- The global cryptocurrency market cap soared to new heights in 2021.
- The year was the most memorable so far in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.
- The top ten cryptocurrency list saw new projects make the cut while others fell off the rankings.
2021 was unarguably crypto’s biggest year and as the year winds down, the ecosystem can pat itself on its back despite some rocky patches.
The State of The Markets
The global cryptocurrency market capitalization sits at $2.2 trillion which is a shadow of the $3 trillion that it reached as Bitcoin surpassed $68,000. Over the last 24 hours, the market volume averaged at $99.87 billion which is 35.07% over the last day as investors made last-minute trades before the year ran out.
Bitcoin, the largest crypto, has seen a steady dwindling of its fortune in recent weeks as it trades at $47,090. This sub $50K price has also led to Bitcoin’s market share dropping to 40.16% and looks like it might lose ground to other cryptocurrencies. Ethereum has seized the opportunity to close the gap, increasing its market dominance to 20.04% with a market capitalization of $442 billion.
Binance Coin is the third-largest cryptocurrency with a market dominance of 3.97% followed by Tether’s USDT that has a share of 3.39%. Solana, Cardano, and USD Coin occupy the 5th, 6th, and 7th spots with 2.54%, 2.16%, and 1.83% respectively. XRP, Terra, and Polkadot fill in the 8th, 9th, and 10th places.
A few months ago, meme coins like DOGE and SHIB sat in the top 10 largest cryptocurrencies but the recalibration leaves them in 12th and 13th places respectively. Cardano’s surge after launching smart contracts on the network saw it rise to third place before being supplanted by Solana’s meteoric rise in Q3. Polkadot hangs in tenth place largely thanks to the launch of parachains on the network.
Stablecoins grew by over 300% this year with USDT and USDC leading the charge. The asset class now has a market capitalization of $162 billion despite calls by regulators for stricter regulations. DeFi market capitalization also skyrocketed to $162.29 billion in what could be described as a stellar 12 months. This growth comes in the face of several scams and hacks that have rocked the space, costing investors losses running into millions of dollars.
While Bitcoin failed to snag the $100,000 end-of-year price, investors are hopeful that 2022 will bring new tidings for the ecosystem. The approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF could be a major catalyst in sending the asset price to newer heights.
Investors are also keeping an eye on Ethereum’s proposed switch to Proof-of-Stake and the effects that it could have on the broader space. The SEC’s long-running battle with Ripple is also expected to come to a conclusion in 2022 and will have the effect of clarifying certain regulatory gray areas.