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Cryptocurrency prices went on another roller coaster this past year: surging, plunging and then cycling again. What made 2021 different was how many more people experienced those swings, as crypto crossed into the mainstream. In the most famous example, El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. Perhaps more impactful for financial markets, the first exchange-traded fund tied to Bitcoin futures also began to trade. It offered professional investors an easy way into the market, and it took just a month to amass $1.4 billion in assets.

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