There were plenty of top performers in 2021 thanks to the rise of meme tokens, alternative blockchains and ‘play-to-earn’ gaming.
Coin Rivet looks into the top five highest-performing coins of the year by percentage gains and the reasons behind their incredible growth in 2021:
1. Shiba Inu (SHIB) – 43,399,583.8%
Shiba Inu has posted unimaginable gains in 2021 following a 43 million per cent price increase from January to December. SHIB sat at a price of $0.000000000077 at the start of the year with zero interest in the token except for staunch meme token enthusiasts.
A rally in May followed by a long consolidation period through to October helped build interest in the token. Then, in October, SHIB shot to a new all-time high of $0.00008616 and a $40bn market cap.
Now, SHIB sits at $0.00002910 – earning the meme token the prestigious title of the highest performing coin in 2021.
2. Terra (LUNA) – 13,790%
Starting the year at $0.65, LUNA has posted massive returns thanks to a thriving ecosystem focused on developing DeFi and stablecoins.
The LUNA token rallied in early March to a new ATH of $22 before ranging until August. The second half of the year saw further growth for LUNA, with the token posting a new December ATH of $81 before returning to a current price of $74.62.
LUNA is now expected by many to break its latest ATH and record even better gains before the end of the year.
3. Axie Infinity (AXS) – 12,022%
AXS takes the second spot in our list of highest-performing coins thanks to the rise of ‘play-to-earn’ blockchain gaming in 2021.
AXS has seen incredible gains since the start of the year, posting a price of $0.53 in January. Axie Infinity’s utility token then picked up the pace heading into June when interest and attention flooded to the game.
Following the increase in players and ‘monsters’ being bred, the AXS token shot to a new all-time high of $164 and a $10bn market cap in November before pulling back to a current price of $91.20.
4. Solana (SOL) – 10,289%
Next on our list is SOL, the native token for the Solana blockchain. SOL began the year at $1.52 before grinding to a former ATH of $56 in May.
Things really kicked off for Solana in August and September when the price spiked from $40 to $188 in a four-week period thanks to an explosion of development and investment on Solana. After cooling off slightly, the growth continued as Ethereum alternatives become more widely used.
Solana reached an early November ATH of $259.96 before pulling back to a current price of $172.32.
5. Polygon (MATIC) – 10,259.1%
Taking fifth spot on the list is Polygon and its native token MATIC, which has seen remarkable gains in 2021 thanks to the narrative surrounding layer-2 blockchains and scaling solutions for Ethereum.
Beginning the year at $0.017 in January, MATIC picked up the pace in April and May, shooting to an ATH of $2.62 before ranging until September.
MATIC came close to breaking its ATH in early December and now sits at $2.07, with many expecting the layer-2 narrative to carry MATIC to new highs as the token becomes more widely used.
*All data in this article was collected from CoinGecko and was correct at the time of writing.