Between 2020 and the middle of 2022, millions of individuals throughout the world caught bitcoin fever. From the icy wastes of Kazakhstan to the underground clubs of Jakarta, converts to blockchain and Web3 have penetrated every corner of the bitcoin ecosystem—including places where many people don’t have, nor want, a bank account.
By the end of the week, more and more individuals were developing infrastructure in Singapore, mining in Lebanon, trading in Indonesia, and playing video games for cash in the Philippines.
However, since bitcoin’s price hit an all-time high of $68,789 a unit a year ago, the world’s obsession with cryptocurrencies has soured. The Luna coin’s demise in May caused Memecoins to decline and exchanges to become unsteady. The once dependable exchange FTX failed towards the end of the year as a result of the subsequent tightening of regulations.
Rest of World in Asia spoke with dozens of traders, miners, and investors who were excited to be a part of the cryptocurrency riches bubble a year ago, from Almaty to Singapore. They express disappointment and confusion in their second chat in December, but there are glimmers of optimism from some who still saw trade as a fantasy.
Late in 2021, cryptocurrency miners dominated Kazakhstan’s rural areas. They are referred to as “little hamsters” by smallholders in the countryside since they have an electricity supply in their backyards. Big players generated cryptocurrency in factories packed with CPUs that sprayed smoke across uninterrupted, icy horizons.
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