5 cryptocurrency projects that made waves in 2021


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2021 was a breakout yr for the cryptocurrency market in lots of respects and most buyers are completely thrilled that Bitcoin (BTC) worth established a brand new all-time excessive of $68,789. In the identical timeframe, Ether (ETH) went on a parabolic rally that noticed its worth acquire 565% from Jan. 1 to hit a report excessive at $4,859 on Nov. 10.

Whereas it was a banner yr for big cap cryptocurrencies, a few of the largest positive aspects and most impactful developments got here from the altcoin market the place decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) rallied by 1000’s of p.c and helped to usher in a brand new degree of consciousness and adoption for blockchain expertise and cryptocurrencies.

Right here’s a have a look at 5 altcoin tasks that made important contributions to the cryptocurrency ecosystem in 2021.


The decentralized change Uniswap (UNI) has arguably had the best impression on the crypto ecosystem as a complete since launching in the summertime of 2020, with the DEX seeing important development all through 2021 because it helped facilitate the launch of 1000’s of latest crypto tasks by eradicating the limitations to launch that existed on centralized exchanges.

Knowledge supplied by Dune Analytics exhibits that Uniswap has been the dominant DEX all year long and it has constantly seen extra buying and selling quantity than all different DEXs mixed.

Month-to-month DEX quantity by challenge. Supply: Dune Analytics

As seen on the chart above, the amount traded on decentralized exchanges actually began to ramp up within the second half of 2021 led largely by exercise on Uniswap.

All through 2021, Uniswap led the sphere in growth as effectively, with the builders behind the protocol asserting the discharge of Uniswap v3 in March. The v3 improve included a number of protocol upgrades and it constructed the muse to combine layer-two scaling options like Optimism and Arbitrum with Uniswap as a approach to assist cut back the transaction prices and processing instances for customers.


Aave (AAVE) is a DeFi lending protocol that permits customers to deposit their tokens and lend them out as a method to earn a yield or pledge them as collateral with a purpose to borrow one other asset.

Because the DeFi sector began to realize traction in early 2021, AAVE emerged as a group favourite because of the vast swath of crypto belongings supported and the backing from some well-funded gamers.

Over the course of the yr, AAVE expanded its capabilities and attain with the discharge of AAVE v2, which added assist for Polygon, a layer-two scaling answer, and Avalanche (AVAX), which is a well-liked cross-chain blockchain community.

Complete liquidity on the AAVE protocol. Supply: Aave

Because of these added capabilities, the entire liquidity out there on the AAVE protocol has surpassed $25.7 billion, making AAVE the top-ranked DeFi protocol by complete worth locked (TVL).


Curve Finance is a stablecoin-focused protocol that makes use of an automatic market maker to handle liquidity on the platform and throughout the DeFi ecosystem.

Stablecoins have emerged as a foundational piece for the cryptocurrency group as a complete in 2021 as a result of they supply enough liquidity for the market and a secure haven for merchants in search of shelter in periods of excessive volatility. 

The rising significance that stablecoins have benefited the Curve protocol and its native CRV by accelerating its integration of stablecoins into lots of the high DeFi protocols, together with the Yearn.Finance ecosystem and Convex Finance.

Even if a good portion of the belongings locked on the Curve protocol are stablecoins, the platform now ranks because the second main protocol by way of TVL behind AAVE, with knowledge from Defi Llama exhibiting that $21.77 billion in worth is now locked in Curve vaults.

Complete worth locked on Curve. Supply: Defi Llama

Curve has additionally built-in with lots of the most energetic blockchain networks, together with Ethereum, Avalanche, Concord, xDAI, Polygon, Arbitrum and Fantom, which is additional proof of the protocol’s quest to be the stablecoin liquidity supplier for the complete crypto market.

Associated: US Financial Stability Oversight Council identifies stablecoins and cryptos as threats to financial system

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn (P2E) buying and selling and battling sport that permits individuals to gather, breed, elevate, battle and commerce NFT-based creatures referred to as Axies.

The P2E mannequin emerged as a brand new fan favourite over the course of 2021 as a result of it gives customers with the power to earn a each day earnings alongside their gameplay, which presents a number of distinctive benefits when in comparison with the standard pay-to-play mannequin.

Alongside the rise in reputation of Axie Infinity got here a brand new all-time excessive for the platform’s native AXS token. Because the token stormed to new highs, the platform generated a each day income of $17.55 million at its peak on August 6.

Axie Infinity worth vs. complete income. Supply: Token Terminal

Axie Infinity was additionally one of many earliest tasks to ascertain the pattern of migrating away from the Ethereum community due to excessive charges and sluggish transactions. Earlier within the yr, the challenge migrated to the Ronin sidechain and in November, the challenge launched its personal DEX referred to as Katana.


Dogecoin (DOGE) is an open-source proof-of-work cryptocurrency that leads the sphere of “meme” cash that made headlines all all through 2021.

Whereas the challenge has few contributions on the technological or growth entrance, frequent shilling from the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban helped to push Doge right into a 23,746% rally that noticed the value rise from $0.0031 on Jan. 1 to an all-time excessive of $0.74 on Could 8.

DOGE/USDT 1-day chart. Supply: TradingView

On high of the positive aspects seen in DOGE worth, the token acquired elevated consideration after it was introduced that it could be used to assist fund the launch of a lunar satellite tv for pc by SpaceX and the Dogecoin motion kicked off a meme-coin rally, spawning a bevy of copy-dog tasks like Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogelon Mars (ELON).

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