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Jay Zhuang



Articles by Jay Zhuang

Circle CEO Urged Watchdogs to Accept That People Want Digital Cash

May 25, 2022

The Circle CEO continued to push the adoption of digital currencies as he viewed cash’s features, including portability, privacy and role in securing individual sovereignty, are what could make digital cash alluring to people.
“Cash Is King”
In a panel discussion hosted by the World Economic Forum, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire elaborated his bullish thesis on the power of physical cash, saying that economic sovereignty is the predominant feature that makes people prefer it over mobile money. Digital cash systems, he added, need to incorporate the feature of cash to make it attractive to people.
Allaire emphasized the importance of preserving digital cash on the premise of an open Internet. The head of the second-largest stablecoin by market cap considered excessive regulatory

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Risk-Aversive Bets Reigned Amid Terra’s Notorious Plunge (Report)

May 24, 2022

Crypto exchange Bybit collaborated with blockchain analytics platform Nansen to publish another monthly report on the state of the crypto industry. It focused on the broader market condition, DeFi activities, and NFT markets.
The paper regarded Terra’s notorious collapse as fundamentally destructive to the nascent crypto community but beneficial to other Layer-one competitors since they have attracted the outflow capital derived from the fallen community.
Investors Adopting a Risk-Off Attitude
The report attributed the significant drop of the total crypto market capitalization to the risk-off mentality inflamed by “the global equity rout.” In the foreseeable future, the report suggested that, as the correlation between the crypto market to the Nasdaq Index remains intact,

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Bloodbath: Half of Top 30 Cryptocurrencies 80% Below ATH

May 24, 2022

As BTC gets rejected from $30,000 and ETH slides below $2,000, the broader crypto market is deep in the red zone. As of now, half of the top 30 cryptocurrencies are 80% (or more) down from ATHs.
Altcoins in Bloodbath
After major cryptocurrencies hit ATHs last November, with Bitcoin touching the $69,000 level at one point, a months-long bear market has brought 15 of the top 30 cryptocurrencies 80% down from their record highs. As the selloff extends in time with no signs of immediate reversal, more projects may join this adverse “club” in the near future.
Among the 30 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap – excluding Terra from such a consideration – UNI, VET, and DOGE are the biggest losers, all down more than 90%. SHIB and LINK – have currently lost 89% of their value –

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Sumitomo Mitsui Trust to Establlish a Crypto Firm Targeting Instiutional Clients

May 23, 2022

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust – one of the largest asset managers in Asia – will tap Tokyo-based crypto exchange Bitbank to set up a company offering digital asset services to institutional clients this year. The newly created firm will hold cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) for “large investors and corporations.”
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Focused on Security Issues
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust’s latest crypto partner Bitbank reportedly ranked as the third-largest crypto exchange in Japan, managing 200 billion yen in customer assets.
The crypto giant will own 85% of the newly-founded firm Japan Digital Asset Trust (JDAT), and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust will hold the rest. With an initial capital of 300 million yen ($2.3 million), JDAT plans to expand its capital base to 10 billion

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a16z Launches a $600 Million Game Fund Backed by Roblox and Blizzard

May 20, 2022

Renowned VC firm – Andreessen Horowitz (known as “a16z”) – announced launching a $600 million fund, GAMES FUND ON, dedicated to investing in the gaming industry. It has garnered support from industry leaders, including the founders and cofounders of Roblox, Blizzard, Riot Games, Discord, Twitch, and more, for building the next generation of digital games.
a16z’s Game Endeavors
The leading VC firm a16z said the latest move is based on the belief that games are “driving innovation” across the consumer ecosystem and the “pivotal point” of the next century.
Considering that giants like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Minecraft, are generating billions of dollars in revenue each year, a16z believes the Metaverse powered by game infrastructures and technologies can potentially

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21Shares Launches Two US Index Funds Tracking Major Cryptocurrencies

May 18, 2022

Switzerland-based investment product issuer – 21Shares – is launching two private funds tailored for US  accredited investors to gain exposure to crypto assets. The products will track top and mid-tiers cryptocurrencies available on US exchanges.
Entering the US Market
According to the press release by the firm, the two products – 21Shares Crypto Basket 10 Index Fund and 21Shares Crypto Mid-Cap Index Fund – will respectively track the performance of the “Vinter 21Shares Crypto Basket 10 US Index,” made up of the top 10 crypto assets by market cap, and “Vinter 21Shares Crypto Mid-Cap US Index,” which includes a basket of emerging mid-tier digital assets.
The two crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) are the first-ever such investment products by the firm for US customers.

