While all companies across all sectors can not boast of milestone achievements this year, the few highlights of top news is an indication that the year was not doomed after all and market analysts are projecting a better recovery and growth in the coming year 2021.

The year 2020 is undoubtedly one of the pivotal years in the history of both the stock market and the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The year began with worrying concerns about COVID-19, a viral disease that was discovered months earlier in Wuhan China, and the worry gravitated to the disease ushering in a pandemic that upturned major economies for months.

While this pandemic bites on, the stock market suffered a global crash sometime in March, further bringing uncertainties as to the hope for businesses, but notwithstanding, the year turned out to be one of the most profitable for companies in the tech industry. Firms like Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) recorded enough growth and profitability that prompted its addition to the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP: .INX) a feat it could not achieve in the 10 years since it became a public company.

Despite the pandemic that pushed some firms to the very edge, the year was replete with lots of mind-blowing headlines and events that we have curated and would like to go over. So here is our pick of the top 10 news of 2020.

Bitcoin Third Halving

Bitcoin (BTC), the first-ever digital currency (also called cryptocurrency) underwent its third halving on May 12 this year. The halving event is an already programmed event into Bitcoin’s source code and it involves the splitting of the rewards accruable to miners. The third Bitcoin halving event reduces the mining rewards to 6.25 BTC from the previous 12.5 BTC and on the other hand, the mathematical complexity of mining new Bitcoin was increased.

This was done to reduce the relative supply of Bitcoin, a factor that is billed to increase its value over time. The worth of each BTC at its third halving was $8,700 but the cryptocurrency has achieved remarkable milestones since the halving event. Per a recent Coinspeaker report, the coin bounced back from its previous lows to set a new all-time high record at $28,533. The year 2020 was undoubtedly a year for Bitcoin with a growth rate of 302.7% this year.

Tesla Growth and Its S&P 500 Inclusion

While Bitcoin was the most celebrated cryptocurrency for this year, Tesla also ranks as the darling stock on Wall Street. The Elon Musk-led company, renowned for producing state of the art Electric Vehicles has seen impressive growths this year marked by its stock performances as well as the company’s expansion program into new markets.

Tesla has surged by over 676% in 2020, a feat that has placed the automaker as the most valuable car manufacturing company in the world with a market capitalization that is bigger than nine of the world’s largest automaker. Tesla was included in the S&P 500 causing the stock to jump by 6% at its debut. While there are other top Wall Street firms that struggled in the course of the year, Tesla’s growth has been relatively smooth and 2020 will be for the company, a groundbreaking year.

Airbnb IPO

In a year that was replete with a lot of Initial Public Offering (IPO) activities, Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB), an American vacation rental online marketplace company based in San Francisco, California, made its showing off by going public on the NASDAQ bourse. The online rental marketplace saw an increase in the demand for its services as many urban dwellers seek short stay vacation homes in the outskirts and non-COVID-19 hotspot areas.

With each of its shares priced at $68 each, the company’s valuation upon listing was valued and pegged at $47 billion. Few months after its public trading, Airbnb shares have increased much more in value to $148.43 per share, indicating the strong confidence that investors are placing on the stock in the wake of a promising surge in real estate and rental services.

SpaceX Astronauts Launch

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), the aerospace manufacturer and space travel company owned by Elon Musk also recorded a significant milestone this year as it launched two NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into orbit, successfully beginning SpaceX’s first crewed mission.

For a company that has devoted all of its resources to researching and developing means to make space travel a reality, the completion of its first crewed mission using its newly developed crewed Dragon Spacecraft was well received. For Elon Musk and SpaceX’s partners, the goal is to make mankind a multi-planetary dweller, and SpaceX is committed to making that reality come to pass in no time.

With the successful launch of the NASA astronauts this year, SpaceX is looking forward to more of these historic feats as Bob Cabana, director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, said:

“This just the beginning; it’s only going to get better.”

Apple Attained $2 Trillion Market Cap and Launched New Products

Ranked as the most valuable company in the United States, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) made history again by becoming the first publicly traded company in the United States to achieve a $2 trillion market capitalization and the second in the world after Saudi Arabian Oil Co (TADAWUL: 2222).

Despite the pandemic causing a strain in the global supply chain, Apple has succeeded in redesigning its service offerings to serve strategic markets in China, while also building on its subscription-based products. The dividends of Apple re-engineering its model to be flexible based on the nature of the year really paid off, the company did not only hit the $2 Trillion market cap milestone, but it has also grown its liquidity base as it is now worth as much as $2.27 trillion.

