currency craze) The huge public interest in cryptocurrencies, blockchains and decentralized finance (DeFi), beginning in the 2017 time frame. The crypto craze went into high gear when people heard others made a fortune in Bitcoin. Truly, people smart enough or lucky enough to invest a couple thousand dollars years ago did get very rich because crypto went from nothing to $2 trillion in wealth in a decade. Some pundits swear Bitcoin and other cryptos will be worth way more than they are today while others claim it will all crash and burn.
A New World
While banks pay almost nothing in interest, crypto investment advisers tout massive yields if you follow their advice. Crypto newsletters, websites and videos declare this is just the beginning of the crypto revolution.
Crypto ushered in financial freedoms that governments have to address. El Salvador made Bitcoin legal currency, while China banned it entirely. The U.S. is figuring it out. Government interest brings attention to crypto for more people, and everything feeds the crypto craze.
More Than Bitcoin
The second most popular blockchain is Ethereum, which spawned the concept of "decentralized finance" (see DeFi
). Although Ethereum has its own cryptocurrency, all the action is coming from new applications being developed every day that run on Ethereum, run side-by-side with Ethereum or are based on Ethereum. Along with Bitcoin, Ethereum is a major cause of crypto mania in the 2020s. See cryptocurrency
, crypto glossary
, Bitcoin vs. Ethereum
and Bitcoin pizza