January will mark 12 years since the Bitcoin genesis block. In that time, blockchain technology has made many significant strides forward. The launch of Ethereum in 2015 introduced smart contracts and token minting. Subsequent years saw developments in areas, such as transaction privacy with the launch of Zcash (ZEC), platforms such as EOS and Tezos attempting to compete with Ethereum on scalability, and dozens of use cases being explored.
In particular, 2018 and 2019 were difficult years. Following Bitcoin’s fall from its all-time high in December 2017, it’s fair to say that the general appetite for blockchain and cryptocurrencies waned significantly during the long crypto winter. However, there was still plenty of innovation happening, which has started to become evident and pay off in 2020.
This year, several key themes have emerged that are poised to shape the blockchain landscape for 2021 and beyond. Here, Cointelegraph tracks 2020’s most significant developments in blockchain.
Platform and infrastructure development
Scalability, interoperability and privacy have been core themes in infrastructure development during 2020. Of course, scalability has already become an age-old topic in blockchain conversations. However, in previous years, the focus was on new platforms claiming to be more scalable than Ethereum. In 2020, the scalability focus shifted to Ethereum itself — in part because the first phase of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade finally launched at the end of the year, but also because 2020 saw several critical milestones for Ethereum’s second-layer platforms.
With the Eth2