Crypto Market in Retrospect: 2021 Edition | Market Updates, KuCoin Milestones & More!

2021/12/23 09:42:53

Although it is very hard to believe, we are just a few days from entering a brand new year - 2022. The least that we can say about 2021 is that it has been quite an eventful year for both the cryptocurrency market and KuCoin. The crypto market saw astronomical growth and increased adoption this year, with hundreds of altcoins registering their all-time high values.

The launch of Bitcoin ETFs increased the trust of institutions and retail speculators towards digital currencies. Needless to talk about the hype NFTs and Metaverse tokens saw in the past few months. Crypto exchanges along with companies that allow crypto adoption to the masses have seen enormous growth this year, and KuCoin stood at the forefront of this rapid growth.

However, if you are still not over 2021and can hardly even recall everything that has happened this year, we got your back! In this article, we have covered some of the most important crypto events that took place in 2021 and what we can learn from them.

Bitcoin’s Brand-New ATH

The journey of Bitcoin in 2021 is unprecedented. Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin was in the shadows till its first real bull run in 2017. Its second bull run occurred in 2021, where its price rose by over 300%, outperforming "Gold" by ten times. From where it was at the end of 2020, Bitcoin saw a whole new level of bullish pressure since the beginning of 2021. Although there were significant lower lows, the world's most valuable digital asset proved its potential by climbing back to reclaim its position.

As you can see in the below screenshot, Bitcoin (BTC) registered its current ATH value in Nov 2021, which is close to $70,000 per Bitcoin.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Action In 2021 | BTC/USDT

Post the correction, the price of Bitcoin is now hovering at around $47,000, which is close to a 100% appreciation in value in one year. Apart from reaping huge profits to its holders, this stellar growth in BTC's price changed the perception of Bitcoin among institutional investors. Bitcoin is now known as the "digital gold" with immense investment potential and a solid store of value.

Despite its highly volatile nature, Bitcoin is now being used as a potential mode of payment, especially for large transactions. By shifting from fiat transactions to crypto transactions, the restrictions are almost nullified regarding the volume of funds sent while saving a lot on the transaction fee.

It is important to remember that this rise in Bitcoin's price and adoption occurred amid a wild pandemic where the global financial markets struggled to remain afloat. Numbers suggest that the funds that have been poured into Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency this year could have been taken out from the other financial markets, such as the stock market.

The birth of Bitcoin took place during the financial crisis of 2008, and now it is greatly benefited during the next big financial crisis the world saw during the pandemic. This suggests that the Bitcoin and crypto market as a whole is on track to become an alternative to the existing financial system.

Launch of Bitcoin ETFs

Another significant event that we saw in 2021 was the approval and launch of the first-ever Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund - BITO (Bitcoin Strategy Fund). With BITO, you can get exposure to the Bitcoin asset class without actually owning a Bitcoin. In the last quarter of 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the proposal of ProShares to launch their own BTC ETF. SEC has previously rejected close to ten proposals by various organizations that wanted to launch their Bitcoin ETF.

With the BITO ETF, users can now invest in Bitcoin on the US Stock market, indicating its path to go mainstream. Also, the BITO ETF is futures-based which tracks Bitcoin futures contracts only. However, the approval of this ETF by the SEC has paved the way for other companies to launch their own ETFs. For instance, Fidelity plans to launch their own Bitcoin Spot ETF very soon.

The Altcoin Domination

The rise of altcoins has been one of the most lucrative aspects of the crypto market in 2021. The Bitcoin dominance in the crypto market at the end of 2020 was at around 63%, and at the time of writing this article, it was around 40%. This one statistic indicates the altcoin dominance that we saw this year. In the below screenshot, you can see the list of the top 8 altcoins (excluding Ethereum) in terms of market capitalization.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Excluding the stablecoins, Bitcoin and Ethereum, we can see many new entrants to this list. Many altcoins have registered their all-time high values this year while providing a potential solution to existing problems in the crypto world. The rise of altcoins is crucial because it is impossible to create an alternative financial system without the help of innovative protocols altcoins bring to the crypto world.

DeFi TVL Crosses $200 Billion

This is another significant milestone we saw the crypto market achieve this year. The TVL (total value locked) across all the DeFi platforms has surpassed the $200 billion mark for the first time. Locking over $235 billion in DeFi collateral indicates the public's serious commitment and trust over decentralized finance protocols. It also showcases the opportunity of passive income the DeFi market is offering to the average individual. From what it was $80 billion in 2020, a growth of 150% in the total TVL locked implies the upward trajectory of the DeFi world.

