The 2021 cryptocurrency market was a success in many ways. Most investors were thrilled to see Bitcoin ( Bitcoin_) reach a record $68,789.
The same time, Ether ( Ethereum) experienced a parabolic rally that saw its price rise 565% since Jan. 1, to reach a record high of $4,859 on November 10.
It was a great year for large-cap cryptocurrencies. However, the most significant gains and most important developments were made in the altcoin markets where decentralized finance and nonfungible tokens (NFTs), rallied by thousands and helped to bring about a new level awareness and adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
Let’s take a look at five altcoin-related projects that have made significant contributions to the cryptocurrency ecosystem by 2021.
Since its launch in summer 2020, the decentralized exchange Uni swap has had the most impact on crypto ecosystem. The DEX saw significant growth through 2021.
It helped to facilitate thousands of new crypto projects due to its ability remove the obstacles that were present on centralized exchanges.
Dune Analytics data shows that Uni swap was the dominant DEX for the year, and has seen consistent trading volume greater than all other DEXs.
The chart shows that the volume of decentralized exchanges traded grew in the second half 2021, largely due to activity on Uni swap.
Uni swap was a leader in the field of development throughout 2021. The protocol developers announced the release in March of Uni swap v3 The v3 upgrade was a combination of multiple protocol upgrades.
It also provided the foundation for layer-two scaling solutions such as Optimism or Arbitrum to be integrated with Uni swap to reduce transaction costs and processing time.
Aave (AAVE), a De Fi lending protocol, allows users to deposit tokens and lend them out to earn a yield.
AAVE was a popular community choice as the De Fi sector began to gain momentum in early 2021. This is due to the large number of crypto assets supported and the support from well-funded players.
AAVE v2 was released in December, expanding its reach and capabilities. It added support for Polygon (a layer-two scaling solution) and Avalanche (a cross-chain blockchain network).
These added capabilities have made AAVE the most valuable De Fi protocol in terms of total value locked (TVL) and has made it the largest available liquidity protocol.
Curve Finance, a protocol that focuses on stable coins, uses an automated market maker to manage liquidity across the De Fi ecosystem and on the platform.
Because they provide liquidity to the market and offer protection for traders who need shelter from volatility, stable coins are a key piece of the cryptocurrency community in 2021.
Curve protocol and its native Curve CRV have been benefited by stable coins’ increasing importance. Curve protocol has accelerated its integration of stable coins in many top De Fi protocols including Convex Finance and Yearn. Finance.
Despite the fact that stable coins make up a large portion of assets on Curve protocol, Curve is still the most popular protocol in terms TVL, behind AAVE. Data from De fi Llama shows that Curve vaults hold $21.77 billion.
Curve also integrates with many of most active blockchain networks including Ethereum, Avalanche and Harmony. This is further proof of Curve’s desire to be the stable coin liquidity provider in the crypto market.
Axie Infinity, a play to earn (p2e), trading and battling game, allows players to breed, raise, fight, and trade NFT-based Axies.
The p2e model became a popular choice in 2021 due to its ability to provide users with a daily income along with their gameplay. This model offers some unique advantages over traditional pay-to play.
Axie Infinity’s popularity grew, and so did the native AXS token. This was an all-time record. The platform’s peak on August 6 saw a $17.55 million daily revenue.
Axie Infinity was also among the first projects to start the trend of people leaving the Ethereum network due to high fees and slow transactions. The project moved to the Ronin sidechain earlier in the year and launched Katana, its own DEX in November.
Dogecoin, an open-source proof-of-work cryptocurrency, is a leader in the field of “meme”, which has been making headlines throughout 2021.
Although the project is not a major contributor to the development or technological front, frequent shilling by the likes Elon Musk, Shark Tank star Mark Cuban and Tesla CEO Elon Tesla helped push Doge to a 23,746% rally which saw the price go up from $0.0031 on January 1 to an all time high of $0.74 on May 8
In addition to the DOGE price gains, the token attracted more attention after it was announced it would be used for funding the launch of a Lunar satellite by SpaceX.
The Dogecoin movement also launched a meme-coin rally that spawned a slew of copy-dog projects like Dogelon Mars and Shiba Inu (SHIB).