2021 Saw More Funds Pour Into Crypto Than All Past Years Combined

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Despite the ups and downs of cryptocurrencies this year, this record rate of investment is evidence that the industry is moving toward mainstream adoption.

Key points

  • Venture capitalist firms invested $30 billion in cryptocurrency projects in 2021, according to Bloomberg.
  • The amount poured into crypto so far this year was more than all years combined since blockchain was invented in 2009.
  • It nearly quadrupled the previous investment peak in crypto of $8 billion set in 2018.

According to venture capital transaction data compiled by PitchBook.com, this year has been a record year for investing in cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, decentralized finance, gaming, and other novel blockchain-based projects as first reported by Bloomberg.

Record-setting year for crypto

By several metrics, this year has been a record setter for the blockchain and crypto industry.

Created in 2009, the crypto sector is just over 12 years old. The two largest projects by market cap, Bitcoin and Ethereum, both set all-time highs for price per coin in October of this year and the market cap for the entire crypto space surpassed $3 trillion before retracing.

Also, data from DappRadar, a firm that tracks non-fungible token (NFT) sales, showed that trading in NFTs reached $22 billion in 2021, compared with just $100 million for all of last year. All while the metaverse has been gaining traction since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta and outlined its plans to invest billions in creating an immersive internet experience for its users.

Record levels of venture capital investment in 2021

According to the PitchBook data, investment from venture capital (VC) funds in 2021 has surpassed $30 billion, which is more than in all the previous years since crypto was conceptualized. It was almost four times the previous peak of around $8 billion in 2018.

The most VC funding came from U.S.-based investors who contributed $7.2 billion between January and mid-December. Crypto trading and derivatives exchange FTX was the biggest beneficiary by securing $1 billion in a single funding round.

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This year also saw several double-digit price swings -- with one drop of more than 50% in just a few days. Despite those ups and downs, the investment by VC firms is a strong, positive bet in the future of blockchain and crypto. It also marks a significant precursor toward broader mass adoption.

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