Source: DeFiLlama

The NFT Boom

Have you heard of the term “NFT'' before this year? A few would have heard the popular CryptoKitties platform that started the NFT concept way back in 2017. But 2021 is the year that saw the stellar growth of Non-Fungible Tokens with impressive adoption and use cases. A few important transactions like Beeple selling their NFT for $69 million spiked the interest of NFTs among the public.

The entire growth process of the NFT ecosystem was swift. NFT marketplaces like OpenSea have got the backing of industry giants such as Mark Cuban to launch their platform. These platforms eased the process of NFT adoption as users can easily connect their web 3.0 wallets and start purchasing NFTs in no time. The trading of NFTs has also been simplified with a straightforward interface of these platforms.

With all the robust infrastructure we discussed, the global usage of NFTs has surged over seven times in 2021. The total NFT sales have crossed a staggering amount of close to $30 billion, as reported by DappRadar. It is important to note the actual use cases of NFTs over it being considered another way to profit from.

The NFT revolution allows artists to sell their arts in the most transparent, legal, and secure way possible. If not anything else, 2021 is special just for this one reason.

Inception & Rise of Metaverse

Although the concept of metaverse was prevalent before this year, many developments took place in this area in 2021. It all started with Facebook rebranding their business name to meta Post the announcement, many metaverse tokens skyrocketed in price, and they continue to create solid buzz till today.

Top Metaverse Tokens By Market Capitalization | Source: CoinMarketCap

Metaverse promises to be a far more collaborative, interactive, and immersive world than what the internet has offered to us so far. With the advent of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the dream of the metaverse is not so far-fetched. You can consider the metaverse a virtual world where you and many others you know are virtually involved.

As we can easily convert our fiat money to crypto these days, you can switch between the real world and your metaverse seamlessly. The currency you spend on the metaverse will be cryptos using which you can purchase your digital avatars, virtual clothes, land, etc. Artists get to perform in the metaverse and will be paid in cryptos. To enable each of these, many metaverse protocols and their corresponding crypto tokens had their inception in 2021.

KuCoin Celebrates 10 Million Users

Of all the amazing things we discussed above, our absolute favorite is what we managed to achieve this year at KuCoin. It has been a remarkable year for KuCoin as our family got extended to 10 million users globally. To achieve this number in only four years is something we have to thank you all for. Apart from this number, we have achieved two more crucial numbers that you must be aware of. The cumulative transaction volume on the KuCoin platform has surpassed the $700 billion mark. Also, we have recorded the highest daily transaction volume since our inception – a staggering $10 billion+.

Crypto price tracking websites like CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko have listed KuCoin as one of the most prominent exchanges in the world by providing a trust score of a solid ten. Also, KuCoin has been named as the best cryptocurrency exchange of 2021 by a Forbes Advisor.

Source: CoinGecko

KCS Token Surged by ~3,000% | Registers a Brand New ATH

Exchange tokens are hard to promote because the only way they can go up in value is if the exchange performs exceptionally well. As discussed before, KuCoin has achieved many milestones in 2021 and continues to provide reliable crypto trading services. With a daily average trading volume of over $30 billion, traders got to access over 1000+ markets and 600+ cryptocurrencies in 2021. This staggering number led to the increase in the trust of the KuCoin native token (KCS) among the public.

Source: CoinMarketCap | KCS

From a mere $0.7 at the end of 2020, the KCS token recorded its brand new ATH at $27.57 just a few weeks ago. After a slight correction, the KCS token is now trading at around $21.49, which is still an appreciation of over 3,000% in just a year. According to a price-tracking website CryptoRank, KCS will be the most grown centralized exchange token in 2021.

KCS Token Price Action In 2021 | Source: KCS/USDT

KuCoin also offered a bonus for all the KCS holders, where a 50% of trading revenue bonus is offered to anyone who holds more than 6 KCS.

Other Notable KuCoin Milestones In 2021


2021 will go down as one of the most interesting years for the cryptocurrency world. It has been the foundational year for thousands of crypto projects, protocols, and tokens. It has been a fantastic year for KuCoin too, and thanks to you all for giving us the opportunity to serve you! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. Cheers!

Stay tuned to the KuCoin blog for more interesting updates and valuable educational content. Cheers!

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