HANOI (Vietnam News/Asia News Network): Despite the volatility in the market, cryptocurrencies still witnessed a strong year, with some currencies posting gains of at least 5,000 per cent in market value, bringing huge profits to investors.
The total market capitalisation was around US$771 billion at the beginning of the year and it's now at $2.2 trillion.
Some popular coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have climbed by 35-45 per cent in value in 2021. However, before reaching the current stable state, Bitcoin had seen some strong corrections.
In mid-February, Bitcoin surpassed US$1 trillion in market value for the first time as some major companies like Tesla started using their balance sheets to buy Bitcoin. The biggest crypto in market capitalisation hit $65,000 in April before plunging more than 50 per cent in May.
The downtrend continued in June following Elon Musk’s tweets concerning the environmental impact of mining and China's tightening of crypto transactions.
The sell-off caused the prices of some currencies to drop as much as 30-40 per cent in a few hours. But Bitcoin buyers returned in September and the crypto price broke over the $69,000 level, then Bitcoin recorded the longest losing streak. Bitcoin is gradually climbing back in the last days of 2021, trading at around $51,000.
The cryptocurrency market also received a lot of positive news, including the largest US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase successfully listing on Nasdaq, partly affirming the position of cryptocurrencies in the investment market.
Some coins have posted extraordinary gains this year, up over 5,000 per cent such as BakeryToken (BAKE), up more than 6,000 per cent, Fantom (FTM), up over 7,500 per cent and Gala (GALA) - a community-based blockchain gaming platform - even rising over 40,000 per cent.
Therefore, it is not exaggerating to say crypto is the most impressive investment channel of the year.
Phan Dũng Khánh, Head of Investment Advisory at Maybank Kim Eng, said that there are two popular investment channels in 2021, which are securities and digital assets.
"Digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, are a trading channel that has not been recognised by law, but the number of investors participating in the market is still very large," Khanh said.
A report from Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics firm, showed that Vietnam ranks fourth among the largest countries in terms of profits earned from cryptocurrency, behind China, Japan and South Korea.
Of which, Vietnamese investors have earned $400 million in 2020 from investing in Bitcoin alone, ranking 13th in the world. Previously, according to a survey by Finder and Statista, Việetnam also became the world's top country in terms of the percentage of the population owning cryptocurrencies.
Đào Tuấn Anh, a banker, said that he has invested around $3,000-4,000 in cryptocurrencies since May.
"Because of social distancing, I can't go to work and have a lot of free time, so I looked for investment channels and the crypto market is quite popular now," Tuấn Anh said.
"I don't spend much on this channel since it is still new to me. I choose to allocate my capital in different virtual coins, including Bitcoin.
"Even though the crypto market was highly volatile and Bitcoin has dropped recently, I still gained 15 per cent.
"With other coins, some I gained 30 per cent, but some lost up to 50 per cent."
Although there are forecasts about the downtrend of cryptocurrencies next year, many experts still believe that the market will continue to be active.
As the crypto market is very risky, with many fake crypto exchanges in Việt Nam, investors should learn and understand the assets they are going to invest in. Meanwhile, picking the right time to join the market is also a crucial factor.