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Crypto’s Wild 2021 Will Go Down as One for the Ages

Elon Musk, Shiba Inu, El Salvador and a $69.3 million NFT all played a part in a singular year for the industry. Here are 11 key moments.  

Will crypto ever be as fun as it was in 2021?

Will crypto ever be as fun as it was in 2021?

Illustration by 731; Getty Images (3)


Cryptocurrencies had a blockbuster year in 2021 by almost any measure. Bitcoin, Ether and other coins jumped, reaching new highs far beyond their previous peaks. More institutions began offering research and services for the sector, and big-name investors piled in. Along the way, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) joined the popular lexicon.

There have been big wins and big scams, important upgrades, major crackdowns — and some major themes that will carry into 2022. Central banks are getting serious about their own digital currencies, and regulators are becoming very interested in what had previously been a “Wild West” of an industry.