A Year in Review: 2021 Hailed Crypto
2021 is cryptosive
Over the course of almost a year, the crypto market’s capitalization has more than doubled – from $776 billion to $1.56 trillion. Even with market crashes, the year-to-date ROI is 101%;other major asset classes have not been able to match the crypto market in terms of growth rate. Another year has passed, and at this point, there is no question crypto is a bull market.
Bitcoin and crypto on the loose and adopted
The first months of 2021 showed that Bitcoin is here to stay, as it was already heading even deeper into corporate land. Institutional investors have been capitalizing on BTC since the middle of last year. Major players such as Tesla, NEXON, Seetee AS, Aker AS, and Meituhave become more involved in crypto, dedicating waterfalls of cash into getting coins. But that’s not all, as both private and public companies and hedge funds have been tapping into its supply. To that end, El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender in September. Ukraine and Bulgaria’s governments have followed through as well, with the latter being proclaimed as the second-largest holder after Satoshi Nakamoto in 2017.
Until now, no major financial firms were seriously into crypto payments, but that is on its way to changing as well. Although the ‘bubble’ economy of crypto came by a few years back, sentiment has now changed. JP Morgan went from calling Bitcoin a fraud to planning a BTC fund. PayPal had previously announced it would allow crypto purchases and now it is even offering a crypto checkout service. Card conglomerates Visa and Mastercard have followed suit, announcing their own integrations with crypto. As demand increases, so do business opportunities.
The era of DeFi and NFTs has begun
Decentralized finance has been even more active this year than ever before, expanding its market cap from $15.89 billion to $56 billion – that’s over 250% growth just in the first half of the year. DeFi’s role as an alternative to traditional finance has not gone unnoticed, and it has continued to grow despite Ethereum’s scalability struggles. When Eth 2.0 is online, though, it should boost the sector’s performance even further.
With all of that happening, NFTs have also gained a spotlight. Both individuals and organizations are minting their own non-fungible tokens and spreading them out. Just like anyone who wants to have their own place, NFTs are a way to be the owner of a unique digital content piece that can come in any form. This technology’s development in the future is no doubt set to push the industry even further.
A festivity of projects
Solutions to the scalability trilemma with additional features like accessibility and ease of use have entered the top performers – as is the case with Solana. Energy-efficient alternatives to the proof-of-work protocol like Cardano are also aiming high and making their way ahead of the curve. Other approaches are more neutral – Polkadot and Avalanche, which have set themselves the goal of connecting blockchains into a single framework without affecting their operation. Even meme coins have taken a new stance with fresh entries that are standing their ground.
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