Author: changehero
December 30, 2021

Without any doubt, this year has been extremely eventful and bullish not only for Bitcoin, but crypto overall. What happened to crypto market in 2021? We take a look at the most memorable events and the most stellar rallies in this crypto recap 2021. Key Takeaways Bitcoin continued the rally that started late in 2020, […]

Crypto Recap 2021 by ChangeHero

Without any doubt, this year has been extremely eventful and bullish not only for Bitcoin, but crypto overall. What happened to crypto market in 2021? We take a look at the most memorable events and the most stellar rallies in this crypto recap 2021.

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin continued the rally that started late in 2020, gaining over 130% at the latest ATH ($68,789). However, altcoins were where the most price action was happening: some altcoins such as SOL and LUNA gained five-figure profits;
  • In September 2021, Bitcoin received the official status of legal tender in El Salvador. In the first half of 2021, China has been cracking down on mining and cryptocurrencies;
  • Ethereum also improved massively, rolling out major updates to the legacy chain and Ethereum 2.0, preparing for the merger. The growth of the ecosystem was helped by non-fungible tokens gaining traction in the mainstream;
  • 2021 saw trends like NFTs and blockchain gaming rise to unprecedented levels of media attention.

Bitcoin Recap 2021

Rally

The first peak of the rally coincided with Coinbase going public in April 2021. On Apr 14, 2021 Bitcoin’s price reached $63,503.
The rally was brought to a halt when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company will step back from their decision to accept BTC for payments. This news was most likely mistaken for a sign that Tesla will start selling their 43,200 BTC on the balance sheet.
The current ATH was reached on November 10, 2021: $68,789. The second leg up was boosted by the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador, the approval of Bitcoin ETFs in the US, and the Taproot upgrade.
How did Bitcoin perform in 2021? At the yearly peak, BTC gained 137.25% in comparison to the 2021 opening price. At the moment of writing the crypto recap 2021, it is up 64.86%.

Adoption

A historic milestone was achieved: Bitcoin became a legal tender currency in El Salvador on Sep 7, 2021. The move was made to reduce the nation’s reliance on USD (the other legal tender) and helped to increase accessibility to payments infrastructure
The Salvadoran government was not the only ones embracing Bitcoin in 2021. 52,000 BTC were bought by MicroStrategy this year alone, and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust offered exposure to 70,000 BTC more to accredited investors.
Grayscale BTC Trust is no longer one of the few ways for institutions to trade Bitcoin. ProShares received the green light to create a spot Bitcoin ETF, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Other major holders of BTC (that we know of) are Block (formerly Square) (8,027 BTC), Galaxy Digital (4,000 BTC) and mining companies: Marathon, Riot, Argo and others.

Taproot

One of the largest upgrades to the Bitcoin blockchain in years was activated on November 14, 2021. Taproot included three separate proposals: 

  • Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MASTs) which reduce data footprints of transactions, 
  • Pay-to-Taproot which made it harder to distinguish ordinary, MultiSig and Lightning transactions, which improves the privacy of Bitcoin users;
  • Schnorr signatures, a more advanced cryptographic signing method.

The upgrade came with some potential risks like community fracturing or low adoption, leading to a hard fork in both scenarios. However, prior to the upgrade, the majority of miners signalled support, eliminating these worst-case scenarios.

Ethereum Recap 2021

Rally

Ethereum massively outperformed Bitcoin in 2021. More than that, it decoupled from BTC’s price: the first peak occurred for ETH in May, and in November lost less in correction.
The peak on May 11 was not long after the correction in Bitcoin, suggesting the flow of capitalization from BTC to alts. The second peak, when the ATH of $4,891 was reached, happened roughly a week later than BTC.
At the moment of writing the crypto recap 2021, ETH is 406% up in comparison to 2021’s opening price. ETH outperformed BTC by roughly four times.

Merger with Ethereum 2.0

…didn’t ship this year, though it would have been too early anyway. The closest we got to the merger with Proof-of-Stake was when the Kintsugi public testnet was launched.
Prior to that, several other important updates were rolled out for the Ethereum blockchain. The most discussed one was the London hardfork, and its fee burn feature.

