5 cryptocurrency projects that made waves in 2021

2021 was a breakout year for the cryptocurrency market in many respects and most investors are absolutely happy that the price of Bitcoin (BTC) has set a new all-time high of $ 68,789. At the same time, Ether (ETH) attended a parabolic rally that saw its price gain 565% from January 1 to a record high of $ 4,859 on November 10th.

While it has been a banner year for big money cryptocurrencies, some of the biggest gains and most impactful developments have come from the altcoin market where decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) accrue by thousands of percent and have been help usher in a new level. in awareness and adoption for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

Here’s a look at five altcoin projects that have made significant contributions to the cryptocurrency ecosystem in 2021.


The Uniswap decentralized exchange (UNI) has had the greatest impact on the crypto ecosystem as a whole since its launch in the summer of 2020, and DEX has seen significant growth throughout 2021 because it has helped facilitate the launch of thousands of new crypto projects when it is removed. the barriers to launching that existed on centralized exchanges.

Dune Analytics data show that Uniswap has been the dominant DEX year-round and has consistently seen more trading volume than all other DEXs combined.

Monthly DEX volume per project. Source: Dune Analytics

As seen in the chart above, trade volume on decentralized exchanges really started to rise in the second half of 2021 led largely by activity on Uniswap.

Throughout 2021, Uniswap also led the field of development, with the developers behind the protocol announcing the release of Uniswap v3 in March. The v3 enhancement included several protocol enhancements and built the foundation for integrating two-layer solutions such as Optimism and Arbitrum with Uniswap as a way to help reduce transaction costs and processing time for users.


Aave (AAVE) is a DeFi lending protocol that allows users to deposit their tokens and lend them as a way to earn a yield or pledge them as collateral in order to borrow another asset.

As the DeFi sector began to gain traction in early 2021, AAVE has emerged as a community favorite thanks to a wide range of cryptocurrencies that have been supported and supported by some well-funded players.

During the year, AAVE expanded its capabilities and reached and released AAVE v2 which added support for Polygon, a scaling solution, and Avalanche, which is a popular blockchain network.

Total liquidity on AAVE protocol. Source: Aave

As a result of these added capabilities, the total liquidity available under the AAVE protocol exceeds $ 25.7 billion, making AAVE the highest DeFi protocol by total blocking value (TVL).


Curve Finance is a stablecoin-focused protocol that uses an automated market to manage liquidity on the platform and across the DeFi ecosystem.

Stablecoins have emerged as a cornerstone for the entire currency crypto community in 2021 because they provide enough liquidity for the market and a safe haven for traders seeking shelter during periods of high volatility.

The growing importance that stablecoins have benefited from its Curve protocol and its native CRV in accelerating the integration of its stablecoins into many of the DeFi protocols themselves, including Yearn.Finance and Convex Finance ecosystems.

Despite the fact that a significant portion of the assets closed on the Curve protocol are stablecoins, the platform is now ranked as the second leading protocol in terms of TVL behind AAVE, with data from the Llama Challenge showing that $ 21.77 billion in current value is close to the curve. vault.

Total value closed on Curve. Source: Flame Challenge

Curve has also been integrated with many of the most active blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Avalanche, Harmony, xDAI, Polygon, Arbitrum and Phantom, which is further evidence of the protocol’s demand to be the stablecoin liquidity provider for the entire crypto market. .

Related: U.S. Financial Stability Supervisory Board identifies stablecoins and cryptos as threats to financial system

Online game Axie Infinite

Axie Infinity is a p2e trading and fighting game that allows participants to collect, breed, raise, fight and trade NFT-based animals called Axies.

The p2e model emerged as a new fan favorite during the year 2021 because it gives users the ability to earn a daily income along with their gameplay, which offers some unique advantages when compared to traditional paid-for-play models.

Along with the rise in popularity of Axie Infinity came a new all time high for the authentic AXS sign platform. As the sign took on a new opposition, the platform generated a daily revenue of $ 17.55 million at its height on August 6th.

About Axie Infinity total revenue account. Source: Token Terminal

Axie Infinity was also one of the earliest projects to establish the trend to migrate away from the Ethereum network because of high fees and slow transactions. Earlier in the year the project migrated to Sidinin Ronin and in November the project launched its own DEX called Katana.


Dogecoin is an open source cryptocurrency proof of the “meme” coin domain that has been making headlines throughout 2021.

While the project has some contributions on the technological or development front, frequent shilling from like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban helped push Doge into a 23.746% rally that saw the price rise from $ 0.0031 on January 1 . at an all-time high of $ 0.74 on May 8th.

DOGE / USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

In addition to the progress seen in DOGE prices, the sign received more attention after announcing that it would be used to help fund the launch of a lunar satellite by SpaceX and the Dogecoin movement also kicked off a meme-coin rally and spawned one. his batch copy-dog projects Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogelon Mars (ELON).

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