2021 Highlights: The Year Crypto Went Mainstream

Read on for a complete recap of all the achievements in 2021.

Jan 14, 2022

2021 was undoubtedly the year crypto went mainstream. According to research, the number of global crypto users more than doubled in the first six months of the year, and we saw the total crypto market cap cross $3 Trillion. Mainstream adoption of crypto didn’t rely solely on retail traders; governments, institutions and publicly listed multinational companies added crypto to their balance sheets. Advances in DeFi, upon which we saw the explosive growth of NFTs, and the foundations laid for GameFi and the Metaverse.

2021 was a banner year for, and we’re proud to have played a pivotal role in the mainstreaming of crypto – staying true to our mission of accelerating the world’s transition to cryptocurrency. We led the industry in forging integrated partnerships with the world’s biggest and fastest growing sports leagues and teams, starting in March with Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 Team, all the way through to November when we announced one of the most widely covered crypto stories around the world: our renaming of the Staples Center, one of the world’s most famous sports and entertainment venues to Arena. In addition, we launched our first global brand campaign “Fortune Favours the Brave” starring Academy Award winner, Matt Damon.

While raising awareness and acceptance of crypto by mainstream audiences was a major priority in 2021, we also accelerated our pace of product development and innovation, delivering more than 100 new features across our ecosystem. The Visa Card’s availability  expanded to more countries, now totalling 40 countries, with the recent addition of Australia and Brazil, retaining its reputation as the most popular crypto card program in the world. Product development wasn’t limited to existing products; in March we were the first global crypto platform to introduce our native NFT platform, NFT. We accelerated mainstream awareness and interest in NFTs with Snoop Dogg, Aston Martin, and many more launching their first NFTs on our platform. In total, more than 150 creators launched over 220 NFT collections on NFT.

Since day one, has been committed to being the most regulatory compliant and secure crypto platform in the world – compliance and security are the foundations upon which mainstream adoption will grow. We’re proud of our achievements in 2021, which included becoming the first global crypto platform to receive a Virtual Financial Assets License and an  Electronic Money License in Europe. We also increased our industry leading insurance policy to $750M and added multiple security credentials.

Accelerating the world’s transition to crypto requires a robust industry with a thriving ecosystem. To support that ecosystem, in March we launched the Chain, our native blockchain which was under development for over two years. Prior to the launch of the Chain, we initiated the largest token burn in history, with 70 billion CRO burned, transforming CRO into the native token of a fully decentralised, open-source, public blockchain with high speed and low fees. November marked the launch of Cronos Chain, an EVM chain running in parallel to the Chain and the first Cosmos EVM chain for DeFi, NFTs, and the metaverse.

To further support the crypto ecosystem and the industry more broadly, we launched Capital. Focused on accelerating the growth of early stage crypto startups, Capital is our venture arm with $200M earmarked for investment. In 2021 we invested in over 20 startups.

Needless to say, 2021 was one of the most significant years in the history of crypto and we couldn’t have made it this far without our dedicated users.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way. We look forward to driving even more mainstream adoption of crypto together in 2022!

Read on for a complete recap of all the achievements in 2021.

By The Numbers: Milestones and Progress Points

The scale of growth across the ecosystem spans multiple fronts. Here are some important numbers that show how much progress has made this year:

  • 10 million users. We doubled its user base as early as February, from around 5 million by the end of 2020. This bullish uptick prompted the company to revise its growth projections to 100 million users by 2023.
  • $5.5 billion in daily spot exchange volumes. In December, we achieved some of our high points in daily exchange volumes. We rose to as high as No. 2 in exchange rankings this year.
  • $1.9 billion TVL on Cronos. The EVM-compatible blockchain has empowered several DeFi platforms to innovate, resulting in the rapid rise of TVL figures since November. This high point was achieved in December, with more growth anticipated soon.
  • 70 billion CRO burned this year. We announced the biggest crypto burn in the history of our industry in February. This also set the stage for increasing CRO’s circulating supply to around 80% ahead of the launch of Chain.
  • $750 million total insurance coverage. We scaled up our insurance policy, led by Arch Underwriting at Lloyd’s Syndicate. This is one of the largest insurance programmes in the industry.
  • $16.1 million in prizes, giveaways, and rewards. We have made the crypto experience more rewarding to our customers, through several promos, as well as distributions in our Supercharger and Syndicate products.
  • 1.4 million Twitter followers. Partly due to our global brand campaign, but mostly due to the strength of our community, we grew our social media footprint by 5x from just 300,000 at the start of the year.
  • 3000+ staff members. To match this year’s unprecedented growth across the crypto industry, we grew our operations from a 600+ strong team to start the year. We intend to grow further, as we have several more openings available. Chain and Cronos: Our Major Contribution to Pushing Blockchain and Web 3 Forward has been a major player in the crypto industry’s mission of driving growth for its supporters. In March, Chain launched its mainnet, providing a public, open-source and permissionless blockchain with high speeds and low fees. In November, launched Cronos Chain, a scalable, interoperable blockchain that supports the rapid porting of apps & smart contracts from Ethereum and other EVM-compatible chains. These launches are facilitating developers to create more Layer 1 and 2 solutions that will help in the formation of Web 3.

