Crypto investors’ realized gains jumped 400% to $163 billion in 2021: Chainalysis

Crypto investors’ realized gains jumped 400% to $163 billion in 2021: Chainalysis

By Benson Toti - min read
  • Crypto investors across the globe reaped huge profits in 2021, with realized gains hitting $163 billion
  • In a country-by-country comparison, US investors led with $47 billion. 
  • Chainalysis reports that parabolic price gains for Bitcoin and Ethereum contributed massively. 

A new report from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis reveals that 2021 was a good year for crypto investors.

According to the report, released on 20 April, global cryptocurrency realized gains reached $163 billion, representing a more than 400% increase compared to gains seen a year earlier.

Per the firm, the surging prices of the leading cryptocurrencies Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) helped investors push their yearly gains from $32.5 billion recorded in 2020.

Both BTC and ETH notched new all-time highs in 2021, with Bitcoin hitting prices above $69,000 per coin as Ether, the native coin on the Ethereum blockchain, caressed a new peak above $4,800. 

And despite ending the year lower, the two coins were still way above their yearly opening to mean that most investors closed the year with huge gains.

Ethereum only just edged Bitcoin

One of the observable trends Chainalysis made for the year was the crypto’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market Ethereum drew in more realized gains than the king of crypto BTC.

While total realized gains across the globe from Ether reached $76.3 billion, a measure of the same for Bitcoin put the figure at $74.7 billion.

According to Chainalysis, Ethereum’s slight edge against Bitcoin was largely down to an explosion in decentralised finance (DeFi).

US investors topped with $47 billion

Looking at the country-by-country comparison, the report puts US crypto investors ahead of the curve by a mile. In 2021, US investors’ realized gains hit $47 billion. The figure is much higher than the UK’s ($8.2 billion), Germany’s ($5.8 billion), Japan’s ($5.5 billion), and China’s ($5.1 billion).

Russian investors were among the top 10 with $4.3 billion from crypto investments. 

Overall, the report Chinese investors lagged their US, UK and German counterparts when it comes to realized gains in 2021.

Per the report, while China’s total realized gains jumped from $1.7 billion in 2020 to $5.1 billion last year, the 194% growth rate was lower than the three other major markets.

Crypto investors in the United States posted a 476% jump in realized digital asset gains. The UK had 431% while Germany recorded a 423% increase. According to Chainalysis, “China’s lower growth rate most likely reflects declines in the country’s cryptocurrency activity following government crackdowns.