Shiba Inu (SHIB)

The memecoin frenzy of 2021 is best illustrated by the ‘dog money’, Dogecoin inspired tokens.
Probably one of the most impressive breakthroughs we want to highlight in our crypto recap 2021 was made by SHIB
It happened due to a massive surge in popularity by the hands of the community. The social networks have million followers, and individual token holders are also said to amount to a similar number.

Polygon (MATIC)

Since it became clear that the Ethereum merger is not happening soon, scaling solutions became as relevant as ever. The one worth highlighting in this crypto recap 2021 is Polygon.
Matic Network started 2021 with a rebranding to Polygon to reflect their departure from an Ethereum scaling solution to a platform of a much larger scale.
The price of MATIC, which kept its original ticker, reacted accordingly: it is one of the top gainers of 2021 with 14,250% to date.

Axie Infinity (AXS)

Another massive trend of 2021 came to be known as Play-to-Earn or even GameFi. The potential of blockchain games that reward players and incentivize trading manifested in the Axie Infinity’s story.
The game came to limelight after stories about how Axie Infinity helped change the lives of Filipino players. It continues to do so even in December, while the community comes together to provide relief to the Odette hurricane victims.
Just so you understand how the game blew up: in comparison to the opening price in 2021, the utility token AXS is up by 17,481% at the moment of writing.

Solana (SOL)

Another breakthrough this year was achieved by the Solana team and community, which enjoyed immense attention in 2021. Decrypt even named SOL coin of the year in their cryptocurrency recap 2021.
One of the reasons it attracted it was the spectacular alt season rally of SOL in June after BTC corrected 50%. As a result, SOL is 11,403% up from the opening price and by now is consistently in the top-10 cryptocurrencies.
Price rallies were not the only reason Solana became the center of attention. The project became known for embracing inevitable challenges and hurdles that innovation has — even at the cost of uptime.

Terra (LUNA)

Speaking of DeFi, there was an unexpected dark horse which stormed the top seemingly out of nowhere. The Terra protocol, usable for stablecoins and digital payments, built up presence over the course of 2021.
The protocol received multiple major updates within the year, driving the price of the governance token LUNA up to $86.11 at the time of writing. This is a massive 13,080% profit from the price on Jan 1, 2021.
At the time of crypto recap 2021, Terra became the second largest DeFi protocol with a total locked value of $18 billion. It surpassed even the champion of 2020, Binance Smart Chain, even with a far fewer number of protocols and products on the chain (14 vs. 252).

Crypto.com (CRO)

Last but not least, if we talk about crypto breaking into the mainstream, we cannot avoid mentioning Crypto.com in the crypto news recap. Their gargantuan campaigns made sure the concept of “crypto” is burned into the public consciousness.
Purchasing naming rights to the Staples Centre is only one of such efforts. The result of their promotion is clearly visible in CRO’s price, which is up 860% this year.

NFTs

The tech that made crypto go mainstream in 2021 was NFTs. The FOMO started in March with the $69 million dollar Christie’s sale of Beeple’s EVERYDAYS: The First 5,000 Days.
This sale solidified the narrative that NFTs can be a novel venue for artists to monetize their art. However, the highest prices overall and the most attention was paid to collectibles.
Bored Ape Yacht Club, Lazy Lions and CryptoPunks became the face of the new trend in crypto. So much so, that the floor price (price of the cheapest piece in the collection) served as a metric for the interest in the market.
It should be mentioned that NFTs in the mainstream were met with significant controversy. The main points of contempt are lack of explicit ownership of rights, art theft and environmental impact. The last argument is somewhat misinformed, as Proof-of-Stake NFTs are equally, if not more popular, and eventually all Ethereum NFTs will be energy-efficient, too.
Nevertheless, it did not stop many celebrities from hopping on the trend: Paris Hilton, Jimmy Falon, Elijah Wood all became proponents of crypto. Even companies with household names like Pepsi and McDonald’s did not miss their chance to take part.

