The march toward blockchain and cryptocurrency mass adoption has made significant strides in 2021 as the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFT) thrust crypto into the mainstream media spotlight on a daily basis.
From the rise of meme coins such as Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) to the breakout popularity of the play-to-earn gaming model and popular protocols like Axie Infinity, 2021 has been about showing the world the income-generating opportunities that exist within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
And it’s not just engagement from the average Joe and Jane providing hints that the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is upon us as multiple big-time developments in finance and popular culture show that blockchain technology is slowly becoming a mainstay in the global society.
Here’s a look at some of the most significant developments in 2021 that indicate that the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is here.
Huge endorsement deals make mainstream media headlines
One of the most significant signs of mass adoption in 2021 has been the surge in major endorsement deals and partnership agreements between cryptocurrency-related companies and other major organizations such as sports teams and professional sports organizations as well as popular celebrities and influencers.
Most recently, Crypto.com shocked the world when it announced the signing of a 20-year naming rights deal with the leading sports and entertainment company AEG to rename the Staples Center in Los Angeles to Crypto.com Arena.
We’re extremely proud to announce that Staples Center, Los Angeles’ most iconic arena is getting a new name:
— Crypto.com (@cryptocom) November 17, 2021
As part of the $700-million deal, Crypto.com will collaborate with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings and become the “official cryptocurrency platform partner” for the popular sports franchises.
This naming deal for Crypto.com follows a similar move earlier in the year from cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which signed a 19-year, $135-million deal with Miami-Dade County to rename the Miami Heat’s home stadium to FTX Arena until 2040.
Aside from these major multi-year, multi-million-dollar endorsement 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 the franchise using Bitcoin (BTC).
Major brands embrace the NFT culture
Another sign of mass adoption has been the embrace of NFT culture by globally recognized brands such as McDonald’s and Burger King, which look to capitalize on the popularity of the rapidly growing crypto subsector as a way to engage with their…