2021 was an exciting year for the blockchain. The total market cap of blockchain projects surpassed $2 trillion, and Bitcoin’s price touched a record high of $67,674.
Meanwhile, Ethereum skyrocketed 5x in price after the London upgrade, while blockchain investment also flourished, with cumulative funding for the year topping $30 billion.
We witnessed the explosion of DeFi 1.0, followed by the booming multi-chain ecosystem and the rapid expansion of the stablecoin market.
2021’s Biggest Trends
1. DeFi 2.0
The TVL of DeFi 2.0 projects soared from zero to $30 billion in 2021 within eight months.
Composable DeFi Legos have become some of the key features of blockchain applications—referring to components that can be combined and integrated across different platforms and apps.
DeFi 1.0 created liquidity, LP tokens, and decentralized stablecoins as the first generation of DeFi Legos. 2021 saw the rise of DeFi 2.0, which turned liquidity into a new Lego portfolio for DeFi.
The TVL of ETH cross-bridge projects surpassed $25 billion in 2021.
The booming multi-chain ecosystem has made the flow of assets across different chains an immediate need.
Cross-chain bridge protocols are bridges to link assets across chains, allowing assets to interoperate and transfer across chains efficiently.
(Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) went from cryptocurrency jargon to an actual functioning part of the blockchain industry in 2021, with Uniswap DAO being the most influential.
ConstitutionDAO promoted the concept of DAO to the masses, while other projects brought DAOs to financial, musical, and cultural spheres.
NFT projects’ monthly trading volume peaked at $5.5 billion in August and reached $21.5 billion in total by the end of the year.
NFTs mark ownership of digital assets in a decentralized way and have been instrumental in getting more people interested in blockchain technology.
From art collectibles to music and other areas like the metaverse, NFTs will change the way we experience the web, buy and sell art, consume branded products, and even create and experience music.
Embodying a new genre of play-to-earn games, the GameFi sector combines gaming, finance, and NFTs.
Axie Infinity’s highest single-day revenue in July even surpassed the highest single-day revenue of the highest-grossing game in the world, Glory of Kings. Facebook changed its name to Meta, further driving the metaverse boom.
2021 Trends That Are Expected to Continue in 2022
- More projects in 2022 will offer universal infrastructures for blockchain interoperability
- Cross-chain DeFi
- Metaverse, Web 3.0（blockchain network infrastructure), NFTs, and GameFi
- Web 3.0 infrastructure protocols are emerging and thriving—e.g. computation, storage, bandwidth and indexing.
- NFTs with more utility, gaining access to super-exclusive communities
- Music NFTs
- Brands and larger companies stepping up their experimentation with NFTs.
- The biggest gaming companies moving into GameFi
- Lending platforms starting to accept metaverse land as collateral for loans
- NFT + DAO，GameFi + DAO
- Social tokens, self-sovereign identity, and decentralized identity being established in the metaverse
New Trends Expected in 2022
- The development and roll-out of more Layer 2 solutions will make Ethereum cheaper and faster.
- Financial industry breakthroughs
- More new applications incorporated with DeFi
- Smart contract socialization
- Transformation of tangible assets into digital assets, written agreements into on-chain contracts
- Crypto payment
- Increasing adoption from institutions and companies
- The use of crypto for payments is expected to gain further momentum in 2022
- Stablecoins regulation
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Date & Author: Jan 14 2022, [email protected]
DataSource: Footprint Analytics
This article is part of our Year in Review series.
Featuring a summary of the most important daily stories in the world of crypto, DeFi, NFTs and more.