Some More Events of 2021 in Crypto

It can sound like a lie, but the WallStreetBets and GameStop controversy happened this year. Apeing, diamond hands and other bits of WSB sub-culture irreversibly changed the face of crypto.
With the summer alt season came innumerable fly-by-nighters: hacks, exploits and rug pulls came up weekly, if not daily. One of such scams was the SQUID token: the developers promised to deliver a game based on a hit Netflix show Squid Game, only to have the token drop from $523 to zero and feign innocence.
Poly Network became the subject of a rather unconventional hack this August. The attacker who drained the protocol of $613 million turned out to be a “white hat” and agreed to return the funds.

Regulations

The most impactful and radical regulatory move of this year came from mainland China, as they prohibited cryptocurrency mining and then trading. This accelerated the correction on the market, as well as was actually positive for mining, reducing its centralization.
The infrastructure bill and its definition of “broker” were one of the regulatory fights Americans were most engaged with. In addition to increasing the USD supply by $1 trillion, it would also mean that most crypto transactions would be subject to taxation.
India has been on and off regarding crypto this year. As it stands, anything close to certainty can be achieved in 2022.

What to expect in 2022?

Hardly anyone in 2020 could have predicted that DAOs will become a thing again or the impact NFTs would have made this year. One thing is certain — we will be hearing about CBDCs a lot more often next year, as China finalizes the digital yuan and other nations launch pilot programs.
Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming senator, has recently announced plans for a bill that is due early 2022 for comprehensive crypto regulation. Americans also have yet to hear about stablecoin regulation or instructions for banks.
Europeans will see the start of negotiations on the Markets in Crypto Assets framework. In Asia and Pacific-Asian countries, the most likely nations to propose rules and frameworks are Hong Kong and India.
The merger with Ethereum 2.0 is expected by mid-2022 if all goes well. Shifting such a huge chunk of the crypto market to a completely new economic model will definitely send shock waves across the space.
Finally, no one could have seen El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, but by 2022, there are already a few candidates to make such a move soon. One of them is Colombia, and the LATAM region seems to be generally more inclined to offer favorable regulations for Bitcoin and crypto.

Conclusion

It is no understatement to say that 2021 has been a massively eventful year for crypto. From China’s complete ban to El Salvador making Bitcoin legal tender, all kinds of historic news and events have been happening to Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
We hope you enjoyed our crypto recap 2021! To see how 2022 will unfold for crypto and blockchain, keep an eye on our blog and follow ChangeHero on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Telegram.


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Author: changehero
December 23, 2020

ChangeHero continues the series of the 2020 crypto recap! Last week we looked at what was happening with altcoins and altcoin performance in 2020. Before that, we wrote an article about Ethereum and DeFi, the stars of 2020. However, now is finally the time to take a look at what happened to Bitcoin in 2020. […]

Bitcoin recap 2020

ChangeHero continues the series of the 2020 crypto recap! Last week we looked at what was happening with altcoins and altcoin performance in 2020. Before that, we wrote an article about Ethereum and DeFi, the stars of 2020. However, now is finally the time to take a look at what happened to Bitcoin in 2020. Starting with Bitcoin performance, we will also look at the most resounding news and stories of this year.

Bitcoin Performance in 2020

Of course, the 2020 Bitcoin recap should start with a deep dive into the Bitcoin performance this year.

Bitcoin price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

Q1: the Spring after Crypto Winter

Bitcoin started the year 2020 in a bullish market. The opening price of BTC on January 1 was $7,198.64. By February 16, it had reached $10k. At that time, bears overtook the initiative and the price entered a slow downtrend again. However, in a month the change took a sharper turn, when WHO declared the global COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Stock markets crashed, and so did the crypto market. On March 13, later dubbed “Bloody Friday”, Bitcoin sank to its yearly low of $4,106.98.

Q2: the Halving Recovery

The climb back up was not fast but steady. In April and May, a positive sentiment surrounded Bitcoin in anticipation of halving. Why? There is a section further in the article explaining it. The price even got extremely close to $10k, but was rejected.

This mark was reached in June, although for only a day. This was the first time in a long time that the community saw a “Bart head” pattern (quick surge, brief sideways trading, correction to the level before the surge) on the BTC charts, but certainly not the last. For the most part, June and July did not see much action, and Bitcoin was trading around $9k.

