Ethereum and Bitcoin have been locked in a stiff competition for dominance in the market. Chainalysis reports that while cryptocurrency gains across the industry skyrocketed, Ether (ETH) edged Bitcoin (BTC) out of the first position in realized gains earned by investors.
Chainalysis : 2021 was a good year for cryptocurrency investors
The institution-grade blockchain data and analysis service provider noted this in its latest report examining 2021’s cryptocurrency gains on a country by country basis. The data showed that globally, ETH earned investors a total of $76.3 billion compared to BTC’s $74.7 billion.
Chainalysis noted that the trend is a reflection of increased demand for the former crypto assets tied to decentralized finance (DeFi). The Ethereum blockchain plays host to the highest number of DeFi platforms. As the DeFi industry blossomed in 2021, Ether being their primary currency saw higher demand.
“Ethereum just edged out Bitcoin in total realized gains globally at $76.3 billion to $74.7 billion. We believe this reflects increased demand for Ethereum as the result of DeFi’s rise in 2021,” the Chainalysis team said.
Another significant trend pointed out by the report is the fact that the crypto market built on the momentum gained in 2020 during 2021. Across all assets monitored by Chainalysis, investors around the world realized total gains of $162.7 billion last year, largely surpassing 2020’s $32.5 billion.
Additionally, the US investors earned the most realized gains, leading with an estimated $47 billion earned. The US is followed by the UK ($8.1 billion), Germany ($5.8 billion), Japan ($5.5 billion), and China ($5.1 billion).
Meanwhile, countries like Turkey, Vietnam, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Venezuela were noted to have performed impressively. The emerging countries’ realized gains ranking surpassed their ranking by GDP.
Will 2022 build on last year’s momentum?
While Chainalysis opines that the analysis should be encouraging for crypto investors, the market does not show much conviction at the moment. Year to date, both Bitcoin and Ether are trading at a loss.
Bitcoin is down 8.17% YTD, while Ether is down 14.5%. The market has been tamed by multiple macroeconomic market-moving events including inflation concerns and war in Europe.
However, signs remain of healthy market performance and investors continue to be optimistic about new highs before the end of the year. On the day, Bitcoin is up 2.89% trading at around $42,500. Similarly, Ether is trading at around $3,100, up 2.14% at the time of writing.