3 Top Cryptocurrencies That Have Crushed Bitcoin Returns in 2021

Cryptocurrencies such as Solana and Polygon have easily outpaced Bitcoin in 2021.

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According to data from CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) prices have risen over 70% year to date. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is currently valued at a market cap of US$964 billion after a stellar run in the last two years. Bitcoin has been a massive wealth creator for long-term investors, as the BTC token has returned more than 35,000% since May 2013.

The widespread adoption of Bitcoin by institutional investors and several other companies listed on Wall Street has been a key driver of rising prices in the last two years. For example, entities including Tesla, Square, and MicroStrategy now hold Bitcoin on their balance sheets.

Further, the total circulation of Bitcoin is limited to just 21 million tokens, making the asset anti-inflationary by nature. While Bitcoin has outpaced most equity indices this year, there are several other cryptocurrencies that have risen at an exponential rate.

Here, we’ll look at three such digital tokens that are up over 10,000% in 2021.


One of the most popular blockchain networks in the world, Solana (CRYPTO:SOL) is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency valued at a market cap of US$58.6 billion. The SOL token has gained over 10,000% in 2021, as the decentralized network has focused on speed and scalability, allowing it to onboard projects at an enviable pace.

Similar to Ethereum, the Solana blockchain is also a smart contract platform and can host a variety of projects across DeFi applications and NFT marketplaces. But Solana has a significant advantage over Ethereum. While Ethereum can execute 15 transactions each second, Solana can handle over 3,000 transactions per second.

At the time of writing, the Solana blockchain has already processed over 40 billion transactions on its network.


The Polygon (CRYPTO:MATIC) cryptocurrency is up more than 14,000% in 2021, valuing the MATIC token at a market cap of US$18 billion. Due to its market-thumping gains, Polygon is now the 14th largest cryptocurrency in the world. MATIC is up over 20% in the last week as the Opera web browser has integrated Polygon into its services. Additionally, the decentralized application and blockchain protocol Uniswap is also live on the Polygon network.

Opera already has millions of users as well as a cryptocurrency wallet. With the integration with Polygon, Opera’s user base will now be able to access dApps and metaverse platforms from their desktop and mobile web browser.

Axie Infinity

The final cryptocurrency on my list is Axie Infinity (CRYPTO:AXS), which is up 18,000% in 2021, valuing the AXS token at a market cap of US$6.57 billion. An NFT-based video game, Axie Infinity has been developed by Sky Mavis, a Vietnam-based studio. With over 2.8 million daily active players, Axie is a game that is partially owned and operated by its players where they can earn AXS tokens and use the digital assets to decide the future of the game.

The play-to-earn video games are rapidly gaining traction and the associated digital tokens have been among the most popular ones this year. The AXS token is expected to be the in-game currency for the Axie Infinity metaverse platform in early 2022, which should drive its price higher.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Aditya Raghunath has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Bitcoin and Block, Inc. The Motley Fool recommends Tesla.

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