2021 was undoubtedly a historic year for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Bitcoin hit a new all time high, saw adoption from nations and corporations alike, and gained attention from several nations across the globe. That isn’t to say there weren’t setbacks: Major crashes, millions of USD in longs liquidated. The world also saw increasing anti-crypto legislation and pushback from politicians in India, The United States, and China.
Not the ending to the year that everyone was hoping for
Bitcoin unfortunately did not live up to expectations this year. Many thought that 2021 would be the year it hit $100,000, and were disappointed to see it end the year around just a little above the $46,000 mark. However, Bitcoin started January 1st, 2021 right above the $29,000 mark. This is still a sizeable annual return for any long-term investor. Many CEOs also continuously bought Bitcoin throughout 2021, including big names like Michael Saylor and Elon Musk. On December 30 Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, tweeted that the company had purchased an additional 1914 Bitcoin for its portfolio.
El Salvador had a Bitcoin heavy year as well. Nayib Bukele, President of the Central American country, has bought over 1000 Bitcoin for the nations own Bitcoin wallet. Additionally, the country began using the Chivo wallet as the country’s official Bitcoin wallet. There have been a decent number of complaints about the usage of the wallets, citing minor errors and issues with usability and the transferring of funds. President Bukele has announced plans to make a “Bitcoin city” which will be near a volcano and entirely funded by the cryptocurrency. The eyes of the world are currently on El Salvador. What happens with their Bitcoin experiment will definitely influence the way the world adopts and views Bitcoin in the years to come.
Bitcoin market dominance and altcoins
Bitcoin has always been the reigning leader among cryptocurrency. While the top coins have often changed, the one fact that has remained the same throughout the whole history of the market is Bitcoin has reigned supreme, no matter what. This year we saw altcoins hit 10,000 percent gains, or more. Many of these coins have significant use cases, and some benefits over Bitcoin. There have been concerns over the environmental friendliness of Bitcoin. While Bitcoin doesn’t have ridiculous transaction fees or times, there are now other coins out there that still do it faster, or have more usage.
Ethereum, the second largest coin by market cap, ended 2021 around $3700. It started the year at less than $800. That’s a gain of more than 400 percent, while Bitcoin saw a gain of around 70 percent. Ethereum’s market cap rests at a little over half of Bitcoin’s currently. With continued NFT exposure on the news and social media, the hype around Ethereum will only increase. That doesn’t mean Bitcoin is going to die in 2022, or anywhere near it. Bitcoin will most likely continue to be dominant in every aspect of the market, and if all goes well, adoption should continue to accelerate at an even faster rate. It is unlikely that another coin will overtake Bitcoin anytime soon, but it is definitely something to watch.