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Crypto Gamble Pays Out $163B to Investors in 2021


Cryptocurrencies are a gamble. Their value may go up, but then again – it may go down. Much of the value of crypto seems to be unpegged to any central authority and prone to sudden swings, and therefore much more akin to gambling than investing in the stock market, for example. However, 2021 was a good year for people who placed a wager on crypto and scored big paydays on this decision.

Crypto Gains Hit Record Numbers in 2021

A new report by Chainalysis has dug into what the analytics firm believes are at least $162.7 billion won by investors on their crypto investment. These numbers aren’t definitive and they do not account for any potential losses realized by investors, nor do they consider the tax that they must pay in all respective jurisdictions. Chainalysis acknowledged that more work needs to be done to examine individual wallets and their performance metrics to be able to properly assess gains versus potential losses and subtract tax money.

Nevertheless, the numbers are significantly up from 2020 when crypto investors posted only $32.5 billion in total gains. Part of this process is explained by the sudden increase in the value of the main cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum which grew exponentially backed by a number of important developments.

Tesla’s commitment to the sector sent the price on an upward swing but even before that PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard were among some of the prominent vendors to confirm that they would look to enable support for cryptocurrencies in the United States and beyond. In terms of who made the biggest profit on crypto in 2021, Chainalysis believes that is investors hailing from or operating out of the United States.

US crypto investors accounted for $47 billion in gains or 29% of the total amount according to the company. It’s worth noting that blockchain transactional data does not include any geographical specifications, but Chainalysis has been to pinpoint the volumes using its own web traffic data instead. These findings are not definitive, the company cautions. Based on this data, the United States saw a 476% increase in crypto gains.

Global Crypto Markets and Regulatory Music Chairs

Other strong markets in 2021 were Japan and China, as well as the United Kingdom and Germany. While Germany is considered to be one of the friendliest crypto nations in the world, China has completely revised its regulatory framework that effectively prohibits any crypto projects that have to do with private cryptocurrencies and mining.

The bulk of the gains came from following conventional wisdom and not taking risks on alternative tokens. Almost 93% of the gains were realized on Bitcoin and Ethereum, Chainalysis said. The increased interest in DeFi has definitely been helpful, as Ethereum found a new way to appeal to consumers.

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