5 cryptocurrency projects that made waves in 2021

2021 was a breakout year for the cryptocurrency market in many respects and most investors are veritably thrilled that Bitcoin (BTC) price established a new all-time upper of $68,789. In the same timeframe, Ether (ETH) went on a parabolic rally which saw its price proceeds 565% from Jan. 1 to hit a record upper at $4,859 on Nov. 10.

While it was a imprint year for large cap cryptocurrencies, some of the biggest gains and most impactful developments came from the altcoin market where decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) rallied by thousands of percent and helped to usher in a new level of sensation and adoption for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

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


The decentralized mart Uniswap (UNI) has arguably had the greatest impact on the crypto ecosystem as a whole since launching in the summer of 2020, with the DEX seeing significant growth throughout 2021 as it helped facilitate the launch of thousands of new crypto projects by removing the barriers to launch that existed on internal exchanges.

Data provided by Dune Analytics shows that Uniswap has been the dominant DEX throughout the year and it has unceasingly seen increasingly trading volume than all other DEXs combined.

Monthly DEX volume by project. Source: Dune Analytics

As seen on the orchestration above, the volume traded on decentralized exchanges really started to ramp up in the second half of 2021 led in large part by worriedness on Uniswap.

Throughout 2021 Uniswap led the field in minutiae as well, with the developers overdue the protocol announcing the release of Uniswap v3 in March. The v3 upgrade included multiple protocol upgrades and it built the foundation to integrate layer-two scaling solutions like Optimism and Arbitrum with Uniswap as a way to help reduce the transaction financing and processing times for users.


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

As the DeFi sector started to proceeds traction in early 2021, AAVE emerged as a polity favorite thanks to the wide swath of crypto resources supported and the valuables from some well-funded players.

Over the undertow of the year, AAVE expanded its capabilities and reach with the release of AAVE v2 which widow support for Polygon, a layer-two scaling solution, and Avalanche, which is a popular cross-chain blockchain network.

Total liquidity on the AAVE protocol. Source: Aave

As a result of these widow capabilities, the total liquidity misogynist on the AAVE protocol has surpassed $25.7 billion, making AAVE the top-ranked DeFi protocol by total value locked (TVL).


Curve Finance is a stablecoin-focused protocol that utilizes an streamlined market maker to manage liquidity on the platform and wideness the DeFi ecosystem.

Stablecoins have emerged as a foundational piece for the cryptocurrency polity as a whole in 2021 considering they provide sufficient liquidity for the market and a unscratched oasis for traders seeking shelter during periods of upper volatility. 

The growing importance that stablecoins have benefited Curve protocol and its native CRV by progressive its integration of stablecoins into many of the top DeFi protocols, including the Yearn.Finance ecosystem and Convex Finance.

Despite the fact that a significant portion of the resources locked on the Curve protocol are stablecoins, the platform now ranks as the second leading protocol in terms of TVL overdue AAVE, with data from Defi Llama showing that $21.77 billion in value is now locked in Curve vaults.

Total value locked on Curve. Source: Defi Llama

Curve has moreover integrated with many of the most zippy blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Avalanche, Harmony, xDAI, Polygon, Arbitrum and Fantom, which is remoter vestige of the protocol’s quest to be the stablecoin liquidity provider for the unshortened crypto market.

Related: US Financial Stability Oversight Council identifies stablecoins and cryptos as threats to financial system

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn (p2e) trading and rival game that allows participants to collect, breed, raise, wrestle and trade NFT-based creatures tabbed Axies.

The p2e model emerged as a new fan favorite over the undertow of 2021 considering it provides users with the worthiness to earn a daily income slantingly their gameplay, which offers a few unique advantages when compared to the traditional pay-to-play model.

Alongside the rise in popularity of Axie Infinity came a new all-time upper for the platform’s native AXS token. As the token stormed to new highs, the platform generated a daily revenue of $17.55 million at its height on August 6.

Axie Infinity price vs. total revenue. Source: Token Terminal

Axie Infinity was moreover one of the primeval projects to establish the trend of migrating yonder from the Ethereum network considering of upper fees and slow transactions. Earlier in the year the project migrated to the Ronin sidechain and in November the project launched its own DEX tabbed Katana.


Dogecoin is an open-source proof of work cryptocurrency that leads the field of “meme” coins that made headlines all throughout 2021.

While the project has few contributions on the technological or minutiae front, frequent shilling from the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban helped to push Doge into a 23,746% rally that saw the price rise fr from $0.0031 on Jan. 1 to an all-time upper of $0.74 on May 8.

DOGE/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

On top of the gains seen in DOGE price, the token received increased sustentation without it was spoken that it would be used to help fund the launch of a lunar satellite by SpaceX and the Dogecoin movement moreover kicked off a meme-coin rally and spawned a bevy of copy-dog projects li Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogelon Mars (ELON).

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the tragedian and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should self-mastery your own research when making a decision.

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