2022 was crypto’s craziest year yet, from FTX’s fraud allegations to Kim Kardashian’s fine

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Even by the requirements of cryptocurrency, this has been a wild 12 months. It began with British youngsters getting wealthy by making and promoting NFTs from their bed room and ended with Sam Bankman-Fried, an essential determine within the trade, pleading with a choose for bail as he was too vegan for jail. We stroll you spherical what has occurred, month by month. The thoughts boggles as to what may occur subsequent 12 months.


Relentless promotion and celeb endorsements all through 2021 make non-fungible tokens (NFTs) mainstream. These distinctive digital objects are used to show possession, and whereas they can be utilized for something, are mostly related to digital artwork. Benjamin Ahmed, a 12-year-old from Pinner in northwest London whose dad taught him to code on the age of 5, makes (on paper) £750,000 promoting pixelated whales as digital paintings.

The British Museum proclaims it’ll public sale NFTs of well-known works by JMW Turner as a part of an ongoing challenge. In the meantime, the world’s first NFT museum opens in Seattle.


HMRC seizes NFTs for the primary time as a part of an investigation into suspected VAT fraud, changing into the primary arm of UK regulation enforcement to confiscate one of many digital tokens. Three persons are arrested as a part of the £1.4m fraud case, and the taxman says the motion is “a warning to anybody who thinks they’ll use crypto belongings to cover cash from HMRC”.


These brightly-coloured ATMs you sometimes see which declare to dispense bitcoin? Seems they might not be absolutely above board. That’s based on the Monetary Conduct Authority, which orders all 81 machines to be shut down, saying that not considered one of them is operated by a agency with a UK licence for providing cryptocurrency providers.

In the meantime, NFTs proceed to dominate the information with Ukraine saying it’ll concern NFTs to fund the struggle effort. It’s the nation’s newest step into a really trendy methodology of struggle financing, following an earlier profitable attraction for cryptocurrency donations, which raises £38m for the beleaguered nation.

By the top of the month, Ukraine’s Meta Historical past: Museum of Warfare NFT challenge launches with the help of its Ministry of Digital Info. It has since raised $973,500 (£802,787).


Invoice Clinton, Tony Blair and Katy Perry arrive within the Bahamas. No, it isn’t the beginning of a joke, it’s an unique crypto convention. Co-organised by FTX, a crypto enterprise which is the brainchild of wunderkid Sam Bankman-Fried, Crypto Bahamas brings high-profile friends along with the sandal-wearing vanguard of tech’s new frontier. Blair feedback that he feels “slightly overdressed” whereas on stage with Bankman-Fried, who wears a T-shirt and shorts to host the previous world leaders.

Again dwelling within the UK, enthusiasm for NFTs has but to dampen, as then chancellor Rishi Sunak asks the Royal Mint to create an NFT. “This determination reveals the forward-looking strategy we’re decided to take in direction of crypto belongings within the UK,” the Treasury says on the time. The challenge remains to be stated to be going forward, although seems to be delayed.


The crypto world is shaken when two linked cryptocurrencies – Luna and Terra – plummet in value. Finally, their deterioration results in a market crash that wipes virtually $45bn of worth in a single week.

The founding father of each tokens, Do Kwon, faces authorized motion from each South Korean authorities and disgruntled buyers. He additionally has to take care of the truth that, only a month earlier, he named his new child daughter after his now-failed digital coin. “Child Luna,” he stated on the time. “My dearest creation named after my biggest invention.” Regardless of the crash, the newborn’s identify stays the identical.

Another person residing with a relentless reminder of the Luna crash is Mike Novogratz, founding father of asset administration agency Galaxy Digital. Having publicly confirmed off his Luna-themed wolf tattoo earlier within the 12 months, that took up a lot of the prime little bit of his arm.

The investor is available in for mockery within the wake of the cryptocurrency’s collapse, however he appears to take it in his stride. “My tattoo can be a relentless reminder that enterprise investing requires humility,” he tells his followers.

Mike Novogratz - founder of asset management firm Galaxy digital- shows off his Luna tattoo, inspired by the cryptocurrency When the currency plummeted in value, he said 'My tattoo will be a constant reminder that venture investing requires humility" Pic from Mike Novogratz/Twitter
Mike Novogratz reveals off his Luna tattoo, impressed by the cryptocurrency (Photograph: Mike Novogratz/Twitter)


The Terra collapse has an enormous contagion impact all through the crypto ecosystem, wiping billions of {dollars} off cryptocurrency values and pushing some corporations to go bust. Bitcoin dips below the $20,000 mark for the first time since 2020.

