Bitcoin staged a powerful rally to start off 2021, punctuated by tweets from the billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk that sent prices soaring for the joke token dogecoin. Soon, though, China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency mining and increasingly nagging concerns over the Bitcoin blockchain’s environmental footprint cast a pall over the market. Instead, crypto traders aped into all sorts of bets on NFTs, video game-linked tokens like Axie Infinity’s AXS and up-and-coming blockchains like Solana and Terra. (Were they fads or a technological revolution?) El Salvador adopted bitcoin as legal tender, and the largest cryptocurrency eventually hit a new all-time high around $69,000. But by the end of the year it was clear bullish traders wouldn’t realize the (widely predicted) dream of a $100,000 print.
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