Crypto M&A Surged Nearly 5,000% in 2021, PwC Report Says

The average deal size more than tripled from 2020 to $179.7 million.

Feb 10, 2022 at 5:18 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 10, 2022 at 6:01 p.m. UTC

Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.

The total value of crypto-related mergers and acquisitions (M&A) rose to $55 billion in 2021 versus $1.1 billion a year earlier, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The U.S. led in absolute numbers of deals, with 51% of all transactions last year, up from 41% in 2020. Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) garnered 33% of all deals, with Asia Pacific (APAC) netting 16%. Looking at deal dollar values, EMEA led the way at $25.5 billion versus $24.5 billion for the U.S. and $5 billion for APAC. Behind the rise in average deal size to $179.7 million from $52.7 million was 2021’s U.S.-centered special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) boom, which featured a number of $1 billion+ mergers.

PwC also tracked crypto fundraising deals, finding a 645% year-over-year rise in 2021 to a total value of $34.3 billion. The average deal size was up 143% to $26.3 million.

The diversified number of deals across business sectors shows the “continuing maturity of the crypto ecosystem,” said PwC, and signals wider adoption of crypto services.

Taking a peek into what might happen in 2022, the report authors expect continued momentum, noting a big rise in venture capital funds and dry powder needing to be put to work. With the slowdown in SPAC action, it will be venture capital firms and incubators as the largest source of M&A activity in crypto.

As for a particular crypto sector to keep an eye on, Marathon Digital (MARA) CEO Fred Thiel expects continued consolidation in the mining sector as cash-strapped miners look to merge with stronger players.

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