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Crypto 2021: A Review of Top Crypto News & Updates in 2021 | NDAX

Dec 30, 2021
byNDAX Labs

2021 was a landmark year for cryptocurrency. It saw unprecedented individual and institutional adoption levels that propelled new all-time highs across the board.

But it’s not just about the numbers. An increasing number of projects are tackling real-world issues and becoming more integrated with existing businesses and platforms. The boom in popularity of innovative decentralized application platforms like Solana and Avalanche is evidence of the exciting developments taking place.

Here are some of the stand-out moments from the crypto world in 2021.

The market explodes

2021 saw incredible highs for most cryptocurrencies, as a fresh wave of mainstream exposure brought crypto back into the limelight.

·   On February 19, Bitcoin’s market cap surpassed $1 trillion for the first time in its history. It later hit its current all-time high of $68,789.63 on November 10 – nearly double its valuation at the start of the year.

·   In March, Morgan Stanley became the first major bank to offer its clients cryptocurrency investment options. It was a notable departure from previous stances the bank had on the utility and value of crypto.

·   El Salvador made headlines in June by becoming the world’s first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. As a result, citizens and businesses can use Bitcoin to buy and sell goods and services or use it to pay their taxes. Since then, several other countries have considered adopting El Salvador’s model.

·   In November, the overall crypto market hit an all-time high value of around $2.8 trillion. This reflected crypto’s market adoption in general and signalled significant interest from individuals and institutional investors alike.

Ethereum killers?

Ethereum’s scalability problems came to the forefront in 2021. Due to increased user adoption and dapp deployment, the network experienced heavy congestion and extremely high gas fees. This opened the door for other Ethereum competitors to stake their claims.

·   Two notable Ethereum competitors, Solana and Avalanche, entered the top 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies by market cap.

·   DeFi as a whole gained significant ground in 2021. An increasing number of decentralized applications were launched, with a total value locked of over $200 billion. This represents a 7x increase over the previous year.

·   But Ethereum isn’t ready to give up its crown as the biggest contender in the smart contract platform arena just yet. After all, around 60% of the total value locked in DeFi remains in Ethereum.

·   In August, a major Ethereum upgrade (EIP-1559) went live. Known as the London hard fork, it marked the beginning of a shift to a more energy-efficient and scalable proof of stake blockchain. It also changed how gas fees are estimated on the platform and introduced token burning measures to reduce supply inflation.

Rise of the NFTs

NFTs were a hot topic in 2021. The overall NFT market saw over $23 billion in trading volume, making it the best year so far.

·   One of the most popular digital artists in the NFT space, Beeple, auctioned his piece “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” in March. It was sold by Christie’s for around $69.3 million. This marked the first NFT sale by a major auction house and signalled huge hype surrounding NFTs.

·   As an illustration of how much the NFT market grew in 2021, take a look at floor prices for Crypto Punks. In the summer of 2020, they were worth around 1 ETH. In the summer of 2021, some Crypto Punks were being sold for a whopping $1.25 million.

·   Corporations from Pepsi to the NBA jumped on the NFT bandwagon, releasing their own NFT collections and partnering with high-profile celebrities.

Meme coin craze

Just like smart contract platforms and other cryptocurrency projects, meme coins experienced a massive surge of popularity in 2021.

·   Thanks to a mention by Elon Musk on Saturday Night Live, Dogecoin’s price hit an all-time high of $0.73. However, the high was short-lived. The price quickly fell almost 30% to $0.49 and has dropped even further since then. Currently, DOGE is sitting at $0.173, though its total market cap is still over $22 billion.

·   A “Dogecoin-killer” emerged in the form of Shiba Inu (SHIB). While still technically a meme coin, Shiba Inu’s creators have used its massive popularity to develop a higher level of utility and launched their own decentralized exchange, ShibaSwap. Shiba Inu hit its all-time high of $0.00007957 in October and has had daily trading volumes of over $2 billion at times. Currently, SHIB is ranked #13 according to market cap value, right behind DOGE at #12.

Crypto in the mainstream

Cryptocurrency didn’t just see high levels of institutional adoption in 2021 – it went mainstream as well. From NFTs to the Metaverse, crypto is becoming an increasingly important feature of modern life.

·   In 2021, cryptocurrency became an accepted payment method for Tesla, AMC, Starbucks, and many other major companies. In addition, PayPal and Venmo also launched support for crypto payments on their apps.

·   On April 14, Coinbase went public with a stock listing on the Nasdaq exchange. This represented a big moment for the crypto industry, as it was one of the first instances of a crypto company reaching the mainstream stock market.

·   2021 was not only a big year for crypto. Facebook rebranded to Meta and launched the Metaverse, a 3D virtual reality world for socializing and consuming entertainment. Already, several Metaverse-related cryptocurrency projects saw huge growth in 2021, including Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Axie Infinity.

Regulatory and security issues

Lawmakers turned a critical eye toward the crypto industry in 2021. There remains a considerable deal of speculation and controversy over the different ways to categorize and regulate cryptocurrencies. Despite this, the industry proved resilient to increased scrutiny and performed well throughout the year.

·   China issued another ban on Bitcoin mining and made crypto-related activities illegal. China has issued and reversed such prohibitions in the past. Still, the latest ban led miners to pack up their operations and move to the United States and elsewhere, leading to a temporary drop in the global hash rate.

·   In 2021, an estimated $7.7 billion was stolen in cryptocurrency scams. There were several high-profile “rug pull” events where developers took off with investor funds. This highlights the risks involved with investing in the current crypto industry, which is still in its relative infancy.

·   Stablecoin Tether was ordered to pay $41 million to settle allegations made by the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) that it misrepresented its financial reserves. Other cryptocurrencies will likely come under investigation as regulations tighten.

Crypto in Canada

Canada became a more crypto-friendly nation in 2021. From increasing levels of mainstream adoption to progress on the regulatory front, it appears that crypto will continue to take a more prominent role in Canadian life.

·   Canada became the first country to clear a physically-settled Bitcoin ETF. The Purpose Bitcoin ETF began strong, seeing an influx of over $564 million in assets within the first five days of trading.

·   Canada is now the fourth largest Bitcoin mining country, accounting for 9.6% of the global hash rate.

·   Crypto firms in Canada became officially recognized as money service businesses in 2020, so 2021 was when many new crypto-related companies launched.

2021: A big year for NDAX

2021 was a strong year for NDAX. We grew in many different ways, always intending to serve our community better. Here are just a few of the year’s highlights.

·   NDAX became one of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms by trade volume.

·   We launched our mobile app, making it easier than ever for trading on the go from any iOS or Android device.

·   We listed 16 new coins, including Avalanche, Polygon, Fantom, Uniswap, Shiba Inu, Polkadot, Aave, Terra, Solana, Algorand, and more.

·   NDAX’s team expanded across product, marketing, customer support, and development.

We continue to strive to be the best crypto exchange in Canada. Not only do we make it simple to connect your Canadian bank account to our exchange, but NDAX is also a leader in customer security and has all the powerful trading tools you need on one platform.

We can’t wait to keep pushing our platform forward and bringing you more innovative features in the year to come!