Highs and Lows of Cryptocurrencies in 2021: 12 months in Overview

The world of crypto in 2021 was buoyed by a variety of excessive profile establishments and companies investing in crypto at far larger scale than beforehand seen, driving crypto’s evolution into what’s now a multi-trillion greenback asset. Bitcoin and Ethereum, the 2 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, recorded new all-time highs and El Salvador turned the primary nation to undertake crypto as authorized tender.

Marius Reitz, Luno’s GM for Africa, supplies an outline of the necessary milestones throughout the yr. Luno is South Africa’s homegrown crypto platform now working in over 40 international locations.

Right here, Reitz appears to be like at cryptocurrencies’ wild experience via 2021 and the numerous firsts it achieved:

All-time highs

The Bitcoin worth burst via its all-time excessive of $68,000 on 5 November, displaying an enormous improve on the $28,000 vary by which it was buying and selling in December final yr. However the crypto market additionally took some brutal hits. Cryptocurrencies are nonetheless a brand new different asset class and volatility is predicted to characterise crypto for some time but.

Companies and establishments get on board

Within the US the place regulation permits for entry into crypto, refined corporations like Constancy, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are coming into the crypto market and the Proshare Bitcoin ETF (world’s first Bitcoin ETF) noticed document inflows into the fund.

Microstrategy, the NASDAQ-listed enterprise intelligence firm, continued to purchase further Bitcoin throughout the yr and now has holdings price about $6billion. The transfer was extensively considered as a inexperienced mild from the company USA for crypto.

Fintech and conventional cost suppliers started to undertake blockchain and crypto options, with giants PayPal, Venmo, Mastercard and even Twitter permitting prospects to transact in Bitcoin. In South Africa, Capitec and Discovery Financial institution shaped partnerships to checklist crypto as a brand new product providing.


Digital property and crypto companies confirmed large progress and vital market cap features, indicating maturity within the sector. Coinbase debuted in 2021 as the largest digital asset itemizing in historical past, coming to market at twice the valuation of Nasdaq. This has been optimistic for the trade, growing belief and transparency. Having a public firm of this dimension showcases that crypto-related companies – and the crypto asset class – needs to be taken critically. The crypto sector is now valued at greater than $3trillion.

Crypto’s worth for rising economies

El Salvador turned the primary nation on the planet the place Bitcoin is taken into account authorized tender, which signifies that retailers are legally obliged to simply accept Bitcoin as cost. The transfer was met with fierce assist and fierce criticism, however it does affirm the worth of cryptocurrencies as a manner for growing economies to bypass a world monetary system which depends on unfavourable loans and is geared in direction of the world’s richer international locations and people.


Globally, now we have seen actions to manage crypto. Draft rules had been introduced in 2021 and South Africa’s regulators have taken a realistic method to regulating crypto. Luno is in favour of regulation of the sector and believes that the adoption of rules will lead to optimistic spin-offs for the crypto trade.

Globally, a variety of central banks have issued digital currencies. Nigeria launched the e-Naira in 2021 and South Africa is investigating a digital forex, which exhibits central banks bringing crypto nearer.

Because the sector grows in recognition, it’s attracting world-class expertise. Customers are studying extra about crypto and methods to preserve their crypto protected as firms like Luno proceed to drive consciousness campaigns.

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