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EY Scales its Blockchain API Services for Upgrading Supply Chain Management

May 17, 2022

EY – a Big Four accounting firm – launched a new application programming interface (API) for its blockchain platform, allowing enterprise users to transact on public blockchains without dealing with the complexity of entire DLT systems.
New API for EY OpsChain
EY OpsChain, part of the giant’s blockchain platform, is a subsidiary dedicated to solving issues in procurement, supply chain, and traceability through the use of notarization and tokenization. The newly announced EY OpsChain API services will allow users to then move across the supply chain network via blockchain mainnets such as Ethereum and Polygon.
The company revealed that initial services will support token standards, including ERC- 721, ERC-20, and ERC-1155, to ease the prior difficulties in supply chain

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British Crypto Investors Can Now Offset Losses With Future Gains for Tax: Report

May 16, 2022

Though Bitcoin touched the 30,000 level after days of violent dumps befalling the crypto market, a large portion of investors have since then remained underwater. The recent market selloff led by Terra and its two native cryptocurrencies plummeting in value has at one point wiped out the crypto market’s total gains attained from 2021.
But for spooked investors in Britain experiencing losses, they can now offset them against future gains in tax filings, according to HM Revenue and Customs(HMRC), the non-ministerial department of the UK Government responsible for tax collection.
Regarding taxation, HMRC said it views cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in the same way as equities investments, as reported by Yahoo Finance.
Paul Webster, a director in the private client tax team at

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97% of Crypto Hacks Were Against DeFi Projects: Report

May 15, 2022

Blockchain analyst firm Chainalysis published a new report focused on the illicit activities occurring on blockchains, noting that DeFi protocols are the most popular target hackers tend to go after and that money laundering in the space has risen in the past two years.
DeFi as Hackers’ Primary Target
Since the DeFi Boom occurred in the summer of 2020, illicit DeFi transactions have risen steadily. Money laundering and DeFi hacking have been the two major criminal activities on such protocols, Chainalysis’ report shows.
In total, $1.7 billion worth of digital assets were stolen by perpetrators in 2022, with 97% coming from DeFi protocols. The stash mainly came from two alarming thefts: the $600M Ronin bridge breach at the end of March and the $320 million Wormhole attack

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VeChain Treasury Held $1.2B in Crypto, Q1 Report States

May 14, 2022

The VeChain Foundation has published its Q1 report, stating that its treasury amassed $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies by the end of the quarter, a slight drop from $1.38 billion as recorded in Q4 2021. Surprisingly, the foundation behind VeChain only spent roughly 4.1 million during the first three months of 2022 – mainly for business development and operational costs.
Expenses Overshadowed by the Treasury Fund
According to the report, the Foundation ensured investors that its treasury was in a healthy state, with over $1.2 billion assets in stablecoins, ETH, BTC, and VET – VeChain’s native token. Regarding the loss as compared to last quarter, the report said it was caused by “crypto market fluctuations and other VeChain Foundation outgoings.”
Of the $4.1 million outlaid

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Five US States Issued Order to Stop a Fraudulent Russian Metaverse Project

May 14, 2022

Five US states announced plans to take immediate action against a Russian organization allegedly selling fraudulent NFTs to US investors for funding a metaverse casino called Flamingo Casino Club. The authorities required the entity to stop selling such digital assets, accusing it of committing fraud and selling unregistered securities.
Fraudulent Claims
Securities Regulators from Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Texas said that Flamingo Casino Club had solicited unlawful investments since it started operating from Russia in March. The project promised investors lucrative profits through the sale of the NFTs – which acted as the proof of ownership of items and lands in the virtual casino.
Texas State Securities Board’s order indicated that the securitized NFTs

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Russian Crypto Miner Considers Suing US Authorities for Imposed Sanctions

May 13, 2022

BitRiver –  Russia’s largest data center services provider – is pondering over filing a lawsuit against the US Treasury Department for adding the company to the sanction list last month. Besides, the firm accused the US of breaching WTO rules through the act of promoting unfair competition and lobbying for the US mining industry.
BitRiver Called US Accusations “Unfounded and Untrue”
According to its press release, BitRiver argued that it is a 100% private company with no affiliated interest with the Russian government, thus claiming innocence of helping the regime bypass sanctions. It also stated that the wrongfully imposed sanction has caused “direct reputational damage” to its operations.
On April 20th, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against BitRiver,