Q3: the Warm-Up

Another bullish phase finally started in late July and August. On July 27, Bitcoin suddenly jumped above $11k. For the entire month of August and early September, BTC consistently stayed this mark and even tested $12k. After the rejection the price came back to slightly above $10 thousand. From there on it was trading mostly sideways in a slight uptrend for a couple of months.

Q4: the Bull Run

The $12 thousand resistance was crushed in October, and from there on things got exciting. $13 thousand was taken in a couple of days, $14 thousand smashed and passed straight to $16 k in early November. A couple of weeks later? Bitcoin is already over $18 thousand. Rejection at $19k in late November? The dip to $16 thousand lasted only for a few days. On November 30th, Bitcoin beat its ATH on several exchanges at $19,749.26.

The first half of December was looking a lot like either the start of the correction or a sideways trend. Bitcoin seemed to be stuck between $19k and $18k until December 16. That day, it shot up right through the psychological barrier of $20 thousand and beat its ATH officially on all exchanges. The current ATH was observed a couple of days later, on December 20, 2020: $24,209.66. At the moment of writing the article, Bitcoin price is $22,789.06. In comparison with the 2020 opening price, Bitcoin performance is positive at 216.57%.

Bitcoin Market Capitalization in 2020

On the same chart we can see that the price correlates with the changes in market capitalization. At the start of 2020, BTC’s market cap was $130,634,632,078 USD, and at the time of writing it is $439,984,211,210 (+236.80%) USD.

Bitcoin Dominance in 2020

Bitcoin market dominance in 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin’s market dominance (the percentage of BTC’s market cap vs. the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies) has been staying between 56% and 68% for all 2020. It was at its highest in the winter bullish market and its lowest throughout September, when BTC was trading sideways.

2020 Bitcoin Halving

On May 11, 2020, Bitcoin mining rewards were halved for the third time. For adding a block to the blockchain, a miner now gets 6.25 BTC as a reward. The event could have contributed to the ongoing rally of BTC.

Halvings are seen as bullish because these events slow down the issuance of Bitcoin. Previous halvings have also had a similar effect on Bitcoin performance. When the supply is decreasing but the demand stays at the same level, the price of a good or commodity will also increase in the long term.

If you would like to learn more, ChangeHero team made articles about Bitcoin post-halving and a more in-depth analysis of the 2020 Bitcoin halving.

Technical updates

Bitcoin Core 0.20.1

The Bitcoin Core client was updated three times this year. In March and August, there were maintenance releases with minor fixes. The latest major upgrade, Bitcoin Core 0.20.0, was rolled out in July. Among notable changes the developers highlight the removal of reject network messages (to make the network more trustless), remote procedure call (RPCs) and setting updates. In fact, most of the changes made in the release concern builders rather than users and did not make the Bitcoin news.

What users can look forward to is Schnorr signatures (BIP-340) that can enable blind signatures or partially blind atomic swaps. Another large improvement is Taproot, a modification of a multi-sig function that can be used to create sidechains and tokens in the Bitcoin network. It is yet unclear, though, whether these proposals will be finalized next year. However, even the news of progress in that direction will have a positive impact on Bitcoin performance in 2021.

Liquid Sidechain

In May, Blockstream presented a solution to making Bitcoin more mobile in a form of a sidechain — Liquid. As the developers put it, the sidechain can make settlements on the Bitcoin blockchain faster and more private. As a tradeoff, the security model of the sidechain is different: Liquid tokens use federated peg. It is a trusted solution that partially relies on cryptography and consensus.

In Liquid, transaction amounts are confidential, as the unspent outputs instead of exact amounts use cryptographic functions.

Despite all the differences, Liquid is not a fork of Bitcoin but a sidechain, as validation relies on the same ledger. However, the concessions made to the security model and the fact that it is a corporate initiative made Liquid controversial in the community. Right now it is used as a solution by a few exchanges and platforms, but was not yet embraced by the community as a whole.

BTC Adoption in 2020

Bitcoin adoption in 2020 has made huge strides to facilitate entry into crypto. Of course, most notably, PayPal introducing cryptocurrency led the way. This could even drive the 2020 Bitcoin performance, as it was reported that PayPal and Square (the company behind CashApp) were buying all the newly minted BTC in Q4.

