The year 2021 has definitely been a major milestone for cryptocurrencies. As global interest in the market grew, El Salvador embraced Bitcoin as a legal tender. Moreover, the market’s main cryptocurrency renewed its historical peak repeatedly throughout the year.
Cryptos don’t always get positive coverage, between the high speculation that comes with them and their environmental impact, as the mining process needed to validate transactions on the Blockchain requires a very large amount of electricity. Nevertheless, they are becoming more and more popular. And 2021 marked a turning point for the sector.
So, let’s see how it happened with this 2021 crypto news recap.
1. Tesla invests 1.5 billion in bitcoin
This is among the moves that have contributed the most to the skyrocketing price of bitcoin. On February 8, carmaker Tesla announced that it had invested no less than $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency as part of its new investment policy.
A few days earlier, billionaire Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, changed his Twitter bio to a simple “#bitcoin.” His tweets related to cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and Dogecoin, will keep on influencing the prices of these assets throughout 2021.
Moreover, Tesla Group states that it will “in the near future” accept bitcoin payments to purchase its electric cars, which will indeed be the case on March 24. It finally retrogrades on May 12, stating that sales in bitcoin will cease due to the pollution generated by cryptocurrency mining.
2. El Salvador adopts Bitcoin as legal tender
For the first time in the world, in 2021, a state has made bitcoin its legal tender. El Salvador thus formally adopted the cryptocurrency on September 7, alongside the U.S. dollar, to make transactions in the country, buy goods and services, and pay taxes.
A way, according to President Nayib Bukele, a strong advocate of bitcoin, “to connect” the country with the rest of the world and stimulate the Salvadorian economy. But also, for expatriates, especially in the United States, to facilitate the sending of funds at a lower cost to their families via e-wallets in bitcoin.
The United States and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on the other hand, have warned the country about the risks associated with the adoption of the cryptocurrency.
3. Coinbase, one of the world’s largest crypto trading platforms, goes public in New York
As of April 14, another important landmark has occurred. Coinbase became a listed company on the Nasdaq.
The IPO contributed to driving the price of Bitcoin to a record high. Coinbase made a splash on Nasdaq, raising $100 billion.
Coinbase’s IPO was a turning point for the cryptocurrency space. After all, it drove greater awareness around cryptocurrencies for traditional financial institutions.
4. China bans crypto mining
The year also saw a significant tightening of Chinese regulations on cryptocurrencies, officially for environmental and financial concerns. On May 19, Beijing first banned the country’s financial institutions from offering services related to these assets. Then in mid-June, China intensified its repressive measures against mining in various provinces where this activity, which is necessary for the operation of crypto assets, has expanded significantly.
This was enough to cause the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fall, especially since China was then home to the majority of the world’s mining. Since then, companies in the sector have relocated and miners have redeployed, particularly in Kazakhstan and the United States.
On September 24, China’s central bank put the nail in the coffin, stating in a statement that activities related to digital currencies are simply “illegal”.
5. Facebook rebrands itself as Meta and expresses its ambition to create a Metaverse
As of October 29, Facebook is changing its name to Meta. Mark Zuckerberg’s group intends to make people forget about the polemics and reflect its ambition to create a metaverse, a virtual universe in which human beings will be able to pursue many of their real-life activities. But also a world where goods and services could be sold as in “real stores”, through NFTs based on Blockchain, in which more and more big brands, like Nike and Adidas, are showing interest.
Facebook could very well enable the use of several already existing cryptocurrencies within this metaverse and develop its own virtual currency.
6. Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million (record)
On March 11, an American digital artist, Beeple (Mike Winkelmann), simply became the third most valued living artist in the world, following the auction of his work “Everydays: the First 5,000 Days” in the form of an NFT for the total sum of 69.3 million dollars. It is the most expensive digital artwork ever sold.
An illustration of the hype around NFTs, which are assets stored on the Blockchain that ensure the authenticity and traceability of a work.
7. Dogecoin draws attention (Troll of the year)
This one is what we can call the Troll of the year.
At the beginning of 2021, Dogecoin (DOGE) was in the spotlight. With major endorsements from Elon Musk and WallStreetBets Group, the K9 cryptocurrency caught the eye of folks such as Mia Khalifa, Gene Simmons, and Snoop Dogg.
In January alone, DOGE has appreciated by more than 750%. The meteoric rise of cryptocurrency has fueled the creation of projects like Shiba Inu, which was also in the crypto-headlines in 2021.
8. Axie Infinity and the innovative Play-to-Earn concept
Yet another craze for 2021 was the “play to earn” concept.
These games, most notably Axie Infinity, based on NFTs, caught the attention of gamers around the world.
The popularity has been so great that the AXS token in the project has seen an increase of about 20,000% in appreciation in 2021.
9. China has created its own digital currency (e-CNY)
In order to deal with the rise of a cryptocurrency like bitcoin and keep a grip on monetary policy, Beijing has decided to launch its own digital currency, the e-yuan, which does not rely on decentralized blockchain technology. China announced in mid-July that the first trials of its e-yuan were almost complete after more than $5 billion of transactions have already been made using this currency.
While there is no specific timetable for the official launch of the e-yuan, the digital currency is expected to make its debut during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. Foreign tourists could then use it for their expenses.
Other countries, such as Sweden and the United States and the European Union, are also considering launching a central bank digital currency.
10. The first Bitcoin ETF debuted on the NYSE
On October 19, the first U.S. exchange-traded fund (ETF) backed by bitcoin futures contracts started trading. In less than an hour, it logged more than $440 million in trades, and eventually closed the day with more than $1 billion in transactions, marking one of the most impressive debuts in the history of the U.S. stock market for an ETF.
Why is it so amazing? The U.S. financial markets watchdog – the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – had so far rejected all applications for approval of bitcoin-listed funds, since the first one filed in 2013.
You are now aware of what happened in the crypto sphere in 2021. To stay informed of the latest news for 2022 and take advantage of the best opportunities, follow us on social networks or visit our website regularly!