2021 has been a definitive year for the crypto industry, from gaining massive institutional support, edging ever closer to mainstream adoption, to welcoming the first Bitcoin ETFs, the great mining migration, and even Bitcoin becoming the legal tender. These developments saw the entire industry rally, peaking over the $3 trillion mark for the first time ever.
Today, we’re looking at the top 10 cryptocurrencies that have raked in the highest gains in 2021. The coins on this list exclude pump and dump projects, which are typically infamous for their outrageous gains. So, in no particular order, here’s our list of the best performing cryptocurrencies in 2021.
Polygon, formally known as Matic, is a project designed to scale ethereum chains and develop the blockchain’s infrastructure. Polygon has performed phenomenally in 2021 growing to become one of the most favored ETH scaling solutions.
The price of MATIC has grown from $0.018 to $2.20938, year-to-date, which represents a gain of more than 12,250%.
The year-to-date price chart for Polygon (MATIC). Source: Tradingview
Although Terra gained immeasurable popularity for hitting a new all-time high at a time when the majority of the crypto market was faltering, the coin has in actual fact been outperforming most of the market since the start of the year. Terra’s 10,000% gain has earned it the 11th position in the market cap rankings.
The price of LUNA has had an incredible run in 2021, rising from $0.66 in Januray to its current valuation of $65.84 at the time of this writing.
The year-to-date price chart for Terra (Luna). Source: Tradingview
Another Altcoin that has dazzled investors in 2021 is Solana (SOL), earning itself the title of “Ethereum-Killer” in the process. Solana has gained by more than 9,500% in value in 2021, earning it 5th place on the market cap rankings. Starting out the year at $1.5, SOL is now valued at a scintillating $177.592.
The year-to-date price chart for Solana (SOL). Source: Tradingview
The Sandbox (SAND)
Since Meta, previously known as Facebook, made its metaverse announcement, existing metaverse platforms have exploded. Accordingly, as one of the earliest metaverse blockchain platforms, The Sandbox has enjoyed massive growth.
In 2021, The Sandbox (SAND) has grown by 14,000%, with most of its gains coming in Q4. The price of SAND has gone from $0.036 to $5.21035. Astonishingly, it was trading at a mere $0.74 at the start of Q4.
The year-to-date price chart for The Sandbox (SAND). Source: Tradingview
Axie Infinity (AXS)
As the popularity of play-to-earn games, which reward players simply for playing them, grew in 2021, Axie Infinity, one of the earliest games in the space, has exploded. Since the start of 2021, Axie Infinity’s (AXS) price has gained by more than 16,000%.
The price of AXS has grown from $0.54 to its current price of $96.19 as of this writing.
The year-to-date price chart for Axie Infinity (AXS). Source: Tradingview
Decentraland is yet another metaverse project that has been a major beneficiary of Meta’s announcement in October. In Q4 alone, the price of MANA soared from $0.66 up to $3.4677.
Since the start of 2021, the price of MANA has gained by 4,000%, starting the year at a vastly lower $0.082.
The year-to-date price chart for Decentraland (MANA). Source: Tradingview
Directed acyclic graph (DAG) smart contract platform Fantom has enjoyed significant adoption by decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol developers in 2021. As a result, its native token, FTM, has seen a steady rise.
In 2021, Fantom (FTM) gained 8,400% in value, with the price of the coin going from $0.017 to as high as $3.48, settling now at $1.4549 as of this writing.
The year-to-date price chart for Fantom (FTM). Source: Tradingview
Gala appears to be the dark horse on the list. The native token for the blockchain gaming ecosystem Gala Games, has gained by more than 43,800% in value throughout the course of 2021, with the price of its native token GALA blowing the roof off as it rose from $0.0013 to $0.45667.
The year-to-date price chart for Gala (GALA). Source: Tradingview
Harmony’s decentralized application (dApp) ecosystem saw unparalleled adoption in 2021. As a result, its native token has gained by more than 4,740% in 2021. The price of Harmony (ONE), accordingly grew from $0.0042 to $0.20534.
The year-to-date price chart for Harmony (ONE). Source: Tradingview
Lesser known Altcoin that has performed outstandingly well in 2021, perhaps flying under the radar. Since the start of 2021, the scalable layer 1 PoW blockchain, Kadena (KDA), has gained over 7,900% in value.
The year-to-date price chart for Kadena (KDA). Source: Tradingview
Why You Should Care?
Despite the current retracements being experienced by the crypto market, 2021 has been a significant year for the industry, potentially setting it up for even greater heights in 2022 and beyond.