Institutional adoption is accelerated by hedge funds and crypto derivatives. Open interest in Bitcoin futures on CME consistently showed record highs. As for the funds, this year, Guggenheim Fund and Renaissance Technologies expressed interest in the crypto market, and famous hedge fund managers expressed their interest in BTC as a store of value.

Mass adoption was not only visible in America. On the markets, such as Nigeria, Vietnam and India, P2P trading volumes were growing all year. This growth was driven by remittances and inflation of local currencies. In the 2020 crypto adoption report, Russia, Ukraine and Venezuela showed the highest degree of crypto adoption by multiple metrics (P2P volumes, on-chain value transfers).

By the end of 2020, cryptocurrencies were the only option left for the largest adult content platform on the Internet, PornHub. This was a consequence of Visa and MasterCard cutting ties with the platform in the light of its negligence in combating sexual abuse, including minors, on the platform. However, thousands of models and sex workers were also impacted by this, especially in the pandemic. Crypto is right now the only way to donate to them and support the platform.

Crypto Regulations in 2020

FATF Travel Rule

The recommendations by the Financial Act Task Force (FATF) now include a ruling that virtual asset service providers (VASPs) should share information with the concerned authorities. The name comes from the analogy with the US bank regulations. According to the recommendation, a VASP in addition to doing due diligence in KYC, should share the information on request from the country of registration’s authorities. The Travel Rule mostly concerns businesses, which is why it went mostly unnoticed by the users. However, it was a step towards making member countries collaborate with VASPs to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

ChangeHero Articles on Regulations

Earlier this year, our team wrote an article about different local regulations of cryptocurrencies in the world. Half a year later, we researched pro-Bitcoin nations and those who oppose it in an article about regulated cryptocurrency exchanges.

As far as Bitcoin is concerned, the laws have stayed mostly the same as we described in these articles, with the exception of India, which warrants an update for December.

One of the largest markets for crypto, India was a source of conflicting news stories all year round. Early in 2020, the community celebrated Indian Supreme Court lifting what was essentially a ban on cryptocurrencies. There still were some uncertainties about the provision of banking services and the mining industry. Only in December it finally became clear that neither are illegal. India is only a single case, but it shows how the relationship between the government and the nation can affect the local crypto economy.

What to Expect in 2021?

What will happen to bitcoin in 2021? Of course, no one knows for certain, but there are a few educated guesses about Bitcoin price prediction for 2021.

Mike McGlone of Bloomberg expects that if history repeats itself, the rally will see Bitcoin fall to a hard resistance level like in 2018. He estimates this hard resistance to be more solid than back then, and the lower level to which BTC may fall is $10 thousand USD. The highest border of the range lies at $50 thousand. The analyst’s Bitcoin forecast is that the asset may go as high as $40 thousand.

Nigel Green, founder of deVere Group, doesn’t think this rally is a repetition of 2017. Primarily, back then there just weren’t as many institutional investors as there are now. Of course, there are going to be pullbacks at highs, as some investors will seek to sell for profit. However, the current momentum has all the chances to take Bitcoin to $30,000–40,000 in 2021, he claims.

Kraken Investor Survey in Q4 collected opinions of the exchange’s VIP clients. At the moment of surveying, the average expectation for Bitcoin’s price target in 2021 was $36,000.

Other opinions and predictions which didn’t make it to this Bitcoin recap can be found in the Bitcoin price prediction article by ChangeHero.

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin performance in 2020 is extremely positive, especially in comparison to traditional assets: it is now worth almost three times as at the beginning of the year. From $7,198.64 on January 1, it appreciated up to $22,789.06 at the time of writing;
  • Bitcoin has beaten its previous ATH on December 20, 2020. The current record is $24,209.66;
  • Authorities are grasping the unique nature of blockchain-based currencies, such as Bitcoin, and depart from the conservative approach to outright ban it or use the existing framework. More laws around the world define what digital currencies and assets are and attempt to regulate them;
  • Bitcoin was seeing unprecedented adoption at the institutional level and kept spreading among retail investors. Large services like PayPal drove the demand for Bitcoin and made it more accessible in 2020;
  • In 2021, considering the current Bitcoin performance, even moderate price targets go as high as to $36 thousand dollars.