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Citi, Wells Fargo, BNY Mellon Invest $105 in Crypto Infrastructure Firm Talos

May 11, 2022

Talos’s valuation has reached $1.25 billion after the latest $105 million Series B funding round led by global growth equity firm General Atlantic. Other Investors include Stripes, BNY Mellon, Citi, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, and more.
Focused on Institutional Clients
According to the firm’s press release, Talos, a trading infrastructure firm focused on offering crypto services to institutions, said that the new round of investment will help scale and diversify its institutional-grade digital asset platform and accelerate the expansion into APAC and Europe.
The announcement came on the heels of the unicorn’s rapid growth, with institutional trading volume skyrocketing over 20x year-over-year and its end-user base reaching more than 20 million as of 2022. The firm has

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Yuga Labs’ NFTs Trading Volumes Slump Amid Crypto Selloffs

May 9, 2022

The Otherdeed NFTs drop caught massive attention from the industry last week as high demand triggered unprecedented Ethereum fees.
Otherdeeds are the NFT collection for claiming virtual land in Otherside, the metaverse space created by Yuga Labs – the parent company behind Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC)
However, as the crypto bloodbath continues with Bitcoin dumping to the lowest point since last July, the transaction volume for blue-chips NFT projects has also slid significantly.
The trading volumes of Yuga Labs’s famed collections, including Otherside, BAYC, and MAYC, all dropped considerably, though they are still ranked as the top NFT projects by market caps.
Otherdeed’s floor price has declined below 3 ETH, and its daily trading volume

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Google Cloud Establishes a New Team for Web3 Infrastructure

May 8, 2022

Cloud data storage, primarily controlled by big techs like Amazon and Microsoft, is partly what the blockchain-powered Web3 aims to revolutionize through decentralization. The largest search engine in the world is planning its foray into such a promising field.
Google’s cloud group, whose parent company has reportedly shifted its major source of revenues from advertisement to cloud computing, has announced forming a new team specifically for building blockchain infrastructure.
Google’s Web3 Endeavors
Amit Zavery, a vice president at Google Cloud, expressed the urgency of developing a blockchain-focused team as the leader of such a field in an email sent to his employees, reported by CNBC.
Zavery clarified that the company positions itself as a technology provider for

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Clearpool and Jane Street Launched a Permissioned Pool Focusing on KYC Compliance

May 8, 2022

After launching five Permissionless Pools, Clearpool established its first-ever permissioned pool that allows institutional lenders to earn yields up to 15% by staking USDC. The project partnered with Jane Street Capital – a global proprietary trading company aiming to enter the cryptocurrency industry.
Permission Pool
Decentralized capital markets provider Clearpool launched a permissioned pool on Tuesday, enabling borrowers with higher Know-Your-Customers (KYC) requirements to access funds lent out by institutional partners.
According to the press release, the pool – initially funded with $25m of USDC –  plans to increase to $50m soon. Users can stake USDC to earn the 15%-APR yield paid in CPOOL, the protocol’s utility and governance token,
Partnering with Jane Street, a

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$37 Billion Sent to NFT Marketplaces in 4 Months, Chainalysis Reports

May 7, 2022

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis’ latest report indicates that NFT activities have slowed down in 2022, with growth beginning to pick up again since mid-April. The document also noted that growing interest derived from retail investors – as shown in the rising number of small-sized transfers – has not yet overridden the market share dominated by institutional investors.
NFT Activities Stabilized in 2022
In the wake of the impressive growth in 2021 – culminating in November – the NFT market has gone on a downturn trajectory along with the broader market from January to March.
As demonstrated in transaction volume, trading activities have since recovered in the mid of April. Until May 1st, collectors had sent over $37 billion to NFT marketplaces as of 2022 – only $3

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Almost 130 Million Polkadot (DOT) Locked in Parachains as of Q1 2022, Report

May 7, 2022

Crypto analytics resource Messari published a report on Polkadot’s Q1 performance, outlining the layer-zero protocol’s price action, network usage, latest developments in staking and decentralization, and possibilities ahead.
The paper stated that Polkadot has successfully completed 13 parachain slot auctions, with a total of 127.8 million DOT – worth $2.9 billion (at Q1’s end) and around 11% of the total supply – bonded. In addition, 28 more parachain slot auctions are scheduled through February 2023, making the total number 41.
Although the active and new accounts have decreased in the same period, the growth of parachains confirms the steady progress of the ecosystem.
Decentralized Staking
A day after the protocol approved the first parachain slot auction for Nov. 11

