Another year in the books for this crazy technology we love, as mainstream crypto turned 13 to end 2021*. It’s been an exciting year to say the least, a year filled with ups, downs, humor, tragedy and betrayal in crypto.
The beginning of this year showed the incipient stages of an emerging bull-run as the world recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. The stage was set for a strong bull rally: Record-low interest rates paired with an accommodative monetary policy from our old pal JPow(Jerome Powell) AKA plenty of money printing. But did it come to fruition?
Below you fill find some of the highlights as we look back at 2021 for crypto.
*Many consider the launch of Bitcoin the beginning of crypto, but did you know Bitcoin was not the first?
In what was an amazing advancement in the space, El Salvador became the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender in 2021.
In September 2021, Bitcoin had a strong rally leading up to El Salvador declaring Bitcoin as a currency. The 'Chivo' wallet was implemented in the country and President Nayib Bukele set aside more than $225 million to roll out the digital currency.
Markets saw a parabolic rally until the day finally came: Then traders took profits and we had a flash crash.
A classic case of "buy the rumor, sell the news".
El Salvador actually took advantage of the dip, as the president tweeted out that he was buying the dip.
2021 saw the rise and mania of NFT's (Non Fungible Tokens)
In March of 2021, Beeple sold a JPG image for a whopping $69 million at Christie's, making him the third most expensive living artist to date.
What proceeded and followed was absolutely insane: Rap artists like Snoop Dogg and other celebrities suddenly set their profile pictures on twitter to NFT's and collections like Crypto Punks sell for million of dollar per JPEG's. Budweiser enticed us to belly up to the blockchain-bar and launched Beer NFTs.
Many copy-cats followed and NFT's were even brought up to congress. NFT's caused a stir of controversy in the crypto world: Who really owns NFT's, what are you truly buying, and what stops people from just screenshotting an NFT and re-uploading it?
Not to mention that despite the craze, NFTs have use cases far outside "art", yet in 2021 that's what dominated the NFT craze.
This was the most speculative sub-bubble within crypto we've seen since the 2018 ICO bubble.
2021 was a great year for the K-pop craze. In recent years, the influence of K-pop and Korean series grew as more international audiences were introduced to it through Netflix. Squid Game broadcasted in over 80 countries across the world becoming the most-watched show of all time.
With all of its popularity, of course, came the scams. Squid Token aimed to emulate the premise of the show and allow people to compete in various games based on the TV series.
Perhaps equally tragic as the events within the series itself, It turned out to be a giant rugpull and everyone lost their money. 2021 was famous for just as many scams as it was actual projects.
We know nay-sayers will see these instances as confirmations to their bias against crypto, but you can't have true decentralized free market without the pitfalls that make it so free. Ultimately, you choose what deserves your attention in this space and we think that makes it special - in spite of the bad actors.
Big shocker here: The Red State bans bitcoin for the 1000th time. Various cryptocurrency farms across China were shut down as authorities stated that the cryptocurrency 'disturbs the economic order facilitates illegal asset transfers and money laundering'.
The state also went on to blame crypto miners for energy waste and a disturbance to the countries mission to reduce carbon emissions.
In October, the United States surpassed China as the largest hub for Bitcoin mining and operations. It led to a an infrastructure boom in North America, Europe, and Russia, and Central Asia.
Brian Brooks stole the show in a congressional hearing on Cryptocurrency. Bitfury CEO Brian Brooks explained blockchain in such a concise way to congress that many praised his ability to simplify a complex idea to the masses.
Web 3.0 entered our lexicon as the evolution of the internet, an expansion of web 2.0 if you will. A new internet that is decentralized and incorporates user creation and a new dimension of NFT's and metaverse and....---Yeah you get the picture.
The idea of a 'convergence' between worlds, and the term layer describing not onions, but blockchains.
Facebook changed its name from Facebook to Meta and posted a video which incited many memes and fears of a dystopian digital world run by the tech giant. Metaverse coins and crypto saw an enormous surge following Facebook's announcement and a digital gold rush for virtual land commenced.
Play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity flourished under this environment and it seemed like every scam crypto project started calling itself a ''DAO-run metaverse web 3.0 NFT project' to capitalize on the new trend.
Elon Musk sent the price of Dogecoin flying throughout various tweets in 2021. The mere mention of a crypto or altcoin could send coins flying to the moon, and Elon Musk was fittingly given the moniker 'Elon Moonsk'.
In May of 2021, Elon Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live. The price of Dogecoin soared before his appearance, falling as soon as the episode aired the traders sold to lock in their profits(Another case of 'buy the rumor, sell the news'.
Elon Musk was named Time's Person of the Year and had a major influence on both the price of Tesla stock as well as crypto markets. At one point, Tesla began accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for Tesla's before retracting their decision and deciding that he didn't want to contribute to energy waste.... for now.
2021 was definitely a wild ride for crypto.
The price of Bitcoin and many other coins was tumultuous to say the least but many traders ended up with some nice profits.
Price aside, many new and existing projects are out there accomplishing amazing things.
What do you think? Will 2022 be an even better year or will we see yet another crypto winter?