The year 2021 was definitely a milestone for cryptocurrencies. Global interest in this market has grown, prompting El Salvador to adopt BTC as a legal tender. In addition, the main cryptocurrency in the market renewed its historical peak on several occasions throughout the year.
Coinbase became the first cryptocurrency exchange to go public on the stock exchange. And, speaking of the stock market, in 2021, the first BTC futures ETF was approved in the United States.
Dog-inspired memecoins such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu also stood out. This year also marked the explosion of NFTs and, more recently, the metaverse concept has gained traction.
Check below ten landmark facts for the cryptosphere in 2021
Dogecoin draws attention
In early 2021, Dogecoin (DOGE) was in the spotlight. With the weight support of Elon Musk and the group WallStreetBets, the dog cryptocurrency caught the attention of people like mia khalifa, Gene Simmons and Snoop Dogg.
In January alone, DOGE appreciated by more than 750%. The meteoric rise of cryptocurrency spurred the creation of projects like Shiba Inu, which was also in the crypto news in 2021.
NFT sold for $69 million
Earlier in the year, few knew what an NFTs was. But that didn’t stop the sale of an NFT digital artwork for a staggering $69.34 million in March.
Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 days” was sold at the British auction house Christie’s. NFT highlights the artist’s journey creating art over 5,000 days, combining thousands of images.
Today, the term NFT is much better known, having been elected the word of the year by the Collins Dictionary.
Brazil Approves Latin America’s First BTC ETF
Also in March, the Brazilian BTC market took an important step towards traditional investors.
The QR Management announced the approval of the first BTC ETF in Brazil and Latin America. The fund’s trading on B3 was granted by the Brazilian Securities Commission (CVM).
Coinbase goes public
On April 14, another milestone happened. Coinbase became a publicly traded company on Nasdaq.
The IPO helped boost BTC’s price to an all-time high. Coinbase made a splash at Nasdaq, raising $100 billion.
Coinbase’s IPO was a defining moment for the cryptocurrency space. After all, it has led to greater awareness of cryptocurrencies for traditional financial institutions.
China bans cryptocurrencies
In the first half of 2021, China began to intensify its actions to ban cryptocurrencies and mining in the country.
In May, the nation prohibited financial institutions and payment companies do business with BTC and cryptocurrencies. The list of restrictions includes: registrations, trading, clearing, settlement, commercial speculation, issuance of bonds, sales of tokens, etc.
In June, China gradually began to ban mining activity. The restrictions impacted the price of BTC at the time and the mining hash rate.
ETH launches EIP-1559
In August, ETH updated to a new Gas rate mechanism that created a fundamental shift in its monetary policy.
The 1559 Improvement Proposal (EIP) was released as part of the London hardfork and introduced a Gas rate burn that reduced the ETH supply.
Since the launch of EIP-1559, more than 1.2 million ETH worth $5 billion has been burned. This put the asset on a deflationary path.
In 2022, ETH is expected to move from Proof of Work to Proof of Participation when the Beacon chain merges with the main ETH network. So, the change should lead to a large reduction in token issuance.
Poly Network $611 Million Hack
Another striking fact for the crypto market was not as positive as the previous ones.
In August, the interoperability protocol between blockchains, Poly Network, was the victim of the biggest attack in the history of cryptocurrencies.
The breach resulted in the loss of more than $600 million in various cryptocurrencies.
Despite the impact, the hacker behind the invasion returned all funds stolen and still gone guest to be head of security.
El Salvador adopts BTC as legal tender
Perhaps the most striking fact for the crypto industry in 2021 was the adoption of BTC as a legal tender in El Salvador on September 7th.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele was responsible for the adoption. Also, in 2021, he bought more than 1,400 BTC.
El Salvador’s adoption was historic not just for BTC but also for the history of money. That’s because, for millennia, countries have used legal tender laws to protect their own state-issued coins, and El Salvador has broken that tradition.
Axie Infinity and play-to-earn games
Another 2021 craze was play-to-earn games, or play to win.
These games, in particular Axie Infinity, which is based on NFTs, attracted the attention of players from all over the world.
In October, the Axie Infinity has became the most traded non-fungible token collection of all time, outperforming top-tier NFT collections like CrypotPunks and NBA Top Shot.
The popularity has been such that the project’s AXS token has accumulated an appreciation of around 20,000% in 2021.
Facebook switches to Meta
Finally came the metaverse hype. It all started when Facebook announced the change of its name to target in October, showing its commitment to focus on this ecosystem.
In addition, the company has also allocated $10 billion to Metaverse. At the same time, he made 10,000 new hires in the European Union to work on his new vision for the future of the Internet.
Quickly, big companies like Nike, Adidas, Microsoft announced plans to develop their metaverses.
Alongside this, metaverse game tokens such as MANA and SAND began to explode in valuation.