The global cryptocurrency funds achieved high gains in 2021 after most digital currencies surge in prices, led by Bitcoin and Ether amid strong institutional interest and greater acceptance from regulators across the world, according to a new report from BarclayHedge, a division of US-based Backstop Solutions Group.
The data showed results of about 39 funds, or less than 50 percent of the digital asset management firms, which BarclayHedge tracked. The data posted by the company indicated that funds focused on Bitcoin and other crypto-assets have returned 138.1 percent for the year 2021.
Last year’s result was followed by record gains of 173 percent made in 2020, as cryptocurrency funds during that year benefited from the extreme volatility that the COVID-19 pandemic caused across financial markets.
In 2021, Bitcoin gained 60 percent as it surged to a record high of $69,000 in November, while Ether soared around 400 percent.
“There is an air of legitimacy now. Bitcoin is no longer viewed as an esoteric digital currency used only on the fringes by techies and cypherpunks,” according to CoinDesk’s annual crypto and blockchain review for 2021.
For the month of December, however, crypto funds witnessed a loss of around 11 percent, as Bitcoin and Ether slumped as well. Bitcoin dropped 19 percent last year, while Ether fell 20 percent.
“Crypto was the only sub-sector that didn’t make money in December, as many of the industry’s headline assets suffered whiplash from a sharp price downturn,” said Mr. Ben Crawford, head of research at BarclayHedge.
Meanwhile, foreign exchange (FX) funds saw a gain of 2.2 percent in 2021, based on 40 FX programs tracked by BarclayHedge. Last year’s gain for forex funds followed a 4 percent increase in 2020.
In December last year, FX funds saw a 0.23 percent return. The returns were low in 2021 as global central banks kept interest rates low and as a result depressed market volatility.