Crypto projects have attracted more than $30bn (£22.6bn) of funding from venture capital firms this year alone according to new data.
An explosion in the crypto market during 2021 allowed the decade old technology to attract more investment than it has in all previous years combined according to data from Pitchbook first reported in Bloomberg. The value of investments this year almost quadrupled the previous high of $8bn which was hit in 2018.
“Investors are funding anything and everything,” Pitchbook analyst Rob Le said in comments reported by Bloomberg.
Investors have been attracted into the crypto market by an array of new projects and concepts including NFTs. After gaining the world’s attention following the sale of digital artwork Beeple for $69m in March 2021 total global sales volumes for NFTs hit $10.7bn in the third quarter of the year.
This year Dapper Labs, the NFT platform behind CryptoKitties, raised $350m from investors that included basketball legend Michael Jordan, giving the project a valuation to $2.5bn. Meanwhile Crypto payments infrastructure provider MoonPay, closed a $555m round to increase its valuation to $3.4bn.
At the same time the pandemic has pushed people to start investing from the comfort of their own home on DIY stock picking apps and through crypto trading platforms.
The $30bn tally includes fundraising rounds raised by the likes of Robinhood, a trading platform which allows users to trade digital assets but is not predominantly focussed on crypto. Looking strictly at US venture capital transactions also showed that breakaway investing has occurred in the crypto space this year with some $7.2bn spent on deals.
A boom in the crypto space has led to increased calls for regulation to protect consumers with research by Chainalysis estimating that $7.7bn was lost to crypto scams this year.