Last year’s (2021) crypto asset (virtual currency) market can be represented by three English words- ” To The Moon “. The crypto asset market rose sharply in 2021.
Bitcoin ( BTC ) and Ethereum ( ETH ) maintained their strong performance from the previous year and reached record highs at the beginning of the year. The market capitalization of crypto assets as a whole reached about $ 2.2 trillion in December from about $ 800 billion in January (CoinMarketCap data).
Major altcoins recorded triple-digit percent returns, well above Bitcoin, which rose 66 percent in 2021.
The top 10 in 2021 was dominated by crypto assets that were little known before 2021. But there are three clear themes – Metaverse, ” Ethereum Killer “, and Memecoin.
Based on data from cryptocurrency analysis company Messari, let’s take a look at the top 10 cryptocurrency assets in 2021 by theme from among cryptocurrency assets with a market capitalization of more than $ 5 billion as of the end of 2021.
・ 1st place The Sandbox (SAND) + 16,265%
・ 2nd place Axie Infinity (AXS) + 16,160%
・7th place Descentland (MANA) + 3,943%
Metaverse (virtual space) has become the hottest segment in the crypto-asset market, triggered by the company name change to Facebook’s “Meta”. Despite falling from record highs, Metaverse and NFT gaming crypto assets ranked first and second in the top 10 crypto assets in 2021.
The Sandbox / SAND’s stunning performance rose 16,265%, narrowly surpassing play-to-earn NFT games Axie Infinity / AXS. , Shined in the top one. Investors have bet on the vision that many will spend time in virtual space.
Competing Decentraland / MANA also rose about 40 times to rank 7th. The entry of institutional investors has contributed significantly to the rise in The Sandbox and Decentraland. In the fourth quarter of 2021 (October-December), Adidas and Under Armor announced a partnership.
Axie Infinity (AXS) came in second with a 16,160% increase (the five-digit percentage is confusing, but it’s about 162% up = about 163 times). Axie Infinity has expanded rapidly as many people in countries such as the Philippines and Venezuela have lost their jobs and started playing the game to earn money due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection.
The growth of Axie Infinity has spurred the emergence of many “play-to-ear” games, which, among industry insiders, have accelerated the spread of crypto assets to the general public. Some people think they will.
・ 3rd place polygon (MATIC) +14,496%
・4th place Terra (LUNA) + 13,808%
・5th place Phantom (FTM) + 13,007%
・6th place Solana (SOL) + 9,374%
・9th place Avalanche (AVAX) + 2,787%
Dissatisfaction with the soaring gas prices (transaction fees) of the Ethereum blockchain also symbolizes the 2021 crypto asset market.
Due to the congestion of the Ethereum blockchain, the layer 1 blockchain that aims to replace it, the so-called “Ethereum killer”, and the layer 2 cryptographic assets that are scaling solutions have grown significantly, accounting for half of the top 10.
Polygon (MATIC), which came in third with a rise of about 14,500%, has had a brilliant year with more users of DeFi (decentralized finance), non-fungible tokens (NFT), and decentralized apps (dapps). ..
The DeFi ecosystem is the second largest in the DeFi ecosystem, surpassing the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), setting a new record high. Demand for the stable coin “TerraUSD (UST)”, which had a market capitalization of over $ 10 billion at the end of the year, also helped raise prices.
Similarly, Layer 1 blockchain crypto assets Phantom, Solana, and Avalanche are in the top ten.
That doesn’t mean it was a bad year for Ethereum. Ethereum will rise 418% in 2021. This is about 6 times the return of Bitcoin.
・8th place Dogecoin (DOGE) + 2,943%
・10th place Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) + 1,608%
While the crypto community has argued over Ethereum’s scaling solutions (Optimistic vs ZK rollups) and over popular NFTs (Crypto Punks vs Bored Apes), some have been worried about different issues. Will dog-themed crypto assets rise?
In 2021, speculative movements of individual investors became active in both the stock market and the crypto-asset market, and “meme coins” such as Dogecoin (DOGE) and its derivative coin, Shiba Inu Coin (SHIB), became popular.
Dogecoin rose to a record high of $ 0.74 in early 2021 with a big boost from a tweet by Elon Musk, who calls himself “DogeFather.”
As Dogecoin weakened in late 2021, the Shiba Inu coin gained popularity and slipped into the final slot of the Top 10.