Welcome to the latest edition of our Market Roundup, where we cover the highlights of the past week in the rapidly evolving world of blockchain and decentralized technologies.
Cryptocurrency prices dipped slightly this week, with a drop across the board among top tokens. Notably, the enthusiasm for TON has tapered. The Telegram-affiliated token dived by roughly 17% after a roaring two weeks, knocking it out of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
DeFi tokens have shone through at a time when most other cryptocurrencies trended down. The value of CurveDAO’s governance token, CRV, has risen 16% in the past week while users minted 114 million crvUSD, the stablecoin released by Curve Finance and backed by BTC, ETH, and ETH liquid staking derivatives. Concurrently, the governance tokens of Maker (MKR), Frax Share (FXS), and Chainlink (LINK) all moved up. The overall upward movement is likely due to increased usage of real-world assets and liquid staking tokens as collateral for DeFi applications.
Meanwhile, crypto traders are eyeing options contracts that will expire today at 8:00 a.m. UTC on Deribit. In all, this includes 117,000 bitcoin contracts and 1.1 million ether contracts, with a total underlying value of US$4.8 billion. Options give purchasers the right to buy or sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price at a later date. Depending on the change in value of BTC and ETH, the options contracts that expire today may become valuable or lose all their value.
The max pain level, referring to the level at which options holders will lose the most money on expiration, for these contracts are US$26,500 for BTC and US$1,650 for ETH.
This was an important event to watch, as quarterly options expirations tend to influence markets in the days leading up to and after settlement. Professional traders expected prices to remain stable within the US$26,000 to US$27,000 band for BTC, and US$1,500 to US$1,600 for ETH.
For more insights about market movements, be sure to check out the routine updates on BTSE’s blog.
- Circle’s EURC launched on Stellar, the third network on which the stablecoin is live. EURC maintains a 1:1 peg to the euro, much like how USDC, Circle’s more popular stablecoin, is backed by the US dollar. EURC is already supported on Ethereum and Avalanche, and is meant to enable users to make near-instant, low-cost transactions to anyone around the world. Circle’s expectation is to “enhance European remittance corridors,” although EURC can also be useful for individuals caught up in humanitarian disasters. Stellar currently has US$3 billion in market cap.
- ApeCoin DAO will launch a sibling DAO with 750,000 APE tokens to acquire NFTs, after a governance proposal was passed. The new DAO will have a community-governed vault created to store high-value or influential NFTs. Community members may utilize the IP associated with these NFTs, with APE as the token used in all actions and execution. The new DAO will operate separately from the existing ApeCoin DAO. The value of APE is down more than 95% from its all-time high in April 2022. Similarly, the value of many NFTs released by Yuga Labs has lost over 90% of their value since reaching their high points.
- Crypto and Web3 startups continue to gain momentum in fundraising efforts as 11 companies secured a combined US$115.5 million this week. Notably, on-chain game studio, Proof of Play, raised US$33 million, backed by influential figures such as Balaji Srinivasan and Justin Kan, with a16z’s crypto division leading the round. Proof of Play, founded by Farmville co-creator Amitt Mahajan, has a role-playing game, Pirate Nation, which features NFT functionality. In other significant fundraisers, Bastion, a startup offering crypto services mostly for corporations, raised US$25 million; Jiritsu secured US$10.2 million for its asset tokenization platform; and Fuze garnered US$ $14 million to aid financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa. Additionally, companies such as Briya, CoinScan, GRVT, Freatic, Bubblemaps, Orb Technology, BeWater, and Oak Grove Ventures also reported successful fundraising rounds.
- Microsoft’s internal plans to integrate a cryptocurrency wallet with its Xbox gaming console have been inadvertently revealed through leaked documents posted on the Resetera gaming forum, according to a recent report from Kitco News. The leak is believed to have originated from the unredacted Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) case documents against Microsoft’s proposed US$69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard. The leaked documents detailed the tech giant’s aspirations for a crypto wallet in the next version of the Xbox, causing a significant stir within the industry. Despite the unintended reveal, Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, mentioned that many of the disclosed plans were outdated and that official announcements would be made when ready. Industry experts believe the integration of crypto could revolutionize the gaming industry’s in-game microtransaction market, estimated at US$76 billion in 2023. There are speculations that Microsoft will integrate an Ethereum wallet into its Edge browser, while its recent partnerships indicate a strong push toward blockchain and metaverse-focused initiatives.
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- In a recent CoinShares report, European investors were found to be more bullish on cryptocurrencies than their American counterparts, potentially due to differing regulatory environments. The report showed that European investors injected US$16 million weekly into various crypto products, while the U.S. withdrew US$14 million. Notably, Europe’s approach to crypto regulations, including the upcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework, provides clearer guidelines for crypto assets, while the U.S. remains uncertain with delayed ETF approvals and disagreements between regulatory bodies like the CFTC and the SEC on jurisdictional matters.
- A court in China has reportedly recognized Bitcoin as a digital currency, specifically citing its uniqueness and non-replicability. A report published by the court in Shanghai states that Bitcoin is different from other digital assets, pointing to its scalability and ease of circulation and storage. The report suggests that Bitcoin is an asset class that deserves more legitimacy. Notably, the Chinese state bans cryptocurrency transactions and mining, but not the ownership of these digital assets. In fact, Chinese courts have recognized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legal property.
- Returns on US Treasurys relative to risk assets have reached the highest level since 2009, making bonds an attractive investment choice. This has in turn reduced interest in bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies), making it on track to end September at a lower level than three months prior. Similarly, the S&P 500 also looks likely to finish the third quarter with a loss. Meanwhile, MicroStrategy bought US$147 million worth of bitcoin earlier this week. The firm is the world’s largest corporate holder of the cryptocurrency.
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Note: BTSE Blog contents are intended solely to provide varying insights and perspectives. Unless otherwise noted, they do not represent the views of BTSE and should in no way be treated as investment advice. Markets are volatile, and trading brings rewards and risks. Trade with caution.