To say 2021 has been a crazy year for cryptocurrencies is an understatement.
Bitcoin has reached new highs but has also reached full legitimacy in a country. Meanwhile, even tokens like shiba inu and dogecoin have gone from jokes to mind blowing wins. The number of cryptos soared to over 16,000 and the overall market cap reached $ 3 trillion at one point.
In other parts of space, a non-fungible token stunned the art world when it collected $ 69 million to become the most expensive digital artwork in history.
Insider takes a look at the five craziest crypto moments of 2021:
El Salvador made bitcoin legal tender
No one thought it would happen – until it did. Nayib Bukele, the 40-year-old President of El Salvador, first pitched the idea of making bitcoin legal tender in June at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. He said he hoped the introduction of bitcoin would be the catalyst for El Salvador’s transition from a developing nation to an industrialized and advanced nation.
Just days later, a resolution dubbed Bitcoin Law was approved in June by qualified majority. Then, in September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to make bitcoin legal tender, elevating it to the same status as the U.S. dollar, which replaced the colon in 2001 as the local currency.
Dogecoin has cracked the top 10 biggest cryptos
Dogecoin started out as a joke in 2013. But today the joke is on all the investors who doubted the token itself. The shiba-inu-themed coin rose to the top 10 cryptos by market cap in 2021, in part thanks to the random impulses of staunch advocates such as Elon Musk.
The transformation of the room was amazing. Right now, dogecoin is the most searched crypto on Google and can even be used to buy certain things, including Tesla merchandise and an AMC gift card.
Shiba Inu has overtaken the dogecoin
Profiting from the popularity of dogecoin is a spin-off that has reached even more dizzying heights. Self-proclaimed dogecoin killer Shiba inu came out of nowhere and at one point surpassed dogecoin’s market cap to reach the top 10. It now stands at $ 18 billion, behind $ 23 billion in dogecoin.
Shiba inu, created in August 2020, has seen an astronomical rally thanks in large part to its Shib Army, a group of over-enthusiastic investors backing the token. In fact, the price of shiba inu has climbed 44,540,000% this year, while dogecoin has jumped about 3,600%.
NFT sold for $ 69 million
In March, artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, sold the most expensive digital artwork in history. His NFT “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days”, which includes 5,000 days of work, fetched $ 69.3 million at auction. He told Insider he didn’t really think much about it; he just kept making art.
The madness behind this staggering purchase is emblematic of the rise in popularity of NFTs, digital representations of artwork tied to a blockchain, typically on Ethereum. When people buy NFTs, they get the rights to the single token on the blockchain, making them almost impossible to change.
A band of hikers almost bought the Constitution
A decentralized, autonomous organization – essentially a group of Internet friends with a common goal – raised about $ 46 million in November to purchase an extremely rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. It might sound absurd, but the DAO actually came close to winning the Sotheby’s auction until Citadel CEO Ken Griffin broke their hopes and bought it for himself.
ConstitutionDAO, the loosely organized group of about 17,000 people, has always made headlines for the attempt. And while the DAO disbanded after losing the offer, it laid bare the power of decentralization.