Battle of the metaverses and a billion-dollar hack

Events in the crypto space are moving a mile a minute — and expect next year to keep up the pace as big business stakes out its turf, blockchains refine their tech, and easier points of entry let newcomers in.
Consider what happened in 2021: El Salvador adopted the top cryptocurrency bitcoin as legal tender. Retail investors dived in. China cracked down on crypto mining. Facebook went all-in on the metaverse, which has Wall Street seeing dollar signs.
Digital currencies are now well on their way to becoming part of mainstream finance. The US approved the first bitcoin futures ETF, while crypto leaders urged regulators to provide clearer rules for the $3 trillion industry.
That flurry of developments, which came as the pandemic played out, generated a whirlwind of excitement among investors. To learn what drivers might lie ahead, Insider asked industry experts to predict what's next for crypto.