Apple also showed its finesse in product design as it launched a set of new products this year. These products include iPhone SE, Apple Watch 6, and iPad 8 amongst others.

PayPal’s Embrace of Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

The cryptocurrency ecosystem saw a lot of institutional juggernauts entering the space this year. In fact, the institutional embrace of Bitcoin comes as a complement to the third halving event in helping to push Bitcoin to record its All-time high price records. Of all the Wall Street firms that placed huge bets in crypto this year, that of online payment services firm Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) delighted the crypto sphere the most.

PayPal now provides support for Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC), a provision that gives the company’s millions of customers can use for purchases at its over 26 million registered merchants worldwide. The embrace and support for cryptocurrency services by PayPal redefined Wall Street’s position for the over 10-year-old digital currency ecosystem.

Ethereum 2.0

Another top news for the crypto sphere this year was the launch of the Beacon Chain of Ethereum 2.0, marking the beginning of the migration of the Ethereum network from its current Proof-of-Work mechanism to the Proof-of-Stake model. The Ethereum 2.0 event is significant as the ethereum network over time has battled scalability issues, with the network experiencing pressure owing to the numerous applications built atop it, with manifestations in high network or transaction fees.

With Ethereum 2.0, scalability is not only guaranteed, the Ethereum network can now work much more effectively as the energy requirement associated with the Proof-of-Work system are now eliminated. While there are many other timelines to usher in the full functionality of the Ethereum 2.0 network, the launch of the Beacon Chain was welcomed with recognition of the hardwork of the Ethereum Foundation team for driving innovation that will make the Ehereum Network the goto network for cryptocurrency-based applications.

Legal Brawl Between the SEC and Ripple

The past Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton launched a lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc as his last major act as the Chairman of the regulatory body. The lawsuit alleges that Ripple and its top executives Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen were involved in the sales and distribution of the XRP cryptocurrency without properly registering it as a security.

The suit with the allegations that many saw as an affront to the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem has been denied as false by Ripple and the indicted executives who have promised to tell their side of the story in the coming weeks.

While the lawsuit is generally projected to be a tough and challenging one for Ripple, the XRP coin has suffered tremendous value loss as exchanges have started delisting it with many others halting the trading of the cryptocurrency, leaving the holders to explore options to dump off the coin. While this suit was filed in 2020, the better part of the legal battle will be decided in the coming years beginning in 2021.

Challenging Hunt for Coronavirus Vaccine

The entire pharmaceutical industry was stretched this year as the search for a Coronavirus vaccine became a matter of life and death. Many notable pharmaceutical industries including Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), AstraZeneca Plc (LON: AZN), BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX), and Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) amongst others throwing down the gauntlet to developing the vaccine using different technologies.

The efforts of these companies eventually paid off after many clinical trials and scrutiny from approved authorities, we now have a vaccine from Moderna, the duo of AstraZeneca and Oxford University researchers as well as the duo of Pfizer and BioNTech.

The vaccine from the Pfizer-BioNTech alliance entered record as the very first official vaccine that was administered post-clinical trial and the recipient according to an earlier Coinspeaker report is a 90-year-old grandmother, Margaret Keenan from Northern Ireland.

DeFi Explosion

The year 2020 saw explosive growth in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications. While the crypto space has had DeFi projects around for a while, this year was the most outstanding as new innovative projects came up as the coronavirus pandemic spiked low-interest rates amongst financial institutions and established lenders.

DeFi platforms such as Compound, Aave, Synthetix amongst others capitalized on the opportunity to roll out lending and borrowing services with competitive rates for both the lenders and borrowers. These offerings received a huge embrace and in November this year, the total value locked on Decentralized Finance platforms topped $13.6 billion dollars.

Top News of the Year: Instead of a Final Word

The year 2020 came as a very challenging one. The challenges for both the stock market and the crypto sphere were manifested in the first half of the year but there was a dramatic turn in the remaining quarters as businesses adjusted their models to accommodate the uncertainties ushered in by the pandemic.

While all companies across all sectors can not boast of milestone achievements this year, the few highlights of top news is an indication that the year was not doomed after all and market analysts are projecting a better recovery and growth in the coming year 2021.

Coinspeaker team wishes you all the best for the new year! And let all your dreams come true.

Thank you for staying with us!

See you in 2021.

Business News, Cryptocurrency news, Market News, News

Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.

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