Some Key Takeaways:
- Non-fungible tokens exploded in popularity in 2021
- The most expensive NFT is a digital collage of images by Beeple that sold for $69.3 million at a Christie’s auction in March
- Facebook turns Meta in 2021
- Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum soar to records high
- Billionaires fly to space
- The Covid-19 pandemic gives us a restart, not a recovery
As we mark the end of 2021, we should take note of the powerful year we are about to leave behind. Reviewing a year is a way to capture the meaning of a moment. It is a chance to recognise the people who led us, enraged us or even amused and inspired us.
All of these people and moments encapsulate 2021, today and years to come. Faced with crisis after crisis, we proved we are creative and resilient, with a long history of extracting the possible from the impossible.
What we have learnt is that humanity stands strong with an eye drawn to the future. This is because inspiration and innovation continue to rewrite our story.
While we got our first glimpse of the metaverse and continue to wrestle with reality, 2021 will go down in history as a year of extremes.
For example, we witnessed millions more people become sick or perish from the coronavirus, while some of the most developed nations recorded a broad-based economic recovery.
And when it comes to how people handle their money, there is no denying that the investment category has soared to the world’s unknowns.
If we had to look at an investment in a nutshell for 2021, it would be difficult to start with something quite as simple.
People’s interest in crypto has skyrocketed this year: it’s a hot topic not only among investors but in popular culture too, thanks to everyone from long-standing investors like Elon Musk, to all things Facebook and social media related – Mark Zuckerberg.
The market cap of all cryptocurrencies topped $3 trillion in 2021, as Bitcoin and Ethereum soared to record highs, but experienced intense volatility.
So-called meme-coins, including Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, became mainstream as they racked up astronomical gains, spurred on by online trading forums like r/wallstreetbets.
Finally, 2021 can be remembered as the year that the lines between the digital and physical worlds became more blurred than ever.
The rise of decentralised networks and digital currencies, coupled with the mania over non-fungible tokens (NFTs), represent an awakening across the world that our lives are becoming more digitized.
This year, tech CEOs drew inspiration from a 1990s sci-fi novel, Reddit investors’ lexicon seeped into the mainstream as diamond hands and online apes shook Wall Street.
Facebook became Meta, Square became Block, and billionaires launched their rockets into space as their fortunes soared.
In the past two months, leading fashion and gaming companies like Balenciaga and Fortnite, Vans and Roblox have announced collaborations that span digital fashion collections and physical activations.
For example, Dolce & Gabbana announced on Sept. 30 it had sold at auction a nine-piece collection of digital NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, alongside some actual couture for a total of 1,885.719 Ether (Ethereum cryptocurrency), or the equivalent of nearly $5.7 million.
It is only a matter of time before our fast-paced evolving digital space will blossom into a world outside of this one.
2021 and its authenticity, disruption, short of supply, and more extremes are the hallmarks of this new era.