Venture capital funds have poured about $30 billion into the cryptocurrency market in 2021, which is more funding than all the previous years combined.
The previous high was around $8 billion in 2018, during the bear market following the 2017 bull market where Bitcoin hit a new all-time high of $20,000. The total crypto market cap jumped from just under $19 billion at the beginning of 2017 to $640 billion in 2017-end. When altcoins peaked by the end of the first week of Jan. 2018, the overall market cap had reached nearly $853 million only to finish the 2018 bear market at $125 billion.
In March 2020, the total crypto market cap went down to $143 billion and started 2021 just above $775 billion to reach the peak of $3 trillion in November, as per CoinGecko. As of writing, the crypto market cap is around $2.2 trillion.
Just as the crypto market has grown, so has the money flowing into the industry, and the 2021 high is almost 4x of the 2018 funding high, according to PitchBook data.
“Investors are funding anything and everything,” said PitchBook analyst Rob Le.
The venture capital transactions of the US have also grown to about $7.2 billion in deals, 4x the previous record set in 2018.
Established firms like Digital Currency Group, the parent company of Grayscale Investments, Coinbase venture, and Polychain Capital are betting on the next big thing in crypto.
“We’ve moved beyond just digital gold. We’ve got financial services, art, gaming as a subcategory of NFTs, Web 3.0, decentralized social media, play-to-earn — all of that made investors think “we don’t have enough exposure,”’ said Spencer Bogart, general partner at San Francisco-based Blockchain Capital. The company has financed over 120 companies since its inception in 2013.