Beyond Bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies that surged in popularity in 2021

Written by
Eszter Z.
Fact checked by
Gyula L.
Nov 2021
Beyond Bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies that surged in popularity in 2021

We all know just how incredible the rise of Bitcoin has been in the last couple of years, with the cryptocurrency seeing its price skyrocket to record levels and sparking global interest in crypto. And while Bitcoin is undoubtedly still the king of cryptocurrencies, there are thousands of other coins and tokens, some of which have actually enjoyed greater surges in popularity and price than Bitcoin in the last twelve months.

Some of these take the form of crypto coins (like Bitcoin) which operate on their own blockchain and are usually used for buying products, while others are tokens, which are built on another blockchain (such as Ethereum) and are used for different purposes such as in the trading of NFTs or shares in companies.

However, as with any investment, there are potential risks with these other cryptocurrencies (known as altcoins) as seen by the recent ‘Squid Game’ crypto scam, which saw the token in question surge to a price of around $2,860, before plummeting to almost zero.

That's why it's important that if you are looking to invest in crypto, especially, that you do your research and know the risks and you can learn more about how to begin trading crypto in our ‘How to trade cryptocurrencies?’ article or compare the best crypto brokers here at BrokerChooser.

To find out the cryptocurrencies that have increased in popularity the most, we've compared interest via Google search data and price in terms of US dollars, between September 2020 and 2021 for the 50 current biggest crypto coins and tokens.

The cryptocurrencies with the greatest increase in popularity

Starting by looking at Google search data, here are the cryptocurrencies that saw their number of searches surge the most between September 2020 and 2021.

The cryptocurrencies with the greatest increase in popularity


Sept 2020 searches: 70
Sept 2021 searches: 1.5 million
Increase: 2.1 million %

Shiba Inu coin (named after the breed of dog that inspired Dogecoin), only debuted in August 2020 and by the following month, hadn’t gained much traction, with just 70 Google searches in September 2020. But, much like Dogecoin, its popularity has exploded in the last year, with 1.5 million people searching for ‘Shiba Inu coin’ in September 2021, an incredible increase of 2.1 million percent.

2. Polygon

Sept 2020 searches: 90
Sept 2021 searches: 90,500
Increase: 100,456%

Polygon (formerly known as Matic Network) is an Ethereum token that powers the Polygon Network and has experienced a growth in interest of over 100,000% in the last year for the term ‘Polygon crypto’. Polygon and other similar tokens have experienced a huge upswing as the Ethereum blockchain sees record usage.

3. Terra

Sept 2020 searches: 320
Sept 2021 searches: 18,100
Increase: 5,556%

While its overall interest might not be as high as either Shiba Inu or Polygon yet, the cryptocurrency with the third-highest increase in popularity is Terra, with searches for ‘Terra crypto’ going up by over 5,000% in the course of a year. Terra is a so-called ‘stablecoin’ which means that it is intended to offer more predictable prices than the likes of Bitcoin, which are notoriously volatile.

The cryptocurrencies with the greatest increase in price

The top 3 cryptocurrencies with the greatest increase in price


Sept 2020 price: $0.0000000003
Sept 2021 price: $0.0000072
Increase: 2.4 million %

As was the case when it came to search interest, Shiba Inu coin had by far the greatest increase when it came to its actual price, despite the fact that the actual price of an individual coin is incredibly low. One Shiba Inu coin was worth a minuscule $0.0000000003 in September 2020 but had increased to $0.0000072 a year later. It may seem like that isn’t such a great increase but it actually equates to 2.4 million percent, meaning that if you had invested just $10 in the currency in September 2020 you’d have over $200,000 just 12 months down the line.

However, despite seeing both its popularity and price skyrocket, the value of Shiba Inu has started to decline in recent days, sparking fears that an anonymous billionaire could be set to sell trillions of Shiba Inu coins, making it a considerably more risky proposition than it was a couple of weeks ago.

2. Dogecoin

Sept 2020 price: $0.003
Sept 2021 price: $0.29
Increase: 9,567%

In second place behind its fellow ‘memecoin’ is Dogecoin, and was envisaged as being a light-hearted and fun cryptocurrency to poke fun at the emerging world of crypto, that ended up building its own community and taking off in a huge way, particularly after being frequently mentioned by Elon Musk on social media. Since September 2020, Dogecoin saw its price increase by around 9,500% in 12 months.

3. Terra

Sept 2020 price: $0.48
Sept 2021 price: $31.66
Increase: 6,496%

As with search increase, Terra was also the cryptocurrency with the third-highest increase when it came to its price, rising from $0.48 to $31.66 between September of 2020 and 2021. Terra’s price exploded in January when it raised $25 million in a funding round from Galaxy Digital, Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, and others.

The cryptocurrencies with the greatest increase in price


We looked at the top 50 cryptocurrencies (including both coins and tokens) currently listed on CoinMarketCap that have been in circulation for at least twelve months.

We then compared the number of Google searches made for each in the months of September 2020 and September 2021 according to Google Ads Keyword Planner.

In addition, we compared the price of each cryptocurrency at the beginning of September 2020 and September 2021 according to CoinMarketCap.

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Author of this article

Eszter Zalán
Eszter Zalán

Eszter is a former Editor and Financial Journalist for BrokerChooser. She wrote and edited BrokerChooser's content from 2021 onwards, bringing her more than a decade-long experience in journalism to the team. She has covered world affairs and several financial crises, and dove deep into SEO and coding to make BrokerChooser's content more accessible to users.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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