The launch of Chain and Cronos has empowered more builders within the crypto industry to create more innovations such as DeFi protocols, NFT launches, GameFi solutions, projects in the Metaverse, and more. Shortly after the launch of Cronos, DeFi solutions on this blockchain grew rapidly, resulting in a total TVL of $1.9 billion as of late December. Furthermore, there are 69 projects deployed and live on Cronos mainnet beta, with more to be added in the coming days.

Another key feature in the launch of Cronos is its implementation of the Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol from day one to facilitate decentralised cross-chain transfers in the Cosmos ecosystem. As a result, less than two months into its mainnet launch, Cronos was ranked No. 4 across all blockchains based on IBC transfers.

Fortune Favors the Brave: Global Campaign, Impact, Recognition, and Advocacies

Meanwhile, solidified its reputation as the flagbearer of crypto adoption and recognition around the world. In October, we launched Fortune Favors the Brave, our global brand campaign starring Academy Award winner Matt Damon. This campaign commenced with the launch of billboards, TV spots, and other mass-media ads in more than 20 international markets. In addition, secured branding and marketing partnerships with some of the biggest sports and entertainment brands in the world, which included a record 20-year deal to rename the Staples Center to Arena.

As a result of these brave actions, in addition to a continued commitment to expand and enhance our suite of products and services, gained more recognition from global ruling bodies and media outlets. We became the first cryptocurrency platform to receive an EMI License from the MFSA, Malta’s financial regulator, and SOC 2 Compliance through a recent audit by Deloitte. Meanwhile, Cer.Live named as the No. 1 crypto exchange in terms of cybersecurity. CEO Kris Marszalek was ranked No. 9 in Cointelegraph’s Top 100 notable people in blockchain.

Our brand of bravery also extends to greater causes. In May, we announced our goal of becoming carbon negative within the next 18 months. We also donated $1 million under a partnership with Matt Damon and to bring safe drinking water and sanitation to developing countries.

Partnerships: Driving Crypto Adoption to Global Audiences

This year, became one of the main catalysts in the mainstream embrace of crypto.

In March, we became a Global Alliance Partner of Visa, gaining principal membership in the process. We also partnered with for discounts on accommodations, with TIME magazine for crypto payments in the US and Canada, and with the New York Stock Exchange for NFTs.

One major theme in the partnerships we secured this year is the enthusiasm shown by major sports brands in partnering with us as their official crypto partner. The most high-profile partnership is our naming rights deal for the Staples Center, now Arena, with global entertainment giant AEG. Other major sports brands we’re working with this year include the UFC, Formula 1, the Paris Saint-Germain football club, the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers, the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, Lega Serie A, Fnatic, Twitch Rivals, and more.

On the operational side of things, we partnered with Chainalysis and CipherTracefor for platform security and with Circle and Silvergate for fund transfers. App: More Accessible, More Rewarding

True to its mission of driving crypto adoption worldwide, the App was able to significantly expand its roster of tokens, while making it easier and more rewarding than ever for people to get into crypto. Right now, you can buy and sell more than 250 cryptocurrencies, thanks to our listing of about 200 new tokens this year. To make crypto more accessible, we have also lowered the minimum purchase amount for crypto to as low as $1 for BTC. Meanwhile, to make your crypto experience more rewarding, we have introduced the Missions feature in November, through which you can win prizes worth up to $1,100 just by completing tasks inside the app.

