(This story was originally published Dec. 23. On Dec. 29, crypto platform Polygon revealed it recently fixed a bug that exposed some $24 billion of cryptocurrency to the risk of theft.)
Cryptocurrencies made a giant leap in 2021, expanding well beyond their niche among geeks and Redditors. Wall Street strengthened its embrace, with Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman declaring it no fad. New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams said he’ll initially get paid in Bitcoin. And tokenmania invaded pop culture, from sports, entertainment and gaming to high-end auctions. Even Major League Baseball umpires wore the FTX exchange’s logo on their chests.