Crypto events in 2021 in hindsight

The year 2021 is coming to an end and if there is one way to describe how the cryptocurrency industry fared in the last 12 months, it would be significant growth.

Larger cryptocurrencies broke previous records, adoption grew, new sectors sprouted, and new blockchain utility cases made significant breakthroughs.

Market Insight’s latest issue is reminiscent of the events covered in previous issues, as well as in-depth topics in Cointelegraph Research’s industry reports.

DeFi and Altcoins

Two of the best winners in 2021 were Solana (SUN) and Terra (LUNA). SOL won 9,500%, while LUNA won 13,000%. Significant investment and ecosystem growth catalyzed the huge gains for the two tokens. One can also argue that two are billed as potential “Ethereum killers” contributed to their massive rallies.

In the scene of decentralized finance (DeFi), the two tokens sit among the top five in total value-locked (TVL). Solana is No. 5 with $ 11.45 billion, and LUNA has recently surpassed Binance Coin (BNB) to No. 2 spot with $ 18.9 billion, according to Defi Llama. In addition, the new ecosystems in Solana and Terra deserve a deeper look, which is why they are the subject of Cointelegraph Research’s forthcoming reports.

DeFi followed a similar growth path as the broader crypto market in 2021.

The competition has undoubtedly increased for Ethereum. Its TVL share was 97% in January, but is currently down to 62.54% per share. Defi Llama. The next phase of development for the sector comes into play in 2022, especially as the growth of DeFi this year has been so significant that the authorities have gone from refusing the industry to struggling with ways to deal with it.

The DeFi market value remains a small fraction of the total market value of cryptocurrencies, but it underwent the same growth path. Some believe that integration with legacy banking could be one of them main focus for DeFi in 2022.


Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, found their outbreak year in 2021 despite having existed since 2014. The majority of sales came within the last 12 months, exceeding $ 14 billion in December. Digital art collections and digital collectibles dominate 91% of these sales volumes, which is one of the key data revealed in this report.

Sales in the first half of the year were primarily driven by individual artists who came into the space with their respective collections and some high-profile sales, while the second half brought in more mainstream brands.

For example, Coca-Cola auctioned off a portable bubble jacket skin in Decentraland, and we saw bought its first NFT. Such participation from these brands enabled the NFT market to flourish. The report also revealed that the most profitable NFT collection in 2021 was “CryptoPunks.” A “CryptoPunk” NFT provides a better average return on investment at all times compared to NFTs on other popular collections, such as “CryptoKitties” and “Bored Ape Yacht Club.”