2021 was a breakout yr for the cryptocurrency market in lots of respects and most traders are completely thrilled that Bitcoin (BTC) worth established a brand new all-time excessive of $68,789. In the identical timeframe, Ether (ETH) went on a parabolic rally which noticed its worth acquire 565% from Jan. 1 to hit a file excessive at $4,859 on Nov. 10.
Whereas it was a banner yr for big cap cryptocurrencies, a few of the greatest features and most impactful developments got here from the altcoin market the place decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) rallied by hundreds of p.c and helped to usher in a brand new degree of consciousness and adoption for blockchain know-how and cryptocurrencies.
Right here’s a take a look at 5 altcoin tasks that made vital contributions to the cryptocurrency ecosystem in 2021.
The decentralized alternate Uniswap (UNI) has arguably had the best influence on the crypto ecosystem as a complete since launching in the summertime of 2020, with the DEX seeing vital development all through 2021 because it helped facilitate the launch of hundreds of latest crypto tasks by eradicating the limitations to launch that existed on centralized exchanges.
Information offered by Dune Analytics reveals that Uniswap has been the dominant DEX all year long and it has persistently seen extra buying and selling quantity than all different DEXs mixed.
As seen on the chart above, the quantity traded on decentralized exchanges actually began to ramp up within the second half of 2021 led largely by exercise on Uniswap.
All through 2021 Uniswap led the sphere in growth as properly, with the builders behind the protocol asserting the discharge of Uniswap v3 in March. The v3 improve included a number of protocol upgrades and it constructed the muse to combine layer-two scaling options like Optimism and Arbitrum with Uniswap as a method to assist cut back the transaction prices and processing occasions for customers.
Aave (AAVE) is a DeFi lending protocol that permits customers to deposit their tokens and lend them out as a solution to earn a yield or pledge them as collateral as a way to borrow one other asset.
Because the DeFi sector began to realize traction in early 2021, AAVE emerged as a group favourite due to the broad swath of crypto belongings supported and the backing from some well-funded gamers.
Over the course of the yr, AAVE expanded its capabilities and attain with the discharge of AAVE v2 which added help for Polygon, a layer-two scaling answer, and Avalanche, which is a well-liked cross-chain blockchain community.
On account of these added capabilities, the entire liquidity out there on the AAVE protocol has surpassed $25.7 billion, making AAVE the top-ranked DeFi protocol by whole worth locked (TVL).
Curve Finance is a stablecoin-focused protocol that makes use of an automatic market maker to handle liquidity on the platform and throughout the DeFi ecosystem.
Stablecoins have emerged as a foundational piece for the cryptocurrency group as a complete in 2021 as a result of they supply adequate liquidity for the market and a protected haven for merchants searching for shelter during times of excessive volatility.
The rising significance that stablecoins have benefited Curve protocol and its native CRV by accelerating its integration of stablecoins into lots of the prime DeFi protocols, together with the Yearn.Finance ecosystem and Convex Finance.
Even supposing a good portion of the belongings locked on the Curve protocol are stablecoins, the platform now ranks because the second main protocol by way of TVL behind AAVE, with information from Defi Llama exhibiting that $21.77 billion in worth is now locked in Curve vaults.
Curve has additionally built-in with lots of the most energetic blockchain networks, together with Ethereum, Avalanche, Concord, xDAI, Polygon, Arbitrum and Fantom, which is additional proof of the protocol’s quest to be the stablecoin liquidity supplier for the whole crypto market.
Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn (p2e) buying and selling and battling recreation that permits contributors to gather, breed, increase, battle and commerce NFT-based creatures referred to as Axies.
The p2e mannequin emerged as a brand new fan favourite over the course of 2021 as a result of it supplies customers with the flexibility to earn a every day revenue alongside their gameplay, which provides a couple of distinctive benefits when in comparison with the normal pay-to-play mannequin.
Alongside the rise in reputation of Axie Infinity got here a brand new all-time excessive for the platform’s native AXS token. Because the token stormed to new highs, the platform generated a every day income of $17.55 million at its peak on August 6.
Axie Infinity was additionally one of many earliest tasks to ascertain the pattern of migrating away from the Ethereum community due to excessive charges and gradual transactions. Earlier within the yr the undertaking migrated to the Ronin sidechain and in November the undertaking launched its personal DEX referred to as Katana.
Dogecoin is an open-source proof of labor cryptocurrency that leads the sphere of “meme” cash that made headlines all all through 2021.
Whereas the undertaking has few contributions on the technological or growth entrance, frequent shilling from the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban helped to push Doge right into a 23,746% rally that noticed the value rise fr from $0.0031 on Jan. 1 to an all-time excessive of $0.74 on Could 8.
On prime of the features seen in DOGE worth, the token acquired elevated consideration after it was introduced that it will be used to assist fund the launch of a lunar satellite tv for pc by SpaceX and the Dogecoin motion additionally kicked off a meme-coin rally and spawned a bevy of copy-dog tasks li Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogelon Mars (ELON).
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