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SBF-Funded Political Action Committee Vows to Bring an ‘Orange Wave’ in Washington

May 7, 2022

American politics has been historically partisan, but crypto may start bringing new changes. As the midterm election is approaching, digital asset firms and organizations are ramping up their lobbying machine, betting heavily on pro-crypto candidates who could potentially bring favorable policies to the industry. The Financial Freedom PAC vows to create an “orange wave” in Washington by 2024.
The Orange Wave May Start from Ohio & Oregon
In Ohio’s primary election, bitcoin proponent Josh Mandel was the only one of the four candidates endorsed by the Financial Freedom PAC, a political action committee primarily funded by FTX’s CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). The organization is dedicated to campaigning for pro-crypto political candidates and getting them into Washington.

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Bitcoin Is Now Half Way From its Next Halving as Hashrate Marked ATH

May 6, 2022

Bitcoin has crossed the halfway line of its third halving, which the community sees as a bullish sign for its price since the issuing rate is reduced by 50%.
Less Than 105,000 Blocks Away From Next Halving
After Block 735,000 was mined on Thursday by Poolin, earning 0.16215354 BTC ($6,402.45) in fees, Bitcoin officially entered the second half of the third halving cycle. This one – like any other in the past or the future – has 210,000 blocks available to be mined, and half of them, 105,000 blocks, have been mined since May 11th, 2020.
After the next halving, currently scheduled to take place in Q2 2024, Bitcoin’s supply rate will decrease by 50%, likely causing another “supply shock.” Currently, roughly 90% of the 21 million BTC has been mined, and less than 7% of the

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After El Salvador, IMF Now Concerned of Bitcoin’s Adoption in the Central African Republic

May 5, 2022

After the Central African Republic (CAR) announced adopting Bitcoin as legal tender and legalized the use of cryptocurrencies last month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that such a move might cause financial instability in the country.
The criticism came on the heels of the organization expressing hawkish opinions on multiple occasions against El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin and president Nayib Bukele’s ambitious plan to introduce Bitcoin-backed bonds.
The global authority stated that macroeconomic and legal uncertainties tagged along with the Bitcoin adoption are concerning. In an email replying to Bloomberg, the IMF noted:
“The adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in C.A.R. raises major legal, transparency, and economic policy challenges. IMF staff are

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Millions of NFT Transactions Clogged Solana, Causing Another Network Outage

May 2, 2022

Over 4 Million transactions from Solan’s NFT minting bots have brought the network down for seven hours this past weekend. It marked the seventh time the network was down this year due to security issues.
The Seventh Outage of the Year
An unprecedented number of 4 million NFT transactions sent out by bots through Candy Machine, a Solana-based project, collapsed the Solana network again, making validators unable to get transactions through. The network was down for 7 hours – from 8:00 pm UTC on Saturday to 3 am on Sunday – and its services have been fully recovered since then.
According to Metaplex, the bots on their apps were responsible for the crash that extended to the whole Solana network. Metaplex is one of the largest NFT communities on Solana that allows users to

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Coinbase Cloud Collaborates With Acala Foundation in Support of Liquid Staking

May 2, 2022

Web 3 and blockchain infrastructure provider Coinbase Cloud has announced a new partnership with Acala Foundation, the DeFi hub of Polkadot, by first bringing KSM liquid staking on Karura. KSM is the native token of the Kusuma network, a public pre-production environment for Polkadot.
Unlike traditional staking in proof-of-stake networks, Liquid staking allows asset delegators to access their funds while staking their tokens. In this way, validators can put their staked assets in other applications, potentially unlocking more value through DeFi activities.
Liquid Staking on Polkodat’s Karura
According to the official blog post, Coinbase Cloud is “powering allowlisted validators that receive delegations from the community.” On Karura, which enables users to stake KSM for

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Robinhood Net Revenue Slided 43% With Crypto Trading Down 39%

April 30, 2022

The millennial-focused exchange Robinhood has experienced a sharp decline in trading activities for Q1 2022, according to the company’s latest financial report. The broader crypto market remaining bearish and the recent global equity selloffs have contributed to the disappointing financial figures, the report suggested.
The Q1 report stated that the company’s total net revenue was $299 million, a 43% decrease from $522 million in the first quarter of 2021. Transaction-based revenue from trading cryptocurrencies declined 39% to $54 million.
Similar to most high-growth tech firms, Robinhood has struggled with profitability – but it has substantially trimmed its loss over the year. The company reported a net loss of $392 million or $0.45 per share compared to $1.4 billion or

