Cryptocurrency investors had a good time in 2021, much like they did in 2020. Despite the market's volatility, the overall sentiment about cryptocurrencies was positive. The popularity of meme currencies, alt coins, and NFTs skyrocketed during the year gone by. Meme coins like Shiba Inu and Dogecoin dominated conversations, with entrepreneurs like Elon Musk regularly endorsing their favourites. Mr Musk, who frequently tweets cryptic messages about the crypto business, initially backed Dogecoin but eventually switched his support to Shiba Inu. The year offered remarkable success to the crypto industry even as the world remained occupied yet again in finding ways to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here's a look at the best performers of 2021:
1) Shiba Inu (SHIB)
The self-proclaimed “Dogecoin Killer” posted incredible gains in 2021 – 43 million per cent price increase from January to December. It sat at a price of $0.000000000077 at the start of the year. Not many were interested in the coin then. However, a rally in May gave a necessary boost to Shiba Inu, which also allowed it to consolidate its position. The coin rose to an all-time high of $0.00008616 with a market capitalisation of $40 billion in October. In December-end, Shiba traded at $0.00003407.
2) Terra (LUNA)
Luna too posted impressive gains of 13,790 per cent in 2021. Starting the year at $0.65, it rallied in early March to a new high of $22. Then in the second half of the year, it posted another high in early December at $81. And by late December, it had crossed the $100 barrier, touching the all-time high of $103.33, before settling down to $85.49.
3) Axie Infinity (AXS)
AXS was trading at $0.53 at the start of 2021. The utility coin then gained steam in June when interest shifted towards the gaming industry. The coin used to play Axie Infinity, a Pokemon-inspired play-to-earn metaverse game built on the Ethereum blockchain, rose to an all-time high of $164 in November before pulling back to the current price of $94.90. It gained 12,022 percent in value during the year.
4) Solana (SOL)
Solana gained more than 10,000 per cent in 2021. The coin began the year at $1.52 and crossed the $50 benchmark in mid-May. The price really rallied in August and September from $40 to above $180. Solana reached an all-time high of $259 in November. In December it traded at $172.
The biggest cryptocurrency by m-cap, Bitcoin remained at the top position throughout 2021, maintaining its distance from its closest rival Ethereum. It, however, saw volatility in prices through the year. It started the year at a low of $28,803 on January 1 and peaked at $68,789 on November 10. While the gain was just 138 percent, it was enough to keep investors happy. In December-end, Bitcoin traded at $46,863.