Winners and losers of 2022: A disastrous 12 months that noticed few winners amongst a sea of losers


2022 was purported to be the 12 months crypto went mainstream, with a big chunk of conventional enterprise capital companies betting closely on the ecosystem in 2021. Nonetheless, with one catastrophe after one other, 2022 turned out to be a catastrophic 12 months for the nascent crypto ecosystem. A few of the greatest names touted as pivotal to taking the crypto ecosystem ahead turned out to be the orchestrators of its worst 12 months in latest reminiscence.

That stated, fairly just a few protagonists rose to the event. These winners proved that crypto isn’t just about just a few choose people and firms however a vibrant ecosystem that may survive vital setbacks.

Let’s begin with a number of the greatest winners of the crypto ecosystem in 2022. The record contains people, firms and nameless teams working for the betterment of the trade.

The winners

In a 12 months that noticed the multibillion-dollar collapses of the Terra ecosystem, FTX and Three Arrows Capital, it’s onerous to select winners. Nonetheless, crypto has confronted adversaries earlier than, and 2022 was no completely different. A number of positives got here out of the 12 months regardless of the collapse of a number of centralized entities.

Ledger and Trezor

When Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin (BTC), a core thought was to offer individuals monetary sovereignty that made them much less depending on centralized intermediaries.

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With provides of profitable rates of interest on yield merchandise and derivatives buying and selling companies, most crypto customers most well-liked to maintain their crypto belongings on centralized exchanges. Nonetheless, these profitable choices turn into a nightmare when thousands and thousands of shoppers lose their funds within the wake of a centralized trade collapse.

Within the rubble of the FTX collapse, crypto buyers misplaced belief in centralized exchanges. {Hardware} pockets suppliers like Ledger and Trezor have benefitted from buyers shifting their conduct towards self-custody.

In direct response to the failure of FTX, #Bitcoin buyers, of all pockets cohorts, have made a definite behavioural shift in direction of self-custody.

From Shrimp, to Whales, #Bitcoin onchain balances are on the rise

Learn extra in The Week On-chain

— glassnode (@glassnode) November 14, 2022

By December, self-custody companies and {hardware} wallets turned the popular alternative of many. After the collapse of FTX, Trezor noticed a 300% surge in gross sales and income and Ledger noticed its greatest sale day ever.

White hat hackers

The crypto ecosystem is comparatively new, and several other use instances like decentralized finance (DeFi) are in early improvement. This makes it susceptible to bugs and exploits. In accordance with DefiLlama, DeFi protocols had been exploited for practically $5.93 billion in 2022

Complete worth hacked (USD) from DeFi protocols in 2022. Supply: DefiLlama

Nonetheless, the figures would have been a lot increased if not for white hat hackers. These white hats returned thousands and thousands of {dollars} in stolen funds and flagged safety bugs that would have led to extra exploits. Safety service supplier Immunefi claims to have prevented the theft of $20 billion price of crypto belongings alone by means of its bug bounty program for white hat hackers..

Whereas many initiatives are likely to ignore white hats, 2022 confirmed that it’s higher to pay out thousands and thousands in bug bounties than lose billions in exploits.


Amid the chaos of 2022, the Tether (USDT) stablecoin has efficiently manoeuvred its manner by means of the wreckage of each the Terra and FTX collapses.

USDT worth and quantity on a 1-year chart. Supply: CoinMarketCap

The centralized stablecoin has been on the forefront of critics’ commentary for so long as it has existed. When Terra’s native stablecoin depegged, there have been rumors about Tether’s publicity to the doomed ecosystem.

Nonetheless, USDT managed to beat the scare, and all through 2022, it has considerably decreased its risky publicity. The agency additionally pledged to cease lending out funds from its reserves and put a full cease to all of the concern, uncertainty and doubt, or FUD.

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Tether has turn into extra clear over time, with 82% of its reserves in liquid belongings. The agency had complete belongings of $68.06 billion on the finish of the third quarter, exceeding its complete liabilities of $67.8 billion.

The losers

The crypto ecosystem noticed many losers in 2022, with Sam Bankman-Fried the primary to earn a point out. The previous CEO of crypto trade FTX began 2022 with a $20 billion web price. In lower than a 12 months, that web price disappeared and Bankman-Fried is now out on bail for allegedly stealing prospects’ funds and committing securities fraud. Terra’s co-founder Do Kwon, whose final recognized location was Serbia, additionally makes the record.


Algorithmic stablecoins had been a novel, promising idea through the bull market. The Terra ecosystem rose to new highs based mostly on this hype. Nonetheless, the flawed design of TerraUSD (UST), now often known as TerraClassicUSD (USTC), aided by the reckless decision-making of Kwon, led to its eventual downfall. The failure of Terra’s native stablecoin additionally tainted the idea of algorithmic stablecoins, with regulators warning towards them.

FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, Tether

The collapse of UST obliterated $40 billion of investor capital and precipitated a contagion that claimed practically half a dozen different crypto companies with publicity to Terra. Whereas many companies and people might qualify within the losers record, Terra’s UST implosion was the catalyst that precipitated extra upheaval in 2022.

Alameda Analysis, FTX and centralized exchanges

Firstly of 2022, FTX was valued at $32 billion, whereas its sister firm Alameda Analysis boasted a several-billion-dollar valuation of its personal. Nonetheless, the November financial institution run on FTX quickly become chapter. As extra particulars emerged, it turned out FTX and Alameda Analysis weren’t as impartial as they claimed. Even FTX US, which was purported to be a separate entity regulated underneath United States legislation, was discovered to be embroiled within the advanced saga.

FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, Tether

In accordance with the authorities, FTX and Alameda funneled funds to one another, and the 2 companies had been additionally concerned within the embezzlement of shoppers’ funds. Alameda used FTX funds to mortgage billions of {dollars} to different companies. FTX, then again, used nonexistent in-house initiatives with inflated valuations as collateral to take out vital loans. The entire Ponzi got here crashing down in November.

Associated: High 5 crypto winners (and losers) of 2022

The downfall of FTX and Alameda created extra contagion within the crypto ecosystem and single-handedly erased belief in centralized exchanges and the broader crypto ecosystem virtually in a single day.

Crypto buyers

Amongst all of the chaos and downfall of many crypto exchanges and main enterprise capital companies, the largest losers are crypto buyers. If the burn of the bear market was not sufficient, thousands and thousands of crypto buyers who had their funds on FTX misplaced their life financial savings in a single day.

Terra was as soon as a $40 billion ecosystem. Its native token, LUNA — now often known as Terra Traditional (LUNC) — was one of many prime 5 greatest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. With thousands and thousands of shoppers invested within the ecosystem, the collapse introduced their funding to zero inside hours. After the Terra collapse, crypto buyers misplaced their funds on a sequence of centralized exchanges and staking platforms like Celsius, BlockFi and Hodlnaut. Crypto buyers additionally misplaced considerably within the nonfungible token market, with the value of many standard collections down by 70%. General, crypto buyers are among the many greatest losers of the 12 months.

FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, Tether

2022 will go down in crypto historical past as an annus horribilis. Crypto buyers will wish to neglect the 12 months and begin contemporary. Enterprise capital companies and buyers in crypto initiatives are reevaluating their funding methods. After such a tumultuous 12 months in crypto, a possible consequence would be the acceleration of laws within the trade all through the approaching 12 months. This may increasingly restore a number of the misplaced confidence within the trade.


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