What a year in cryptoland.
After the dizzy heights of the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, the past twelve months have brought an onslaught of negativity in the crypto news cycle. And the price action has followed.
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There was the spectacular death spiral of UST in May, which triggered a slew of contagion across the space. And then recently, we saw former crypto royalty Bankman-Fried and his FTX exchange descend into bankruptcy, in an event that nobody saw coming.
But there was also a major upgrade of the Ethereum network, big developments with Bitcoin and much more. Here are 25 statistics from the world of cryptocurrency this past year – derived on-chain and off.
Top crypto stats for 2022
- Bitcoin’s market cap was $895 billion at the start of the year. Today every cryptocurrency in the world sums to a market cap of $844 billion
- The top 100 coins have had their market cap sliced by $1.7 trillion this year, a number equivalent to Canada’s GDP
- Ethereum’s Merge upgrade went live, slicing energy consumption of the network by 99.95%, and reducing worldwide electricity consumption by 0.2%
- 1,000 addresses on the Bitcoin network now contain more than one Bitcoin
- Tether’s price reached a low of 95 cents this year, while its market cap fell $13 billion as it lost market share to rivals
1. Ethereum’s energy consumption fell 99.95% as it completed its upgrade to Proof-of-Stake
The biggest upgrade in the history of the Ethereum network, known as the Merge (deep dive here), came and went successfully in September.
The upgrade shifted the network from Proof-of-Work (akin to Bitcoin) to the more energy-efficient Proof-of-Stake, dropping the energy consumption of the network by 99.95%.
2. Worldwide consumption falls 0.2% off the back of the Ethereum Merge
Analyst estimations have a 0.2% reduction in the worldwide electricity consumption off the back of the Merge, further highlighting how impactful the energy emission reductions of the above Merge are.
3. $60 billion ecosystem collapses, the biggest in crypto history
May’s death spiral of the Terra ecosystem wipes $60 billion of wealth across a 48-hour period. When including the contagion that spread out over the ensuing weeks, the damage was a lot worse. It is by far the biggest crash in crypto history according to the numbers.
4. Over 50% of Bitcoin supply loss-making
For the first time since the COVID crash of March 2020, the majority of the Bitcoin supply was in a loss-making position, as of Q4 2022. This shows quite how bloody the price action was this year, given the previous decade (2011-2021) Bitcoin was the best performing financial asset class in the world.
6. 200,000 Bitcoins pulled from exchanges in a month post-FTX crash
In the month following the FTX crash, 200,000 bitcoins were pulled from exchanges, highlighting the extent to which trust in exchanges was broken. (Via CoinJournal)
7. Coinbase sheds 85% of its value
The first major crypto company to go public, Coinbase, flew high last year. However, decreased volume and cratering prices in the industry hit the exchange hard this year. As of mid-December, it has lost 85% of its value, with 1,100 employees laid off.
8. 40 cryptocurrencies are currently worth $1 billion or more, down from 94 at the start of the year
The year began with close to 100 cryptocurrencies worth over $1 billion. Today, there are only 49. (via CoinMarketCap)
9. Top 100 coins lose $1.7 trillion in value
On New Years Day, the top 100 coins’ market cap summed to $2.2 trillion. Today, the top 100 total $505 billion. The $1.7 trillion drop is approximately equal to Canada’s GDP this year. (via CoinMarketCap)
10. Bitcoin was worth more than the entire cryptocurrency industry is worth today
At the start of the year, Bitcoin was worth $895 billion. Today, the global crypto market cap sums to $844 billion. (via CoinMarketCap)
11. 2 – number of top 10 coins on May 1st 2022 which would be worth zero within a week
Luna and the UST stablecoin both occupied positions in the top 10 on the eve of their death spirals in May 2022.
12. $9.6 billion –all-time high of the market cap of the FTX native token which collapsed last month
FTX’s token, FTT, collapsed in November following revelations it was artificially propping up CEO Bankman-Fried’s trading firm, Alameda Research, which had suffered heavy losses and commingled customer assets from the FTX exchange.
13. FTX had one million creditors upon its collapse
The FTX exchange had over one million creditors upon its collapse last month. Court proceedings will likely take years, meaning there will be a long wait for those who are owed money to recoup anything, if at all.
14. 130 FTX-affiliated companies file for bankruptcy in aftermath of FTX collapse
In the days after the FTX collapse, FTX and over 130 additional affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy.
15. $8 billion hole on FTX balance sheet
The size of the deficit at FTX is $8 billion, following funds being sent to Alameda Research to shore up trading losses.
16. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was second-largest donator to congressional Democrats for midterm elections
The disgraced CEO donated $39.2 million to the midterm elections, coming behind only billionaire investor George Soros (via Forbes)
17. Tether reached a low of 95 cents this year
Controversial stablecoin USDT had two significant depegs this year, in the aftermath of the Terra crash and then the FTX crash. The peg recovered in both cases.
18. 14.22 million bitcoin have not moved in over a year, equal to 74% of total supply
The bulk of the bitcoin supply has not moved in over a year. Only 26% of coins have moved in the last 365 days (via IntoTheBlock)
19. 1,077 addresses now hold more than one bitcoin
Just over 1,000 addresses on the network contain over one bitcoin in them. 93% of the supply is contained within these wallets (Via IntoTheBlock)
20. Bitcoin and Ethereum’s correlation averaged 0.87 this year
The hand-in-hand price action of the major cryptos can be demonstrated by Bitcoin and Ethereum averaging a 0.94 correlation (with a score of 1 being a perfect correlation). This is despite the major idiosyncratic event that was the Merge taking place this year.
21. The average address on the Ethereum network contains 80% less in dollar terms today than at the start of the year
At the start of the year, the average address on the Ethereum network contained $6200. Today, that figure is $1,700. The 80% decline is greater than the price decline of ETH, which is off 65%.
22. Average balance in a Bitcoin address has fallen from $22,300 to $7,600
The fall in the average address balance in USD terms is 65%, similar to the 63% price decline. (Via IntoTheBlock).
23. Tether’s market cap has fallen $13 billion in 2022
Tether has lost market share to rivals this year. Opening the year at a market cap of $78 billion, the controversial stablecoin peaked at $83 billion before the LUNA crisis, and is now at $65 billion.
24. Binance USD has stolen the most market share, up over $7 billion
Binance’s stablecoin opened the year at $14.6 billion. Today, it is at $22 billion, partially due to its announcement that it would auto-convert exchange holdings in several rival currencies into BinanceUSD, while de-listing currency pairs for those same stables.
25. 15.6 million ETH staked in Ethereum 2.0 contract, a rise from 8.8 million
15.6 million ETH is locked up in the Ethereum 2.0 contract, and will only be eligible for release next year once the Shanghai upgrade goes live. Beginning the year at 8.8 million ETH staked, the number has close to doubled and now represents 13% of the total supply. (via IntoTheBlock)
All in all, the year 2022 has been a torrid one for risk assets across the board. Cryptocurrency is a prime example of this. Prices have cratered, scandals have been seemingly endless and anxiety is at all-time highs.
There have also been positives, although in the short-term at least, investors’ red portfolios won’t appreciate this. Ethereum completing its long-awaited Merge may have seismic implications down the line.
It will be captivating to see in future how the year 2022 is looked back upon in the world of cryptocurrency. Could it be a purge of nefarious actors, a badly-needed maturing in the industry? Or could it be a hammer blow from which prices, or the industry at large, never recover from?
Whatever happens, it will be fun to re-hash this piece and re-assess all these stats this time next year. Happy (nearly) 2023!