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Labor Department Criticized Fidelity Incorporating Bitcoin for 401(K)

April 30, 2022

Fidelity’s bold move of offering investors the opportunity to add Bitcoin to their retirement 401(k) accounts has caused concern from the US Labor Department. Though seeing that the speculative nature of Bitcoin is a worrisome issue as it gets incorporated into the retirement plan open to average Americans, the authority said it had no intention of banning the asset in 401(k)s.
Concerns Regarding Cryptocurrency
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ali Khawar, acting assistant secretary of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, revealed that he received a notification from Fidelity the day before it announced to allow 401(k) clients to invest as much as 20% of their account balances in Bitcoin. It was the figure of 20% that put us at unease, he said.
The

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Crypto Exchange Exec Charged for Helping Pongyong Access Military Secrets

April 28, 2022

South Korea arrested two citizens on the charge of stealing military secrets for a North Korean spy, who paid them with cryptocurrency. One of the two is a crypto exchange executive who has received $600,000 since working for the agent last year. South Korea is yet to catch the North Korean spy, who – the authorities believe – is operating overseas.
Infiltrating South Korea’s Military Department
According to South Korean police and prosecution officials, the head of the exchange, surnamed Lee, contacted the purported spy in July 2021 and helped them gather military secrets. The two, who allegedly met online at a cryptocurrency community six years ago, had failed to hack into the country’s military communication system.
Therefore, the 38-year-old executive recruited a

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Optimism Announces Airdrop of OP Token: What You Need to Know

April 27, 2022

Ethereum’s layer-two scaling solution Optimism introduced its new governance token OP for the Token House – one of the two hubs constituting the protocol’s new governance system, Optimism Collective. Early users of the network will be granted the opportunity to receive OP airdrops in Q2, 2022, which accounts for 5% of the asset’s total supply.
Optimism’s New Governance Body
According to the official blog post, the Collective’s bicameral governance system “aims to avoid governance pitfalls experienced by other models on Ethereum today.” To achieve such a goal, the initiative is divided into two houses, each focusing on different areas of governance.
The Token House, in which OP functions as the governance and incentive token, is responsible for protocol upgrades, network

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Cardano’s IOHK Shares Updates With New Cross-chain Bridge Launched

April 26, 2022

Input-Output HK (IOHK) – the development company and driving force behind Cardano (ADA) – provided updates on Cardano-based NFT loan platforms, multi-chain bridges between the blockchain and Ethereum, etc.
According to Input-Output HK’s thread of tweets, the Cardano network is currently housing nearly a total of 900 projects, with the latest example of IagonOfficial, a cloud computing platform, announcing its migration to Cardano last week. Since then, 50% of its token supply has been bridged from Ethereum.
IOHK also said that NuFi, a cross-chain bridge aiming to connect different layer-one networks, launched a wallet with an in-app Cardano DEX. Users now can swap their Cardano tokens for ERC-20 ones on the platform. 
Cardano-based NFT marketplaces are another high-growth

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Neither Jewelry nor Cash: Afghans Looking to Crypto for Preserving Their Wealth

April 25, 2022

Despite the recent trend of developing countries gaining exposure to cryptocurrencies, buying digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins isn’t easy at all in countries like Afghanistan.
Since last August, when the Taliban seized power in the country, America-initiated sanctions have crippled domestic funds from being moved to international financial institutions. Meanwhile, due to the nation’s monetary and political instabilities, Afghans choose stablecoins over previously preferred assets like jewelry or cash.
Brokerage as the Intermediary for Crypto Transactions
The sweeping sanctions that have crippled Afghanistan’s economy have caused a surging interest in holding digital assets in the country as people struggle to protect their wealth. Considering that the

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American Investors Led in Realized Crypto Gains in 2021: Report

April 24, 2022

2021 was a wild year for the crypto market, with major assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum hitting new all-time highs and attracting an unprecedented amount of institutional investment. Throughout the entire year, investors worldwide took a total profit of $162.7 billion in cryptocurrencies, a fivefold increase from just $32.5 billion in 2020.
America-based investors led by a considerable margin at an estimated $47.0 billion gains ahead of investors from any other country. Meanwhile, emerging markets demonstrated a substantial growing interest in adopting cryptocurrencies and seeing such an economic opportunity.
Chainalysis’ Methodology
Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis relied upon its transaction and web traffic data to conduct geographic analysis on cryptocurrencies and

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