The first half of 2021 has been nothing short of eventul for the crypto space. Though the market has mellowed down from its peak in April and May, it’s worth noting that the crypto landscape has recorded some highly remarkable milestones within the past few months.
Bitcoin market cap hits $1 trillion surpasses Facebook
In February, Bitcoin marked yet another remarkable milestone when it hit $1 trillion USD in market cap, surpassing tech giant Facebook. The top cryptocurrency by market cap was trading for around $54,000 per bitcoin when this happened.
Bitcoin hit ATH of $64k
Bitcoiners would definitely recall the momentous Apr 14, when bitcoin prices soared to its All-Time-High of $64K. Starting the year off at around $29K, bitcoin continued on an upward price trajectory and breezed through new price highs throughout the month of April.
Ethereum Berlin Hard Fork
The second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum began its transition from a Proof-of-Work consensus protocol to a Proof-of-Stake one, in December last year. This update is known as Ethereum 2.0, and will change the way the Ethereum network functions.
Earlier this year in April, Ethereum launched its Berlin Hard Fork — a crucial step in its journey towards Ethereum 2.0. The Berlin Hard Fork brought about positive changes to the network in the form of four key Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). The improvements included lower fees, better cybersecurity, support for multiple transaction types and more.
Morgan Stanley emerged as the first major U.S bank to offer its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds in March this year. Fueled by client demand, Morgan Stanley’s launch of bitcoin trading to its wealth management clients is testament to the fact that crypto is here to stay.
Paypal’s Venmo allows users to buy, sell and hold crypto
Paypal-owned mobile payment app Venmo took a step towards bitcoin adoption by allowing its users to buy, hold & sell bitcoin and other digital assets. This new feature lets users buy into a basket of four different cryptocurrencies, namely bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash.
The initiative was an expansion on Paypal’s move to allow buyers to fund their online purchases with bitcoin.
Ethereum crosses $3,000 for the first time, worth more than Bank of America and Walt Disney
For the first time in six years, Ethereum crossed the $3,000 mark on 3 May 2021. This propelled Ethereum’s market cap to nearly $350 billion, placing it ahead of major U.S financier Bank of America, entertainment conglomerate Walt Disney, and payment service provider Paypal.
Ethereum left its permanent mark in crypto history during the heat of the alt season — a time during which more money is seen flowing into tokens with smaller market capitalisations compared to Bitcoin.
Ethereum later set a new All-Time-High of $4,362.35 on May 12, 2021, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
El Salvador Accepts Bitcoin as legal tender
El Salvador’s might have just eclipsed the other efforts to drive mainstream bitcoin adoption, when it officially announced that it would accept bitcoin as legal tender on 9 June 2021.
President Nayib Bukele’s proposal to accept bitcoin as legal tender garnered 62 out of 84 votes, making the Central American country the first in the world to accept cryptocurrency as legal tender.
In a tweet, Bukele said El Salvador’s move towards adoption to bitcoin would “financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development” for the country.
Total crypto market cap surpasses $2T
The total crypto market cap surpassed $2T in market cap in April 2021 for the first time — doubling its market cap in just two months and calling for celebrations from crypto enthusiasts around the globe.
The boost in market cap was said to be driven by a rally in Ether, which was trading for around $2,151 per coin at that time.
Uniswap launches V3
Known for being the biggest decentralised exchange on the globe, Uniswap runs on the Ethereum blockchain and has its own token —UNI.
On 5 May 2021, Uniswap began its transition into Uniswap V3, with the goal to make it the “most flexible and efficient AMM ever designed.”
With the upgrade, Uniswap will enjoy improvements such as concentrated liquidity, multiple fee tiers and better oracles on the platform.
Microstrategy tops up bitcoin purchase, becomes one of the largest institutional holders of bitcoin
While many in the market panic sold in the face of dipping bitcoin prices, Microstrategy opted for the road less travelled and topped up their bitcoin purchases instead.
The largest independent, publicly-traded business analytics company made its initial bitcoin purchase on August 11th 2020, at an aggregate price of $250 million.
Microstrategy's most recent purchase saw it acquiring an additional 13,005 bitcoins, bringing its holdings to a grand total of 105, 085 bitcoins, worth around $3.7 billion USD at press time.
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