For cryptocurrency, 2021 was an extraordinary year. Last year, the total market cap of cryptos nearly quadrupled, growing from $766 billion in early 2021 to almost $3 trillion at its peak. Step by step, cryptos are entering mainstream investment markets. In light of this, a recap of the favorable crypto event in 2021 may help us work out our investment plans in 2022.
Favorable Event 1: Elon Musk advocates for DOGE
Initially, DOGE was intended as a mockery against Bitcoin speculators, with the exaggerated dog face emoji as its icon. It’s the first MEME coin. In Google’s Year in Search 2021, DOGE ranks 4th, whereas Ethereum comes as the 10th most searched word.
Favorable Event 2: El Salvador adopts Bitcoin as legal tender
In June 2021, after a majority vote, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly passed the Bitcoin Law, making it the first country to officially recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. Soon after the news spread, the BTC price soared on the same day, growing by 12% in 24 hours.
Favorable Event 3: The London Upgrade of Ethereum
On August 6, 2021, Ethereum’s London Upgrade was officially completed. On that day, Bitcoin once again broke through the $40,000 mark, with a 24-hour increase of 4.8%, and Ethereum’s 24-hour increase of 9.3%.
This is also the most critical link of the entire 2.0 upgrade. In particular, EIP-1559, which addresses the gas fee, is the most anticipated part of the London Upgrade. To be more specific, the implementation of this proposal stabilizes the gas fee. As Ethereum-based applications continue to grow in number, ETH will be burnt at an increasingly faster rate, which is beneficial to the long-term value of Ethereum in the future.
Favorable Event 4: Listing of the Bitcoin futures ETF
After years of waiting, the first US Bitcoin futures ETF was officially started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 19, 2021. On the first day, it achieved the second-highest trading record in history. Driven by such a staggering record, Bitcoin surged in the short term, growing by 6.34% in just 24 hours. Its price reached $66,000, a record high at the time.
The approval of the Bitcoin futures ETF brought more traditional investments and funds to the crypto market while building a bridge between traditional finance and the crypto space. As a result of its approval, we may see more derivatives in crypto finance in the future.
Favorable Event 5: Facebook changed its name to Meta
Some say that 2021 marks the first year of the metaverse era. One must admit that the metaverse had been one of the most trending concepts in 2021. At the “Connect” developer conference on October 28, the SNS giant Facebook also made a high-profile announcement that it will change its company name to Meta. Its founder Zuckerberg also said in an interview that Facebook will transition from a social media company to a metaverse company in the next few years. Following this news, the metaverse-related cryptos saw incredible growth. In particular, MANA, SAND, and AXS surged 50.9%, 23.85%, and 13%, respectively.
The realization of this new concept is inseparable from the adoption of technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and 5G. Decentralized cryptos enable the attribution, circulation, and realization of value in the metaverse, as well as the authentication of virtual identities. Additionally, NFTs are also a key link to the metaverse because they are unique and cannot be replicated. However, the metaverse now remains at an infant stage where socialization is combined with gaming, and there is still a long way before we could build a virtual world that’s truly parallel to our reality.
In 2021, against the background of the COVID-19’s global impact, as well as a series of QE policies pursued by central banks across the globe, large institutional investors and business tycoons switched their focus to the crypto market. This huge market that’s worth nearly $3 trillion helped them realize the abundant opportunities in the crypto space. As the market attracts a lot more users and funding, even central banks have started to show strong interest in cryptos. In 2022, what a market cap will the sector achieve? Let’s wait and see.