The march towards mass blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption made significant strides in 2021, as the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT) propelled crypto daily under the mainstream media spotlights.
From the rise of meme coins like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) to the growing popularity of the game-to-win model and popular protocols like Axie Infinity, 2021 has been all about showing the world the income-generating opportunities. that exist within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
And it’s not just the engagement of average Joe and Jane that gives hints that mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is upon us, as many major developments in finance and popular culture show that blockchain technology is slowly becoming a pillar of global society.
Here is a look at some of the most important developments in 2021 that indicate the massive adoption of cryptocurrencies is here.
Huge sponsorship deals grab headlines in mainstream media
One of the most significant signs of mass adoption in 2021 has been the increase in sponsorship deals and partnership deals between cryptocurrency-related companies and other major organizations such as sports teams and professional sports organizations as well as celebrities and popular influencers.
Most recently, Crypto.com shocked the world by announcing the signing of a 20-year naming rights agreement with leading sports and entertainment company AEG to rename Staples Center in Los Angeles to Crypto.com Arena.
We are extremely proud to announce that the Staples Center, Los Angeles’ most iconic arena, is changing its name:
– Crypto.com (@cryptocom) November 17, 2021
As part of the $ 700 million deal, Crypto.com will work with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings and become the “official cryptocurrency platform partner” for popular sports franchises.
This naming deal for Crypto.com follows a similar move earlier in the year from the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, which signed a 19-year, $ 135 million deal with Miami-Dade County. to rename the Miami Heat’s stadium to the FTX Arena until 2040.
In addition to these large multi-year, multi-million dollar sponsorship deals, there have been a host of other cryptocurrency-related endorsements, including a sponsorship deal between Coinbase and the National Basketball Association, and a partnership between the New York Digital Investment Group and the Houston Rockets, which will see the investment firm pay for the franchise using Bitcoin (BTC).
Big brands embrace the NFT culture
Another sign of massive adoption has been the adoption of the NFT culture by globally recognized brands such as McDonald’s and Burger King, which seek to capitalize on the popularity of the rapidly growing crypto subsector as a means to interact. with their clients.
I present to you the most important NFT. RT for a chance to win one of the ten exclusive #McRibNFT
no purchase. nec. 50 US / DC, 18+ only. winners need a crypto wallet to receive NFT. rules: https://t.co/2QRhsPlpur pic.twitter.com/KYmWI67PhG
– McDonald’s (@McDonalds) November 1, 2021
Despite the widespread crackdown on cryptocurrencies in China, McDonald’s China launched its ‘Big Mac Rubik’s Cube’ line of NFTs on October 8 to celebrate the company’s 31st anniversary in the Chinese market and distributed a set of 188 NFTs to employees and customers in the course of revealing it.
In September, Burger King launched an NFT-focused marketing campaign called ‘Keep It Real Meals’ in which customers were able to scan a QR code that came with their meals in order to receive one of three collectible game coins. . Players who collect all three in-game coins can redeem them for a digital collectible as a reward, a year-long supply of burgers, or a call with one of the campaign celebrities.
All of this focus on NFTs by big brands and companies comes at a time when public interest in NFTs is growing, as evidenced by data from Google Trends, which shows that searches for phrases related to NFTs are reaching highs. record levels, with NFT queries now having surpassed search terms such as “DeFi”, “Ethereum” and “blockchain.”
Viewers have also been increasingly exposed to cryptocurrency-related advertisements with well-known spokespersons including actor Matt Damon and National Football League quarterback Tom Brady.
Related: NFT sales boom, but ownership is very concentrated
Traditional finance is finally embracing Bitcoin
A third development indicating that widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies is underway has been the integration of cryptocurrency-related projects into traditional financial fields, the biggest example being the exit of the exchange-traded fund (ETF) ProShares. Bitcoin Strategy (BITO), the first Bitcoin-linked ETF to be authorized in the US market.
The launch of BITO was quickly followed by the launch of the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF), indicating that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is comfortable with approving Bitcoin futures ETFs at this point. is not yet ready to authorize spot Bitcoin ETFs, a development that may not happen until 2022 or later.
2021 has also seen a significant integration of blockchain technology with the wider financial industry, as major payment processing networks such as Visa and Mastercard have signed numerous agreements in the cryptocurrency industry to enable cardholders of cryptocurrency to use their tokens for payment.
Several influential crypto-focused companies, including Crypto.com, as well as BlockFi and Coinbase, are using the Visa network to power their debit and credit card system, while Mastercard has partnered with the asset platform. Bakkt digital currencies, also laying the groundwork for eventually supporting digital banking currencies (CBDCs).
The fact that several central banks around the world have announced that they are studying or developing their own CBDCs is a testament to the inevitable integration and massive adoption of blockchain technology in the wider global financial ecosystem.
While it is likely that the crypto market as a whole will continue to experience its boom and bust cycles as all markets do over time, crypto holders should take comfort in knowing that the path to long term of blockchain technology is towards widespread adoption and integration. in many aspects of our daily lives as the Internet of Things and Web 3.0 continue to unfold.
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