Conclusion

Bitcoin in 2020 has had a curious journey of downs and mostly ups, and is drawing close to a spectacular year close. BTC is still the king of cryptocurrencies, and it does not seem this is going to change anytime soon.

The 2020 Bitcoin recap, which is the third part of 2020 crypto recap is over, but the series will continue! Read more articles in our blog and check the updates in any social media: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Telegram.


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Author: changehero
December 17, 2020

In December, ChangeHero team is making a series of articles summing up this year in crypto. The first part of our crypto recap 2020 was dedicated to Ethereum and DeFi. This time, our team will give a 2020 altcoin recap! Who made it into the top, who outperformed Bitcoin and what altcoins to watch in […]

Crypto Recap 2020: Altcoins

In December, ChangeHero team is making a series of articles summing up this year in crypto. The first part of our crypto recap 2020 was dedicated to Ethereum and DeFi. This time, our team will give a 2020 altcoin recap! Who made it into the top, who outperformed Bitcoin and what altcoins to watch in 2021.

Altcoins Recap 2020

What exactly is an “altcoin”? It’s a term for any coin or token on the crypto market, other than Bitcoin.

There are currently more than 8 thousand assets listed on CoinMarketCap. 8,041, to be precise! 

Total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies
Source: CoinMarketCap

Out of the total $645 billion market cap, 35% is split among these thousands of coins and tokens. That would make the total altcoin capitalization about $225.946 billion, on par with Netflix, Coca-Cola, Nike and AT&T stocks. Since January, the capital invested in altcoins has increased by 272%.

What alts have led the trend? Here is the list sorted by altcoin performance in 2020 in decreasing order.

Chainlink

Without any doubt, Chainlink turned out to be the biggest winner in our 2020 altcoin recap. It made its way into the top-10 cryptocurrencies and gained 650% in value. 

chainlink price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

Chainlink showed the power of Ethereum as a platform, as well as pioneered the DeFi trend that would explode later this year.

This year, the developer foundation introduced the verifiable randomness function to the Ethereum-based part of the network. Random number generation is a function that enables hundreds of use cases in statistics, simulation, cryptography and software design. 

On the other hand, the community launched a grant program and awarded several blockchain researchers and developers. They even have specific blockchain integration grants to enable Chainlink on other distributed networks. Solana, xDAI and BSN have already joined the list.

Cardano

Cardano Roadmap
Source: Cardano

Another large winner of 2020 is Cardano. It has also entered the top 10 altcoins this year and firmly took its place there. Not surprising! Cardano transitioned to an original Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm Ouroboros in July, immediately gaining the attention of investors. This was a step toward the next phase in Cardano’s roadmap.

The new phase made the network permissionless and set the stage for next updates, such as tokens and smart contracts. ADA holders definitely should look forward to these developments in 2021. 

Cardano price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

In comparison to the start of the year, ADA grew by 398%.

Ethereum

The best known and influential altcoin, Ethereum, had an extremely productive year. First, when the markets were the most volatile, Ethereum-based stablecoins offered investors a safe haven. Next, Ethereum-based protocols exploded in a DeFi craze, driving the network to the limits of its capacity. Finally, in December, Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 finally hit mainnet. No wonder ETH appreciated by 381% since January.

Ethereum price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

It is too early to judge how the launch of Ethereum 2.0 has influenced the entire platform, but 2021 will definitely show if it is an improvement.

We covered Ethereum performance and the rise of DeFi in the previous part of our crypto 2020 recap, check it out if you haven’t already!

Tether

Tether USD, the most used stablecoin in the whole crypto space (and the whole world, for that matter), ranks fourth in the list. Its capitalization has grown almost fourfold, by 381% since the start of 2020. The most adopted version of USD Tether is the ERC-20 token. The reasons for its growth are mostly the same: volatility hedge and the wide spread in DeFi.

USDT price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

Anyway, Tether has a lineup of tokens on different blockchains and tokens pegged to different fiat currencies. It might be a good idea to not limit your research range to the ERC-20 USDT only. The dollar is on the decline at the moment, and Ethereum gets overtaken by other blockchains in terms of speed and fees.

What else can we expect from Tether in 2021? Tether and Bitfinex seem to be close to resolving the legal controversy which damaged their reputation. It has been surrounding both since their partner Crypto Capital allegedly pocketed $850 billion of the companies’ investors.

Stellar

A stellar (pun intended) year for XLM, too! So far, it has grown by 335%.

Stellar price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

Bankhaus von der Heydt and Circle, issuers of USDC, were some of the better known entities to join the Stellar’s cause this year. The former is going to use the platform for issuing a Euro-pegged regulated stablecoin. Governments are becoming more aware of private stablecoins, and CBDCs emerge, so the future of Stellar is unpredictable but more probably bright.

XRP

XRP Army was not disappointed in 2020, after all. The coin has shown a 165% increase. 

XRP price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

There were many reasons for that throughout the year. The new partners that joined the ecosystem this year are Intermex, Azimo, DeeMoney, RAKBank, Coins.ph — all payment and remittance processors. Rumors of a new product and IPO from Ripple and the Spark airdrop were some of those, so XRP news will be worth following in 2021. 

On the other hand, Ripple was sued for allegations of securities fraud and tried to sue Google for dismissing scammers impersonating on YouTube. It’s better to remember that XRP is not owned by Ripple: they use it but the coin is decentralized.

Litecoin

Litecoin is a strong contender for the title “comeback of the year”. In late 2019, it was almost left out of the top-10, but ultimately, made its way back. Last large update happened in July, and the Litecoin community has a MimbleWimble privacy protocol to look forward to. This, and unyielding work put into raising awareness by the Litecoin Foundation drove the LTC price up by 117%. PayPal crypto listing has accounted for the major part of the boost.

Litecoin price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

If MimbleWimble arrives in 2021, Litecoin will become more than a modified version of Bitcoin, so it is definitely worth keeping an eye on the news.

Binance Coin

Another newcomer into the top-10, Binance Coin feels like it belongs there in 2020. BNB is worth more than it was in January by 119%.

BNB price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

The coin most likely has the progress Binance made this year to thank. Binance launched BNB futures trading on their platform this year, Card, developed Binance Smart Chain and expanded the service coverage. It’s expected they are going to expand their service more and introduce more use cases for BNB. For now, no one has any idea what they’ll come up with in 2021!

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash sure has had a challenging year. The major event that this network saw this year was, of course, the BCHA/BCHN chain split. An event, which last time resulted in a turmoil, did not bring the currency down from its spot in the top. Despite the crash back in March and more than modest price performance this year, BCH holders are in black: it is worth more by 48%.

Bitcoin cash price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

It is not as impressive when we compare it to the rest of the entries in our altcoin recap. Who knows, maybe in 2021 one of the new coins will rally and win the spotlight back?

Polkadot

Unlike the rest of the entries in the list, DOT has finally hit the market only in 2020.

DOT price chart for 2020
Source: CoinMarketCap

Nevertheless, its fantastic fundamentals make it an asset worth keeping an eye on. What other altcoin has started in the top ten from the get-go? Not only that, but DOT is also actually up from its earliest known price by 90%. Polkadot is a great bet to keep watching and a strong contender for the best altcoin 2021.

Key Takeaways

  • Altcoin performance in 2020 is comparable with Bitcoin’s. Half of the assets from the top 10 actually outperformed Bitcoin;
  • The new entries in the top 10 covered in the altcoin recap, Chainlink and Polkadot, have performed well but look even more promising in 2021;
  • The coins that made their way into the top, Cardano and Binance Coin, rank high in the altcoin recap and do not seem to be losing steam anytime soon;
  • Long-time top projects like Ethereum and XRP also rank high in the altcoin recap and show gains;
  • Finally, even though Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin did not outperform Bitcoin, they made it into our altcoin recap: the former — for resilience, the latter — for prospects in 2021.

Conclusion

Even when we don’t consider Bitcoin, 2020 turned out to be a great year for development in crypto. Altcoins consistently pushed for innovation and proved their worth in investors’ eyes. We would be curious to compare the 2020 altcoin recap with the next year’s!

Next week, we will publish another entry in the series in our blog. To not miss it, sign up for ChangeHero’s updates on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Telegram!


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