It's hard to believe, but we are nearly already halfway through December and that means that the year 2021 will be quickly coming to an end. In regards to the bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets, it has been an up-and-down rollercoaster. The year started with a bang price-wise, and this led people to make enormous end-of-the-year price predictions. Unfortunately at the time of writing this article, we have not approached those numbers, but it has been a very successful year nonetheless. Just a year ago, bitcoin was still marching towards its previous all-time high price still blowing $20k, and there was around $700. Meaning it has been a very profitable year for anyone who has been invested in cryptocurrency for at least a year. But, it can be very easy to become lost in the noise, in the current round of FUD, or the mood of the market. That is why the famous crypto phrase, "when in doubt, just zoom out," is so important. A problem that many of us deal with is that we want everything to happen very quickly. We want the price to go to the moon. We want adoption to become mainstream. We also want more companies and countries to adopt bitcoin or crypto as well. This will not happen instantly and we all need to have some patience. So today let's review and go over the year 2021 in bitcoin and crypto. It has been a much more monumental year than most realize.
Bitcoin Breaks All-Time Highs and Passes $60k
While technically bitcoin broke its previous all-time high in December of 2020, but it kept marching upwards setting new marks. A lot of you reading this article are probably new to crypto and didn't live through the bear market of 2018. There was a lot of doubt if bitcoin would ever be able to recover. Was it just a bubble or FAD? I think most of us now realize that it isn't, but when prices have dropped 80% or more, it can be hard to keep a positive way of thinking. When bitcoin made a new all-time high price, it was redemption for so many people that believed in it during those dark years. And then it kept going up. This gave credence to all the speculation of what bitcoin may potentially become, and how there could someday be hyper-bitcoinization.
Tesla Buys Bitcoin
This was the shot that hurt around the world, and it sent bitcoin's price up to new heights. While it wasn't the first company to buy bitcoin and put it on its balance sheet. Microstrategy and Square had both done that in 2020. But those companies are not on the same level as Tesla and have perhaps the most influential CEO with Elon Musk. It was thought that this was only the beginning. That Tesla buying would lead other companies to put bitcoin on their balance sheets such as Apple, Amazon, and more. While that hasn't happened yet, it is still early. These things take time.
While bitcoin was just beginning to cool off in the first half of the year, coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inc took off in popularity. If there was a meme that could go along with the coin, or if it had popular influencers shilling it, these coins pumped massively. I have always maintained a position that I'm not a fan of meme coins, I would rather invest in the coins that I believe in long-term. But, I openly admit that there is money to be made in that market. It could be argued that fiat currency in itself is a meme. While I still have doubts about the future of these coins, I don't think we have heard the last from them. Meme coins went mainstream and were the talk of the town.
We all thought that Meme coins would be the biggest hype movement of the year, especially with retail investors, but then NFTs took off. NFTs were selling for millions of dollars and this is just the beginning. The potential market for NFTs is limitless, Memorabilia, video game items, sports and concert tickets, trading cards, art, avatars, and the list goes on. If you had any doubt about the potential future for NFTs, those doubts should have been shattered when Facebook went all-in. Changing their name from Facebook to Meta, and putting all of their resources into building the Metaverse. Which you probably already guessed, will feature NFTs heavily. This will be the future.
Ethereum New All-Time High and Emergence of Rivals
Ethereum is potentially the most versatile and ambitious blockchain out there. There is the potential to do anything you could dream with it. Taking this into account, Ethereum also putting EIP 1559 into effect and ETH 2 getting closer and closer. This has all led to the price of Ethereum soaring and even gaining on bitcoin. Those talks of Ethereum potentially eclipsing bitcoin in terms of market cap have begun to pick up as well. Since the summer, the talk of the market hasn't been bitcoin, but it has been Ethereum and also its rivals. Because there has been so much usage demand for Ethereum, fees have soared to unbearable amounts. This makes the long wait for ETH 2 and the promise of lower fees much harder to wait for. This has given ETH rivals a chance and they have taken advantage of it and surged in popularity. Coins such as Solana, Avalanche, and Luna have all done very well recently. While I think ETH is here to stay and will most likely always be the top smart contract blockchain. But I do think that there is room for more than one.
The First Country Buys Bitcoin
The second shot that hurt around the world was when El Salvador adopted bitcoin as their legal tender. They would be using bitcoin lightning for payments and this would be the first true test for this second layer of bitcoin. It was meant to make everyday usage of the blockchain for payments such as coffee and so on, viable. While there have been some hiccups, those are all to be expected and this has been a great success. The world is watching and El Salvador definitely won't be the last country to do this. The president has also announced plans to build the first bitcoin city and this will be a very interesting endeavor to watch. For those who have been hoping to see cryptocurrency go mainstream, this is what we have all been waiting for.
There have been a lot of positives this year, but there has been a lot of FUD that we have had to deal with as well. I have said this many times throughout the year, but many of these FUD news stories in previous years would have meant the end of the bull market and sent us straight to a multiyear bear market. Things such as bitcoin mining energy FUD, China banning bitcoin and then also the great china mining exodus, USA regulation FUD, the infrastructure bill FUD, Evergrande default FUD, BTC double spend FUD, El Salvador FUD and the list goes on. But bitcoin has survived each one, and lives to fight another day.
These are just a few of the things that have happened during the year 2021 and there are many huge events that I didn't even mention. The constant onslaught of news in this market is impossible for just one person to keep up with. I think this has been an amazing year for bitcoin and crypto, and I never imagined that a country would be adopting bitcoin so early in the game. I was disappointed that other large companies didn't adopt bitcoin like I thought they would after the Tesla announcement. But, I think that will happen in due time. A lot of people will be disappointed we didn't reach those huge price milestones as well. Naturally, I would have liked to reach them as well. But, this too will happen in due time. We are all in this for the long-term and we need to have patience.
How about you? What did you think were the biggest crypto stories of 2021? What stories did I miss?
As always, thank you for reading!