Despite all of its ups and downs and occasional chaos, 2021 was a stand out year for the blockchain. To demonstrate this through the facet of facts and figures, blockchain analytics platform, Nansen, has released the first of its comprehensive annual reports.
Nansen studies key blockchain data over a number of significant blockchains to determine patterns in the market and plot overall trends by drawing information from over 100 million wallets worldwide. The information is then fed into its cutting-edge Smart Money application, that allows users to trade using the best information available.
Through its in-depth analysis, Nansen highlighted several key points of note. As such, Ethereum was the biggest chain by Total Value Locked (TVL), with Uniswap representing its busiest application. However, 2021 also saw the rise of poof-of-stake chains designed to tackle issues surrounding scalability, security and decentralization. As a result, Polygon saw 300% of the traffic experienced by Ethereum, while paying just 0.05% of the fees. Binance Smart Chain on the other hand, recorded the highest number of active wallets.
Over the preceding 12 months, DeFi saw rapid growth, increasing in coverage by a massive 1120%, and is continuing its momentum into the new year. NFTs also gained major traction, recording a total sales volume of over 4.6 million ETH and therefore seeing the humble non-fungible token rise from niche item, to blockchain powerhouse with over 1.2m unique wallets participating in NFT minting over the period.
2021 also saw the rise in DAOs, with ConstitutionDAO making the most notable contribution, raising an incredible $47 million from 17,000 participants. Finally, play-to-earn gaming made a name for itself, with Axie Infinity coming through as the star performer, seeing an annual revenue of an astounding $1.3 billion.