(Bloomberg) -- Cryptocurrencies had a blockbuster year in 2021 by almost any measure. Bitcoin, Ether and other coins jumped, reaching new highs far beyond their previous peaks. More institutions began offering research and services for the sector, and big-name investors piled in. Along the way, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) joined the popular lexicon.
There have been big wins and big scams, important upgrades, major crackdowns — and some major themes that will carry into 2022. Central banks are getting serious about their own digital currencies, and regulators are becoming very interested in what had previously been a “Wild West” of an industry.
To help get a sense of the path ahead, here’s a look at some of this year’s top moments in crypto, why they mattered and what they may portend: