According to a report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, bitcoin investors in the U.S. realized $4.1 billion in bitcoin gains in 2020, by far the highest gains by investors in any country.
“U.S. investors collectively made over $4 billion in realized Bitcoin gains in 2020, more than 3x the next highest country, China,” according to the report. “This may seem surprising considering that China historically has by far the highest raw cryptocurrency transaction volume, but … U.S.-focused exchanges saw huge inflows in 2020 that appear to have been realized toward the end of the year.”
Chainalysis calculated the world’s 2020 bitcoin gains by measuring on-chain flows to different cryptocurrency exchanges, then approximating the total USD gains made by measuring the difference in that bitcoin’s USD price at the time it was withdrawn from the platforms compared to what it was when it was received.
“We then distribute those gains (or losses) by country based on the share of web traffic each country accounts for on each exchange’s website,” per the report. “That analysis gave us a reasonable estimate for the realized 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Bitcoin investors in each country earned in 2020, though it doesn’t account for gains on assets that have yet to be withdrawn from an exchange.”
Following the U.S and China, Japan, the U.K. and Russia rounded out the top-five countries for bitcoin gains in 2020. The report also highlighted the fact that many countries seem to be enjoying disproportionately high bitcoin gains compared to their traditional economic rankings.
Vietnam, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Spain were all highlighted as countries that ranked higher in bitcoin gains than their overall GDPs might suggest.
Meanwhile, India underperformed in bitcoin gains compared to its overall economic prowess, a phenomenon that might stem from the country’s regulatory uncertainty around Bitcoin, Chainalysis suggested.
In total, the report paints an unsurprising picture: bitcoin’s astounding bull run throughout most of 2020 and into 2021 meant that many people around the world experienced significant gains thanks to the asset. But it does demonstrate some interesting trends within this big picture as well.
“The data suggests that Bitcoin has given investors in emerging markets access to a high-performing asset, the likes of which they may not have otherwise had access to,” according to the report. “On the other side of the coin, it also suggests that countries attempting to limit cryptocurrency usage through harsh regulations are preventing their citizens from taking advantage of the opportunity.”