The market capitalization of the cryptocurrency temporarily exceeded $ 3 trillion in November. Bitcoin and ether prices hit all-time highs, while altcoins, like the meme-inspired Dogecoin, are rising. This is due to the support from private and institutional investors, as well as the explosion of NFT tokens, the growth of play-to-earn games, etc. All of this has helped propel cryptocurrency forward. Death will go mainstream in 2021.
While there have been countless defining moments this year, here are 12 of the most memorable.
# 1: Bitcoin capitalization surpasses $ 1 trillion for the first time
Bitcoin market cap hit $ 1 trillion for the first time on February 19. This significant milestone comes after major institutional investors and big-name financial firms began supporting the cryptocurrency earlier this year. Companies like Tesla, Square, and MicroStrategy started adding BTC to their balance sheets.
# 2: Interest in NFTs explodes after Beeple sold for $ 69 million
When Mike Winkelmann, the artist named Beeple, sold “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” as an NFT in March, it was historic for several reasons. First, the sale makes Christie’s the first major auction house to sell an all-digital, NFT-based artwork. This is also the first time that Christie’s allows payment in ETH when purchasing a work of art. And the sales price of $ 69.3 million for this NFT broke the record back then.
Overall, the NFT market had a great time in 2021 with a trading volume of over $ 23 billion, according to a report from analytics platform DappRadar. Metaverse tokens have a trading volume of over USD 500 million. In the meantime, the in-game asset layer represented as NFT has brought in a trading volume of 4.5 billion US dollars.
# 3: Elon Musk contributed to Dogecoin record high
In May, just before Elon Musk attended the Saturday Night Live event, DOGE’s price began to go up. On May 8, the day Musk showed up on SNL, DOGE hit an all-time high of about $ 0.74. But the price quickly fell sharply from that high. By the time Musk appeared on the show, DOGE was down 29.5%, eventually falling to $ 0.49.
The rise and fall of DOGE is largely related to Musk. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is a staunch advocate of meme-inspired cryptocurrency. Dogecoin started “to-the-moon” for the first time in February after a series of tweets from Musk and has consistently promoted the watch meme ever since.
# 4: El Salvador accepts Bitcoin as a legal currency
In June, the National Assembly of El Salvador officially passed the Bitcoin law, and in September, when the law went into effect, BTC became the country’s legal currency, marking a historic milestone when it became the first country in the world to do that Law allows users to use BTC to pay for goods and taxes in El Salvador. Companies can price their goods in the market-leading cryptocurrency and exchanges are not subject to capital gains tax.
# 5: Ethereum introduces EIP-1559 and prepares to consolidate into Ethereum 2.0
In August, a major upgrade to Ethereum called London came out that included the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559. To date, more than 1.2 million ETH has been burned, or nearly $ 5 billion.
Source: Aether Chain
In addition, the Ethereum developers are preparing for the transition to proof-of-stake through several upgrades over the course of the year. Ethereum 2.0 will have a big impact, changing the Ethereum infrastructure and making the proof-of-work model obsolete.
# 6: Over $ 600 million of the original was stolen in a DeFi record hack
In August, the DeFi Poly Network platform was hacked and more than $ 600 million stolen. Experts say that the hacker took advantage of a bug in the network’s code. Although the hacker eventually returned the stolen money, it is one of the biggest crypto thefts of all time.
This type of scam is not uncommon all year round. According to Chainalysis, more than $ 7.7 billion was stolen worldwide by cryptocurrency scams in 2021, an 81% increase from 2020 and 37% of total crypto fraud revenue compared to 1% in 2020.
# 7: China bans crypto again
In September, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) confirmed its policy of continuing to suppress cryptocurrencies. According to the PBoC, all crypto-related activities are illegal in China, including services such as digital asset trading, order matching, token issuance and derivatives. Additionally, it is illegal for overseas cryptocurrency exchanges to offer services in mainland China.
China’s crackdown on Bitcoin mining later in the year resulted in a massive exodus of miners, and in October, Cambridge University data showed the US became the No. BTC miners.
According to the data, 35.4% of the Bitcoin hashrate appeared in the US in July, outperforming China for the first time. Cambridge also noted that the average monthly share of China’s global hashrate steadily decreased in July, a big reversal from September 2020 when China captured around 67% of the market.
# 8: First US Bitcoin Futures ETF launched
In October, a Bitcoin ETF based on ProShares futures went live on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “BITO”. Bitcoin futures ETFs track contracts that speculate on the future price of the digital asset, rather than the current or spot price of the cryptocurrency itself. Therefore, the prices of ETFs and Bitcoins do not necessarily match.
However, ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF has seen one of the greatest early days for an ETF since Bitcoin magazine reported.
# 9: First Bitcoin upgrade in 4 years
Taproot, a highly anticipated upgrade to Bitcoin, went into effect in November and is the first major upgrade from BTC since 2017.
# 10: Lawmaker Focuses on Regulation as more and more crypto lobbyists grow
Over the past year, there has been an intense focus on the regulation of cryptocurrencies. The chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has openly advocated the creation of a regulatory framework for the crypto space. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have repeatedly warned about cryptocurrencies, particularly stablecoins, calling the entire space volatile and speculative.
In November, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill, including tax reporting provisions for digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Cryptocurrency “brokers”, primarily exchanges, are required to issue a 1099-like form that reveals the identity of their customers. Companies and exchanges must also report every time they receive more than $ 10,000 in cryptocurrency. This sparked concern in the crypto community and many lobbyists stepped up and pushed for a clearer definition of “broker”.
# 11: Ethereum competitors are gaining market share
As the demand for Ethereum, the most widely used blockchain, increased this year, other projects sprang up to compete. Two of them are Avalanche and Solana, both of which will be launched in 2020 as platforms for smart contracts and the creation of decentralized applications. AVAX and SOL have entered the top 10 cryptocurrencies and have gained significant market share. Accordingly, DeFi’s Total Value Locked (TVL) has increased sevenfold compared to the previous year and is over $ 200 billion, according to DappRadar. However, almost 60% of TVL is still on Ethereum.
# 12: DAO goes mainstream
In November, DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) caught mainstream media attention after the ConstitutionDAO raised more than $ 40 million to purchase a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution.
Although billionaire Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel hedge fund, was bidding higher, it also caught the attention of the DAO, previously known only to the crypto community, and opened up a more open view of the innovations that could come in 2022.
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