Crypto and blockchain investments continue to grow thanks to the ever-rising investor interest, according to a new report from Big Four accounting firm KPMG.

Titled “Pulse of Fintech H1 2021,” the study covers global investment activities in different financial technology verticals for the first half of the year. It details 2,456 investment deals worth $98 billion made between January and June. One of the top fintech trends for 2021 is the explosive growth in the crypto and blockchain investments, the report reads.

The first six months of 2021 saw 548 investments activities, including venture capitals, private equities, and mergers and acquisitions in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. The total value of investments during the first half of the year is $8.7 billion, already doubling the total value of 580 investment deals made during 2020, worth $4.3 billion.

Companies that raised more than $100 million in funding rounds, including BlockFi, Paxos, Blockchain.com and Bitso, led the growth in investment volume.

“Cryptocurrency and blockchain are exploding globally,” said KPMG Global Fintech co-leader Anton Ruddenklau, adding:

“There’s so much happening in the space right now, between the eCNY project running in China, Facebook’s Diem, a number of ecosystem initiatives — not to mention all the different trading platforms raising money. Digital currencies and virtual assets are a big, big topic of conversation. I think for the rest of this year at least, crypto will be a very hot ticket for investors.”

The study points to rising investor awareness as a key driver of the growth in investment. Investors now have “a better understanding not only about crypto assets, but also the operational and procedural side of crypto — from custody and storage to storekeeping and the competitiveness and maturity of service providers.”

KPMG predicted in the report that the cryptocurrency space would continue to mature while the distinction between cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies would get stronger. Nonfungible tokens (NFTs), a key focus during the first half, would contribute to the evolution of crypto exchanges in the form of NFT-focused trading platforms.

The report expects a further focus on regulatory frameworks for the rest of the year. One specific case, India, would impact the whole ecosystem should it regulate cryptocurrencies as an asset class in the second half of 2021. 

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