Global cryptocurrency funds recorded sharp gains in 2021 after prices of most digital currencies surged to record levels, as per a report by BarclayHedge.

Which in turn led to strong institutional interest, furthering the acceptance of cryptos by watchdogs worldwide, the firm noted. With that, the investment database firm recorded that the BarclayHedge cryptocurrency traders index was up 138.1% in 2021. However, it didn’t beat the record gains of 2020 at 173%.

Heavyweights do the heavy-lifting

But, it is worth noting that most of these gains were on the back of two cryptos, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The report also highlighted that Bitcoin gained 60% in 2021 when it touch its ATH of $69,000 in November while ETH peaked close to 400%.

Apart from that, as previously reported that CoinShares’ Digital Asset Fund Flows Annual Summary had also recorded a massive investment inflow into digital assets. It brought in a total of US$9.3 billion last year, a significant 36% year-on-year increase with total assets under management (AuM) at end of 2021 at US$62.5 billion.

But the situation hasn’t been too bright since December. While many leading crypto exchanges are seeing lower trading volumes, CoinShares has been recording four consecutive weeks of negative flows into digital assets from the last month.

Bitcoin has registered close to a 40% decline since its ATH of over $69,000 in November last year.

Ben Crawford, head of research at BarclayHedge said,

“Crypto was the only sub-sector that didn’t make money in December, as many of the industry’s headline assets suffered whiplash from a sharp price downturn.”

Crypto firms gathering momentum

Having said that, crypto also seems to have driven the fintech market last year. Another report, citing App Radar data, highlights that consumer demand for crypto was one of the factors that drove app downloads to 8.6 million in Europe last year.

Among crypto investment startups, Austria-based BitPanda recorded an increase of almost 470% in downloads to 754,000.

2021 was also a record-breaking year when it comes to new unicorns and venture investing in crypto, as per a report by CrunchBase. It noted that venture funding flooded $21 billion into the crypto space in 2021 while giving birth to 30 new unicorns throughout the year. Nino Marakovic, CEO and partner of Sapphire Ventures told CrunchBase,

“Crypto is one of the most exciting investment areas right now because in some ways the entire stack is being built simultaneously.”

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