off, cryptocurrency was ready for the main stage.

Institutional Investors

Perhaps the most surprising trend of 2020 was the sheer weight of institutional backers that Bitcoin acquired in 2020. This was of course due to the coronavirus, with suggestions as early as February that Bitcoin’s sharp price rise from $7,300 to $10,500 was a result of institutions and wealthy individuals looking for alternative stores of value as the potential impact of the virus became known.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki called Bitcoin a hedge against a “dying dollar”, just weeks before billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones said Bitcoin would be the “fastest horse” if everything went to the wall as a result of the virus.

As the world went into lockdown, governments turned the money printers up to 11, which had financial experts the world over alarmed. As a result, more and more businesses and individuals began turning to Bitcoin, which helped the price rocket to new all-time highs in November.

Bitcoin Believers Finally Rewarded

Bitcoin’s value as a decentralized, government-agnostic store of value has finally been realized by some of the world’s most successful people this year. After 12 years of being dismissed as a scam or a Ponzi scheme it has finally been realized for what it is, and, as Satoshi intended, it took a financial crisis to prove it.

2020 was the year Bitcoin really arrived. Pandora’s box has been opened, and there is no shutting it now.