2020 year in review: Bitcoin in Europe

As 2020 draws to a close, it’s been another busy year for Bitcoin.

The year has of course been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic restrictions, placing a significant and unexpected stress burden on the global financial system. Europe has been particularly acutely affected by the fallout, with most countries in the region suffering significant recessions as a result.

For digital currency, the developments have accelerated a move towards digital payments and away from cash. Cryptocurrency markets have been driven into a bull-run as a result, sending prices soaring in recent weeks as the year comes to its conclusion.

But even aside from speculation and the pandemic, the industry has continued innovating, developing and growing throughout the region. In Bitcoin SV (BSV), the ecosystem has only strengthened, with more new startups and apps launching that rely on the enterprise scale and effectiveness of BSV. Meanwhile, projects that are already underway are moving rapidly towards maturity and rollout across a number of industries and sectors.

Food supply blockchain UNISOT partnered with TAAL, in a move which will allow the platform to process blockchain transactions more securely and with greater control. Widely touted as a revolutionary technology in global supply chains, the partnership with TAAL will help the platform perform under use at scale, as more industries turn to blockchain solutions for supply chain management.

Another BSV success story of 2020 has been HandCash. With the launch of HandCash 2.5, the leading BSV wallet app has gone keyless, providing users with a more straightforward way to use their digital currency day to day. According to CEO Alex Agut, 2020 has been the year HandCash moved from “Bitcoin wallet” to “nano payments ecosystem.” The net result is an app that is already benefiting Bitcoin users by providing consumer-level flexibility for blockchain payments.

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The year also saw BSV become a subject of increasing practical and academic research focus. Pioneered in partnership with Bitcoin Association and Saxion University of Applied Sciences, a new massive open online course on BSV is under development, the first of four courses of its kind in the pipeline. The aim is to provide an academically rigorous insight and understanding of blockchain and Bitcoin SV, with a view to educating the next generation of BSV developers.

The Bitcoin Association joined TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. (CSE:TAAL | FWB:9SQ1 | OTC: TAALF) in setting up shop in Zug, Switzerland, confirming the city’s role at the heart of Europe’s emerging blockchain sector. The office puts Bitcoin Association in the middle of Switzerland’s Crypto Valley, a strategically key location for its work advocating blockchain and BSV across the wider region.

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Big data analytics startup GeoSpock secured a further $5.4 million in investment in recent months, bringing their total raised so far to $32 million. The London-based firm is developing solutions for analytics powered by the blockchain, a technology expected to play a central role in the increasingly joined-up global economy. Powered by BSV for scale capacity, the platform made further strides in 2020 towards deployment in a number of different industries.

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Blockchain identity verification platform kompany is another startup to have enjoyed a good year in 2020. Using the BSV blockchain to provide ID and KYC verification services to financial services companies and institutions, the app has moved through a new phase of development as it nears deployment. CTO and co-founder Peter Bainbridge-Clayton said blockchain tech was the best way of delivering for the industry.

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When you look at legal intricacies this [blockchain] is the best way of doing it, it’s the only way that guarantees it can’t be gamed.

Aside from the successes at an individual project level, the wider BSV ecosystem has made significant progress this year. The Genesis protocol upgrade was rolled out successfully, completing steps towards returning BSV to the origins of bitcoin as expressed in the original Satoshi whitepaper. The deployment made BSV the most technologically advanced solution, perfectly tailored to enterprise scale applications.

Nano payments have become viable for the first time, for both network users and transaction processors, opening up a whole new field of utility for BSV and BSV applications. At the same time, blockchain social media startup Twetch became the first consumer-facing Bitcoin app to log 1 million transactions on-chain.

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Arguably among the most successful events in BSV in 2020 were the CoinGeek Conferences, held despite the challenges posed by social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Staged in each of the global hemispheres, the events inspired blockchain developers and stakeholders worldwide to learn and do more with bitcoin BSV—expect more great things in 2021.

BSV is expected to enjoy another strong year in 2021, building on the gains of the past 12 months. At the start of this year, the BSV ecosystem spanned more than 400 projects and ventures—a number that has grown sharply over the year, as more developers turn to BSV as their blockchain of choice for building.

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