December was a snore-fest for DeFi TVL: It started at ~$42B and ended at ~$39B. Ethereum chain was snoozing with a 58-60% share of the total TVL whereas runner up Binance chain held around 10-12%. There wasn't enough activity to get the DEX volume to move with only ~$9B weekly. MakerDAO once again topped the list by maintaining its TVL at ~$6.2B over the past 30 days. Lido Finance also maintained its second spot with ~$6B, followed by Uniswap (which was #5 last month) at ~$4.6B. AAVE and Curve settled for a tie at the 4th place with ~$3.7B in TVL.
The overall prognosis for the global economy during the first half of 2023 appears to be one of continued decline. The United States is currently experiencing an economic downturn with a strong possibility of a recession within the year. Nevertheless, the markets are beginning to feel hopeful with the Federal Reserve's gradually easing policy, as inflationary pressures are starting to abate. This has led to a decrease in the value of the US dollar following its huge surge throughout the year.
Visa, a payments processing company, has suggested using smart contracts to create a system called "account abstraction" for automated, programmable payments on Ethereum. The system would be deployed on the Ethereum layer 2 network called StarkNet, and self-custodial wallets could utilize the "account abstraction" method to establish automatic recurring payments on StarkNet.
December saw the arrest of Avraham Eisenberg, a crypto-investor in Puerto Rico, according to court documents. Eisenberg had allegedly employed a "highly profitable trading strategy" that resulted in the depletion of $110 million worth of cryptocurrency from DeFi trading platform Mango Markets. Eisenberg manipulated the price of perpetuals contracts (a type of futures contract popular in crypto markets) for Mango Markets’ native token MNGO. He sold massive amounts of MNGO perpetuals contracts to himself, thus pumping the price of those contracts 1,300% in less than an hour. Source
Image source: Ledger
Ledger has released Stax, a hardware wallet designed by iPod creator Tony Fadell. The device has a full touchscreen, supports over 5,000 crypto assets, and was made for NFT collectors. Users can customize their lock screen with their favorite NFT. The release of Stax comes at a good time, as retail investors are becoming more aware of the importance of self-custody in managing digital assets. Stax also appeals to users interested in NFTs as it allows them to interact with these assets in a way that other wallets do not.
Due to the relationship with Alameda, the Ren team had to retire Ren 1.0 and launch Ren 2.0. Users were asked to bridge assets back to their native chain as soon as possible.
Nasdaq-listed Core Scientific has officially filed for bankruptcy following a decline in the firm’s operating performance and liquidity. Core Scientific declared that they are committed to carrying on business as usual while they move expeditiously through the restructuring process. Source
Meanwhile, Argo Blockchain, a Bitcoin miner, is being saved from bankruptcy with a $100 million bailout from Galaxy Digital, a company founded by Michael Novogratz. Galaxy will purchase the Helios facility from Argo for $65 million, and give a $35 million loan to assist the miner in the transition. Source
Midas DeFi saw a $50 million loss, equivalent to 20% of their $250 million in assets, following the downfall of Celsius Network and FTX. 60% of assets held on the Midas platform were then withdrawn. Founder and CEO Levin stated that the firm is now turning its attention to a fresh endeavor that is compatible with the CeDeFi (Centralized Decentralized Finance) vision. Source
The Sango Coin was introduced in July with the intent of collecting around $1 billion in the year ahead. However, based on the details on the Sango website, only $1.66 million worth of the coin has been sold. Sango Coin provides useful benefits to foreign investors, such as the ability to gain citizenship through investment and, eventually, a Central African Republic (CAR) passport, along with advantageous governance options. However, the CAR has announced it will delay the listing of cryptocurrency, Sango Coin, on crypto exchanges due to current market conditions and marketing reasons. Source
Meanwhile, El Salvador is set to launch its Volcano Bonds in 2023. The bonds will raise $500 million for infrastructure in Bitcoin City and another $500 million to buy Bitcoin. With a minimum investment of just $100, investors will be able to join in on the fun of creating a tax-free utopia powered by geothermal energy, and be rewarded with some of the appreciation in digital currency that comes with it!. source
A quick look at the chart above shows that overall the current price levels BTC is in an attractive accumulation zone as per the MVRV Z-score. If present day were to rhyme with the past then the next such opportunity is at least 4-5 years away.
On the shorter term, Arthur Hayes, former CEO of exchange BitMEX tweeted that if $BTC can hold FTX lows of around $15,500, that’s positive. Toni Ghinea tweeted that BTC Dominance will increase in the upcoming weeks, bringing good news to BTC Bulls and more difficult times for alternative coins (alts).
Breez’s original product was a Lightning wallet app. Since then, they have expanded into offering SDKs which enables mobile developers to integrate Lightning and bitcoin payments into their apps. Application include from social apps that want to integrate tipping between users to content-creation apps interested in adding bitcoin monetization.
Ethereum developers announced their 2023 plan with the following upgrades:
One common myth is that large amounts of ETH that is being staked by validators will be available for withdrawal after merge which might cause flooding of ETH liquidity. However, it is important to note that only six validators may exit per epoch i.e. every 6.4 minutes, so 1350 per day, or only ~43,200 ETH per day which will slow down the exodus if it happens. We must note that this withdrawal limit represents 0.29% of the total current staked supply.
And finally let’s look at the top 5 DeFi/NFT protocols/ecosystems with most fees generated over 30 days, which generally translates to most active protocols. In some cases the protocols take a % of the fee as revenues (eg. Lido Finance) in other cases its distributed almost entirely to the Liquidity Providers Stakeholders (eg. Uniswap Liquidity Providers).
Ethereum ecosystem still sees the highest amount of activity with $73.2M fees generated, followed by OpenSea (NFT Trading Platform) with $33.5M fees generated. Lido Finance (ETH Liquid Staking Protocol), Uniswap (DEX)and BSC (Binance ecosystem) have generated $24.7M, $19.1M and $14.4M respectively over the same period. These five contenders have maintained their spot in the top 5 for two consecutive months.
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