Dear Cointelegraph readers,

As 2014 draws to a close, Cointelegraph is already looking forward to the next 12 months of news and innovation, from the uniquely exciting realm of digital currency.

Before the excitement of the new year, however, it seems prudent to pause for thought and reflect on the year that’s been.

The year 2014 has eclipsed any other year in the development of disruptive technology, and digital currencies and their underlying technology have increased exponentially. We have seen a genuine entrance of Bitcoin into the mainstream, drawing attention from some of the world’s best-known corporations and investors. Altcoins have diversified and solidified their position, going from cult phenomena to useful niche brands, each with a targeted and efficient remit.

In short, the push that so many were hoping for has very much occurred. Looking back over the past five years, the speed with which digital currencies have garnered mainstream interest is truly awe-inspiring. Digital currencies are at the start of 2015 are an accepted part of the digital revolution, and while their support and usage vary internationally, this acceptance is allowing an ever greater number of communities to solve problems and open up new opportunities.

It is perhaps easy to be too optimistic, and issues such as price and future support for Bitcoin in particular, are a cause for careful consideration of the greater picture still. However, what remains conspicuous—and is perhaps the real takeaway for 2014—is the decrease in volatility and increase in market maturation in Bitcoin and major altcoins.

This maturation could even be the greatest achievement of all, and when combined with the many advances in security, it sets Bitcoin up for real achievements in the coming year.

Cointelegraph and I have hugely enjoyed bringing you the developments over the past year, but it is a fact that without you, our readers, we would no longer be here. As such, particularly at this time of year, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and loyalty.

As a festive thank you, we invite you to guess the answer to a Christmas riddle from CT General Manager Maria Jones. Watch the video below and take a chance at winning tickets to the Texas Bitcoin Conference

The conference will take place on March 28–29, 2015, organized by the Texas Bitcoin Association at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin, Texas.

Check out the video below, and leave your solution in the comments section to enter. The FIRST correct answer will receive the free tickets!

The winner will also become a member of CT’s expert panel. As a CT expert, you will have the opportunity to answer questions for our writers and be quoted as a cryptocurrency expert in future articles.

In 2015, Cointelegraph will continue to provide you with the best source of cryptocurrency-community information and opinion, and we hope you enjoy the journey as much as we will.

From me, Maria, and all of us here at Cointelegraph, thank you and have a very Happy New Year.