68 of the Biggest Cryptos Gained 1,000% or More in 2021

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Do you know which coins produced the biggest gains this year?

Key points

  • Over 20% of the top 300 cryptos by market cap gained more than 1,000% this year.
  • DeFi, Web 3.0, and gaming/metaverse tokens made up a large proportion of the top gainers.

Cryptocurrency prices have slipped considerably in recent weeks, but it has still been an incredible year for the industry. We analyzed the top 300 coins by market cap to see which ones had seen extraordinary growth.

If you'd spent $100 on any of the 68 coins below at the start of 2021, you'd have at least $1,100 today. So, which cryptocurrencies produced gains of 1,000% or more this year? And what types of token performed the best? Let's take a closer look.

The 68 cryptocurrencies that increased by over 1,000% in 2021

# Cryptocurrency Type of coin Percentage increase
1 Gala (GALA) Gaming/Metaverse 40,445%
2 CEEK VR (CEEK) Gaming/Metaverse 25,270%
3 Anyswap (ANY) DeFi 16,652%
4 XYO (XYO) Web 3.0 15,808%
5 Axie Infinity (AXS) Gaming/Metaverse 15,132%
6 The Sandbox (SAND) Gaming/Metaverse 12,763%
7 Polygon (MATIC) Layer 2 11,485%
8 Terra (LUNA) DeFi 11,249%
9 Solana (SOL) Smart contracts 9,160%
10 Flux (FLUX) Web 3.0 7,613%
11 Fantom (FTM) Smart contracts 7,566%
12 Kadena (KDA) Smart contracts 7,214%
13 Telcoin (TEL) DeFi 6,984%
14 Rari Governance Token (RGT) DeFi 6,819%
15 BakeryToken (BAKE) Crypto exchange token 6,350%
16 Harmony (ONE) Smart contracts 4,841%
17 Humanscape (HUM) Healthcare 4,162%
18 Render Token (RNDR) Gaming/Metaverse 4,028%
19 Decentraland (MANA) Gaming/Metaverse 3,573%
20 Phantasma (SOUL) Gaming/Metaverse 3,158%
21 BORA (BORA) Gaming/Metaverse 3,014%
22 WEMIX (WEMIX) Gaming/Metaverse 2,902%
23 KuCoin Token (KCS) Crypto exchange token 2,853%
24 Dogecoin (DOGE) Meme coin 2,770%
25 Avalanche (AVAX) Smart contracts 2,718%
26 WOO Network (WOO) DeFi 2,631%
27 yOUcash (YOUC) Web 3.0 2,631%
28 Veritaseum (VERI) DeFi 2,581%
29 DigitalBits (XDB) DeFi 2,281%
30 Chromia (CHR) Smart contracts 2,217%
31 KOK Coin (KOK) Web 3.0 2,205%
32 Livepeer (LPT) Web 3.0 2,164%
33 Helium (HNT) Web 3.0 2,119%
34 Arweave (AR) Web 3.0 1,867%
35 Rocket Pool (RPL) DeFi 1,856%
36 HEX (HEX) DeFi 1,785%
37 PancakeSwap (CAKE) Crypto exchange token 1,701%
38 IoTeX (IOTX) Web 3.0 1,636%
39 Voyager Token (VGX) Crypto exchange token 1,634%
40 New Kind of Network (NKN) Web 3.0 1,608%
41 Alchemy Pay (ACH) DeFi 1,602%
42 XDC Network (XDC) DeFi 1,568%
43 Enjin Coin (ENJ) Gaming/Metaverse 1,515%
44 Dent (DENT) Web 3.0 1,470%
45 LCX (LCX) Crypto exchange token 1,459%
46 Quant (QNT) Web 3.0 1,450%
47 WazirX (WRX) Crypto exchange token 1,442%
48 Function X (FX) DeFi 1,410%
49 Cartesi (CTSI) Layer 2 1,368%
50 Venus BNB (vBNB) Crypto exchange token 1,330%
51 MX TOKEN (MX) Crypto exchange token 1,323%
52 LINK (LN) Web 3.0 1,306%
53 Celer Network (CELR) Layer 2 1,297%
54 HyperDAO (HDAO) DeFi 1,293%
55 Wrapped BNB (WBNB) Crypto exchange token 1,272%
56 Binance Coin (BNB) Crypto exchange token 1,246%
57 Hathor (HTR) Smart contracts 1,219%
58 LUKSO (LYXe) Gaming/Metaverse 1,139%
59 Request (REQ) DeFi 1,117%
60 Bonfida (FIDA) DeFi 1,105%
61 Chiliz (CHZ) Sports 1,101%
62 Dusk Network (DUSK) Smart contracts 1,095%
63 WAX (WAXP) Gaming/Metaverse 1,093%
64 Hive (HIVE) DeFi 1,046%
65 Dvision Network (DVI) Gaming/Metaverse 1,032%
66 MediBloc (MED) Healthcare 1,023%
67 Syscoin (SYS) Web 3.0 1,019%
68 Loopring (LRC) Layer 2 1,000%
Data source: CoinMarketCap (Dec .20), author research.

What types of cryptocurrencies have seen the biggest gains?

Cryptocurrencies don't easily fit into boxes, as they often do more than one thing. For example, there's a bit of crossover between gaming or metaverse tokens and Web 3.0. And some of the decentralized finance (DeFi) cryptos could also be categorized as Web 3.0 or even crypto exchange tokens.

That said, even a broad brush categorization gives us a good idea of what trends have outperformed in 2021 and are worth watching in 2022.

Category Number of top performing coins
DeFi 16
Web 3.0 13
Gaming/Metaverse 13
Crypto exchange token 10
Smart contracts 8
Layer 2 4
Healthcare 2
Sports 1
Meme coin 1

DeFi continues to lead the charge, with a number of interest-earning cryptos alongside payment solutions and other asset management products. Gaming and metaverse tokens have been booming in recent months, so it's not too surprising to see a good number of them represented. Cryptocurrency exchange tokens performed relatively well, although we counted the Binance Coin three times due to the number of synthesized versions of the token.

Web 3.0 is a theme people are talking about more and more. It is essentially the next incarnation of the internet, and encompasses a range of decentralized cryptos that offer rewards for participation in the network. For example, New Kind of Network incentivizes users to share their unused bandwidth.

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What is interesting is that there's only one meme coin on the list of cryptos that have gained more than 1,000%. This is partly because some top performing meme coins such as Shiba Inu (SHIB) aren't included in the analysis as they didn't exist on Jan. 1. But the fact that meme coins don't have strong fundamentals also means they are less likely to maintain any price jumps.

Past performance is not an indicator of future success

Some of the cryptocurrencies listed above may continue to perform well in 2022, but this is a fast moving industry and today's top performers sometimes end up seeing tomorrow's biggest drops. By definition, the top 300 represents the most successful coins, and many cryptocurrencies that were in the top 300 last year are not there now.

If you're considering buying crypto in 2022, don't spend money you can't afford to lose in the hopes of seeing returns of 1,000%. These coins have outperformed expectations, but plenty of coins have lost value.

Our Research Expert