The year 2021 is coming to a close, and if there’s one way to describe how the cryptocurrency industry fared in the past 12 months, it would be momentous growth.
Major cryptocurrencies shattered previous records, adoption grew, new sectors sprouted and novel blockchain use cases made significant breakthroughs.
The Market Insight’s latest edition recalls the events covered in past issues as well as deep-dive topics in Cointelegraph Research’s industry reports.
DeFi and Altcoins
Two of the top gainers of 2021 were Solana (SOL) and Terra (LUNA). SOL gained 9,500%, while LUNA gained 13,000%. Significant investments and ecosystem growth catalyzed the immense gains for the two tokens. One could also argue that the two being billed as potential “Ethereum killers” had a part in contributing to their massive rallies.
In the decentralized finance (DeFi) scene, the two tokens sit among the top five in total value locked (TVL). Solana is at No. 5 with $11.45 billion, and LUNA has recently surpassed Binance Coin (BNB) for the No. 2 spot with $18.9 billion, according to Defi Llama. Moreover, the emerging ecosystems of Solana and Terra deserve a deeper look, which is why they are the subject of Cointelegraph Research’s upcoming reports.
DeFi followed a similar growth trajectory as the broader crypto market in 2021.
Competition has undoubtedly increased for Ethereum. Its TVL share was 97% in January but is currently down to 62.54%, per Defi Llama. The next phase of development for the sector comes into question in 2022, especially since the growth of DeFi this year has been so substantial that authorities have switched from denying the industry to grappling with ways to deal with it.
The DeFi market capitalization remains a small fraction of the overall cryptocurrency market cap, but it underwent the same growth trajectory. Some believe that integration with legacy banking could be one of the main focuses for DeFi in 2022.
Nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, found their breakout year in 2021 despite existing since 2014….