The cryptocurrency sector, in the best of times, is dynamic but even by its own standards, 2021 was exceptionally wild. Most currencies like Bitcoin, ether, Litecoin, etc., jumped to their highest values, a record number of investors entered the market, and many more institutions began offering specialized research and services to the market hungry for more. Some of the top moments in the cryptocurrency sector in 2021:
Tesla Says Yes to Bitcoin
The world’s leading EV manufacturer, Tesla, said that it had made an investment in Bitcoin of $1.5 billion and announced that it would commence accepting the currency for payments. It caused the price of Bitcoin to jump to record levels and sparked off debates on whether other companies would follow suit. Following in the footsteps of Tesla was another company, MicroStrategy Inc., which also pumped in several billion into Bitcoin investments. With Bitcoin prices being extremely volatile, both Tesla and MicroStrategy have to take on impairment charges on their investments. However, it marked the movement of the cryptocurrency as a mainstream investment, and an increasing number of corporate treasurers are now expected to consider it an investment method. Experts say that now more companies will consider accepting Bitcoin for payments.
Coinbase Lists on NASDAQ
Coinbase was listed on the NASDAQ on April 14. According to , it was a market milestone because it gave a greater acceptance and legitimacy to it in particular and cryptocurrencies in general. The listing also coincided with the prices of Bitcoin peaking. When it was listed, the valuation of Coinbase jumped to as much as $112 billion even though market corrections forced it to fall back. Coinbase has had a torrid time with the American regulators and even occasionally complained about unfair treatment. The biggest exchange, Binance is working to establish a new regulatory and geographic setup while others like FTX are seeking to expand quickly. The question many people are asking is whether they will be able to cope with the intensifying scrutiny of the regulators.
Extreme Price Volatility
On 19 May, Bitcoin plummeted by 30% and then sprang back by a similar percent. The market attributed the wild ride in part to Elon Musk announcing that his company would not accept Bitcoin as a payment method due to concerns about its energy usage. Some of the volatility was also because of a crackdown in China after its central bank issued a warning about cryptocurrencies on its website. Long positions in several cryptos, including Bitcoin amounting to several billion, were liquidated in a hurry causing values to drop sharply and there were outages in multiple exchanges. It took around two months before Bitcoin went back to its earlier prices. According to Forbes, in the crash.
With the cryptocurrency sector evolving, it does not seem that the year coming up will be any less volatile. As the prices rise and the asset class becomes more important, there will be increased scrutiny by regulators. Governments will no longer be able to ignore the importance of these digital assets and will need to firm up their stance quickly.