Buyers discover numerous methods to deal with the decimation of their funds. One group is about up on messaging app Telegram particularly for screaming over the state of the market. Customers can solely ship voice notes of themselves screaming.

Amid the chaos, one main participant begins shopping for up the distressed companies. It’s FTX, the corporate that hosted the swanky Bahamas get-together. Founder Sam Bankman-Fried says he feels a duty to rescue the trade.


The Twitter and YouTube accounts of the British Military fall sufferer to a hacker, who makes use of the profiles to direct followers in direction of crypto rip-off web sites.

On Twitter, the account’s identify and photos are modified to make it appear to be the official web page of NFT assortment “The Possessed”, leaving the Military with a drooling, decapitated cartoon character as its profile image.

As soon as the accounts have been returned to their homeowners, the Ministry of Defence says that the Military “takes info safety extraordinarily severely” and that an investigation into the occasion is below means. An MoD spokesperson tells i that the probe remains to be ongoing now.


One other well-known face joins the crypto world within the type of Martin Shkreli, the “pharma bro” govt who grew to become infamous for jacking up the worth of an antiparasitic remedy, and later went to jail for (unrelated) securities fraud. Launched in Could, he launches a brand new crypto challenge over the summer season, together with his personal cryptocurrency, Martin Shkreli Inu.

Shkreli isn’t the one controversial determine to have turned to crypto this 12 months. Socialite scammer Anna Sorokin, aka Anna Delvey, topic of Netflix’s Inventing Anna, launched a group of NFTs in June. The eccentric ousted founding father of ­WeWork, Adam Neumann, additionally bought in on the motion with a “carbon credit score crypto challenge”.


The crypto world reacts with about as a lot tact as you would possibly count on to the Queen’s dying. One challenge launches an NFT depicting her as a skeleton. A number of others launch commemorative tokens. However for a minimum of one crypto challenge, the monarch’s dying leads to a delay. “Bowie on the Blockchain”, an public sale of David Bowie-themed NFTs, is postponed out of respect for “the individuals of the UK and Queen Elizabeth II”.

Bowie followers who aren’t eager on the concept recommend it ought to be scrapped altogether. However it goes forward the next month, elevating $127,000.


Kim Kardashian is fined by US regulators for “unlawfully touting” the crypto asset EMAX, a token created by an nameless group of builders. The truth star, who had uncared for to say to her followers that she was paid $250,000 for the promotion, is ordered to pay $1.26m.

In the meantime, not chained to the position of Cupboard minister, Matt Hancock has had time to spend on considered one of his actual passions: crypto. The previous well being secretary offers speeches, writes op-eds, and in ­October reassures his fellow crypto fans at an occasion that the failure of massive companies within the area are “an indication of the vibrancy out there”.


All this time, crypto change FTX has been constructing a status because the professional face of cryptocurrency. Its founder Sam Bankman-Fried, identified in the neighborhood as SBF, had advocated for crypto regulation and tried to bail out struggling companies within the sector.

This all adjustments in early November when a sequence of questions concerning the firm’s steadiness sheet results in FTX’s rapid downfall. It recordsdata for chapter on 11 November.

John J Ray III, an skilled restructuring professional who has labored on main company failures together with the Enron scandal, is introduced in to exchange SBF. As more details emerge about what was going on at FTX, the corporate’s new chief govt offers his damning verdict on the debacle: “By no means in my profession have I seen such an entire failure of company controls and such an entire absence of reliable monetary info as occurred right here.”

Extra from Cryptocurrency


Being in comparison with Enron would possibly make most individuals really feel like hiding below a rock for the foreseeable future, however not Bankman-Fried.

The 30-year-old commences a spherical of media appearances through which he pleads ignorance. He says he doesn’t know what occurred to cash lacking from FTX’s accounts; he doesn’t know what occurred to the agency’s stake in Twitter; he – a touted tech genius – doesn’t even know code. If there’s one factor observers of the area have come to count on, it’s extra surprises.

In the meantime, on the time of writing, with bitcoin within the doldrums, Bankman-Fried is due to be released on a $250m bond whereas he awaits trial on fraud expenses associated to the collapse of the change. 2023 can be an enormous 12 months for him – in addition to all crypto buyers.


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