YEARENDER-The Year of the Doge? 2021, crypto's wildest year yet
1/Bitcoin: Still no.1
Bitcoin soared over 120% from Jan 1. to a then-record of almost $65,000 in mid-April. Fuelling it was a tsunami of cash from institutional investors, growing acceptance by major corporations such as Tesla Inc and Mastercard Inc and an increasing embrace by Wall Street banks.
2/The rise of the memecoins
"Memecoins" - a loose collection of coins ranging from dogecoin and shiba inu to squid game that have their roots in web culture - often have little practical use.
Dogecoin, launched in 2013 as a bitcoin spinoff, soared over 12,000% to an all-time high in May before slumping almost 80% by mid-December. Shiba inu, which references the same breed of Japanese canine as dogecoin, briefly muscled its way into the 10 largest digital currencies.
3/Regulation: The (large) elephant in the room
Long sceptical of crypto - a rebel technology invented to undermine traditional finance - watchdogs called for more powers over the sector, with some warning consumers over volatility.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) - strings of code stored on the blockchain digital ledger that represent unique ownership of artworks, videos or even tweets - exploded in 2021.
In March, a digital artwork by U.S. artist Beeple sold for nearly $70 million at Christie's, among the three most expensive pieces by a living artist sold at auction.
The sale heralded a stampede for NFTs.
Sales in the third-quarter hit $10.7 billion, up over eight-fold from the previous three months. As volumes peaked in August, prices for some NFTs rose so quickly speculators could "flip" them for profit in days, or even hours.
Part of the content is taken from Yahoo.
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