Meanwhile, we have continued expanding the reach of our app-related services to more markets around the world. We now support USD bank transfers to and from the app in more than 40 countries. Card: The Most Popular Crypto Card Program

This year, became a Principal Member of Visa, following the company’s announcement of a global partnership with Visa in March 2021. Having a direct relationship with cardholders allows to introduce new crypto-friendly payment experiences to its users in our key markets. What this means is that we are solidifying our leadership as the largest and most popular crypto card program of its kind in the world. Our card program is now across 40 countries around the world, including Australia and Brazil, where we started direct issuance of our Visa Card this year. Exchange: More Comprehensive and Mobile than Ever

This year, we have worked hard to introduce more than 50 new offerings and features for the Exchange, including the Lending platform in January, Crypto Derivatives in February, the Exchange App and Quarterly Futures in June, Monthly Futures and zero-fee stablecoin conversions in October, the OTC Portal in November, and so much more. We’re tirelessly working to provide the most comprehensive crypto exchange solution for the world, one with active markets, high performance, top-notch security, and full compliance.

Right now, Exchange users can do spot and margin trading on more than 260 popular trading pairs. Since the introduction of Derivatives in February, the exchange has offered more than 70 perpetual contracts, in addition to quarterly and monthly futures contracts for BTC and ETH. Users also participated in 13 Supercharger events, allowing them to unlock more value for the crypto assets they hold, as well as more than 10 trading competitions that granted more than $1 million in prizes to the winners. Meanwhile, similar to the App, the Exchange also supports USD bank transfers in more than 40 countries.

As a result of its relentless growth in features and products offered, Exchange recently ranked as the second-biggest exchange in the world. Furthermore, the Exchange was recognized as the world’s most secure, according to an independent assessment by Cer.Live. We shall continue building upon these achievements with even more solutions coming your way in the coming years. NFT: The New Home of Crypto Art

NFTs exploded in popularity this year, becoming one of the main drivers of worldwide crypto adoption. NFT, which launched in March, contributed greatly to this movement. The NFT platform launched over 220 NFT collections, in collaboration with more than 150 creators, including big-name brands and high-profile creators and celebrities, such as the Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team, Ugonzo Art, Snoop Dogg, and BossLogic.

Our first PFP project, The Loaded Lions, featured 10,000 NFTs that were made available to the public through this platform. This NFT drop sold out immediately and then resulted in $28 million of trading volume in our Marketplace. In addition, we have empowered users to mint their own NFTs. NFT users can now become creators on our platform, mint their own NFTs, and list them for sale on our Marketplace. Pay: A More Open and Accessible Payment Gateway

This year, we continued to make major inroads in accelerating the world’s transition to adopt cryptocurrency. We have welcomed new merchants such as TIME Magazine, Prestashop, CoolBitX, ShiftCrypto, RaveOS, and, among many others, to tap into the global cryptocurrency economy and accept crypto on their websites. In addition, we added new enhancements to firmly establish Pay as the leading crypto payment gateway of choice, such as acceptance of BTC Payments from any wallet, recurring payments, and Cronos network support from any wallet.

Additional Highlights Across the Ecosystem

  • DeFi Wallet expanded support for more blockchains, including Cronos, Polkadot, Polygon, BSC, and more, adding dozens of tokens in the process. The DeFi Wallet also launched new features, such as crypto purchases, ETH gas meter, price alerts, and an in-app browser.
  • Capital launched in March with a $200 million venture fund. It has since invested in Efinity, Pendle, NAOS Finance, Metacask,, Strips Finance,, Krystal, FRAX, Mines of Dalarnia, Pegaxy, PlaceWar, zkSync, Axelar, Entropyfi, and more.
  • Tax, a free service that aids users in their tax obligations from crypto earnings, launched in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Germany this year, with support for more than 20 crypto platforms.



Share with Friends

Ready to start your crypto journey?

Get your step-by-step guide to setting up an account with

By clicking the Get Started button you acknowledge having read the Privacy Notice of where we explain how we use and protect your personal data.
Mobile phone screen displaying total balance with App

Common Keywords: 

Ethereum / Dogecoin / Dapp / Tokens