During the peak months of COVID, interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies skyrocketed in the United States, and now many traders in the country are profiting from it. According to Chainalysis, an analytical firm specializing in blockchain technology, Americans have seen their bitcoin assets return more than $4 billion to their original owners.
Bitcoin Made People Rich
While bitcoin is currently trading at a loss, it has recently completed what is likely the currency’s largest and longest bull run in its 12-year history. The coronavirus epidemic started wreaking havoc on global financial markets in March of 2020. As the economy was forced to shut down, stocks and many businesses fell to historic lows around the world.
The digital coin was purchased by notable investors such as Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones; corporations like as Square, Tesla, and MicroStrategy incorporated bitcoin to their balance sheets; and regular traders joined institutional investors in swarming the market.
As a result, a large number of Americans benefited. According to a new research from software startup Chainalysis, investors in the United States generated an estimated $4.1 billion in realized bitcoin gains in 2020.
According to Chainalysis, this is more than three times as much as the next largest country, China, where investors made $1.1 billion in profit.
In a recent interview, Kim Grauer, director of research at Chainalysis, stated that one of the big contributing factors to such a large number was the fact that several institutions based in America found themselves quickly attracted to BTC. Kim states:
We know from past research that there is growing institutional investment in crypto assets, notably in the U.S. Institutional investors work with large quantities of cryptocurrencies and have been stockpiling bitcoin over the past year. The gains in the U.S. mostly came in toward the end of the year and, therefore, we suspect many institutional traders who fit this profile took in gains as the price rose in late 2020.
Chainalysis stated that the quoted figures are estimations based on transaction data it collects, and that due to the blockchain’s decentralized design, it is impossible to know for certain where parties are situated.
China Was Always The First
Though China historically has the one of the highest cryptocurrency transaction volumes, Chainalysis reports, U.S. exchanges saw “huge inflows” in 2020.
“We know from past research that there is growing institutional investment in crypto assets, notably in the U.S. Institutional investors work with large quantities of cryptocurrencies and have been stockpiling bitcoin over the past year,” Kim Grauer, director of research at Chainalysis
In addition, “the gains in the U.S. mostly came in toward the end of the year and, therefore, we suspect many institutional traders who fit this profile took in gains as the price rose in late 2020.”
After China, investors in Japan earned the next highest amount, with an estimated $929 million in realized bitcoin gains. After that, U.K. investors realized $829 million, Russian investors realized $632 million and German investors realized $607 million.
“We can start to see country-level variation in the way gains are taken,” Grauer says. “For example, we know that certain countries with a robust cryptocurrency ecosystem, such as Vietnam, took in outsized gains given the overall size of the economy.”