American traders gained the most in Bitcoin investment last year, pocketing $4.1 billion in profits by trading in the decentralised cryptocurrency, according to estimates from Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company. The meteoric rise in the value of Bitcoin has minted scores of crypto millionaires, and the Chainalysis report suggests that US investors have benefited the most from the 2020 boom, followed by Chinese traders who gained $1.1 billion.
While it was difficult to conduct geographical analysis of cryptocurrency trading due to the decentralised nature of Bitcoin’s technology, Chainalysis said that they can produce “a good estimate” using transaction data from the services they track. The Manhattan-based company measured the on-chain flows to each cryptocurrency exchange and calculated the total US dollar gains made on Bitcoin by measuring the differences in the asset’s price at the time it was withdrawn from the platform versus when it was received.
The analysts distributed the gains country-wise based on the share of web traffic each country accounts for on each exchange’s website. “That analysis gives us a reasonable estimate for the realised gains Bitcoin investors in each country earned in 2020, though it doesn’t account for gains on assets that have yet to be withdrawn from an exchange,” the research firm said in its report.
The report noted that a number of countries, including Vietnam, appeared to be punching above their weight in Bitcoin investment as compared to their rankings in traditional economic metrics. Highlighting Vietnam’s 53rd rank in GDP at $262 billion, the report suggested that the Southeast Asian nation ranked 13th in Bitcoin investment gains, outperforming countries that rank higher in traditional economic measures such as Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Belgium.
On the other hand, India, which has the fifth-largest economy with a GDP of $2.9 trillion, ranked “a surprisingly low” 18th in Bitcoin investment gains at $241 million, according to Chainalysis. “This may be a result of the Indian government’s historical unfriendliness to cryptocurrency,” the company said, citing a Reuters report that suggested the Indian government was planning to impose a blanket ban on cryptocurrency.
Here’s the list of the top 25 countries in realised Bitcoin gains for 2020:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
- Czech Republic