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Cryptoassets of the Month August 2023



Every month, our research team will present the cryptoassets of the month August 2023 that increased or dropped in value by more than 15%. With a data-driven approach, we highlight the most important developments and events causing price movements.

Every month, our research team will present the cryptoassets of the month August 2023 that increased or dropped in value by more than 15%. With a data-driven approach, we highlight the most important developments and events causing price movements.

Figure 1 – 30-Day Performance: Cryptoassets of the Month vs. Traditional Asset Classes

Source: 21Shares, CoinGecko, and Yahoo Finance, from 31-July-2023 to 31-August-2023 (Close Price)

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin traded down 11.31% over the past month. On August 17, we saw ~$979 million of liquidations, of which ~$786 million were longs, as BTC dropped 7.50% in a single day. This event constituted the most significant long liquidations in more than a year (even higher than during the FTX collapse), indicating that many investors were positioned to the upside amidst last month’s price decline. In this regard, BTC futures perpetual open interest across centralized exchanges dropped 33% from $10.02 billion on August 8 to $6.71 billion on August 31. On another note, BTC on exchanges reached a five-year low of 2.25 million, a figure not seen since March 2018.

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum traded down 11.42% over the past month. On August 7, fintech giant PayPal launched its own stablecoin (PayPal USD) on the Ethereum network. The move could drive a significant influx of new users to Ethereum, as PayPal had 435 million active accounts at the end of 2022, compared to ~1 million active users on Ethereum and L2s. Moreover, it is a massive step toward integrating crypto with traditional payment methods. On the fundamentals side, Coinbase’s Base L2 network launched on August 9. Instead of launching a native token, users transacting on Base pay transaction fees in ETH, generating demand for the asset. Base’s network has already amassed over $400 million in assets and 100k daily active users throughout the month.

Aave (AAVE)

Aave (AAVE) traded down 15.06% over the past month. In July, Aave launched GHO – a fully collateralized dollar-pegged stablecoin governed by AAVE holders, already reaching over $23 million in circulation. In contrast to stablecoins issued by centralized companies like Circle’s USDC or Tether’s USDT, which are backed by physical U.S. dollars and short-term Treasury bills, GHO is mainly backed by Lido’s staked ETH (42%), ETH (23%), and wrapped BTC (15%). Moreover, instead of liquidity providers (LPs) receiving most of the interest paid, the Aave DAO collects 100% of GHO’s borrowed interest. As a result, Aave registered over $12 million in fees during August, a 71% increase from July.

Algorand (ALGO)

Algorand’s native token ALGO traded down 15.24% over the past month, making a new all-time low of $0.09 on August 17. Algorand launched in June 2019, but the network has struggled to gain user and developer traction. Electric Capital data shows that Agorand only had 34 monthly active developers as of June 2023, a 63% decrease from the previous year. In addition, Algorand’s ecosystem experienced a significant setback in July when Algofi, the largest DeFi application on the network, announced they would sunset the platform and put it in withdrawal-only mode due to a ”confluence of events that no longer makes building and maintaining the Algofi platform to the highest standards a viable path.”

Lido (LDO)

Lido (LDO) traded down 15.68% over the past month. On August 11, the Lido DAO voted to onboard two new node operators – African-based Launchnodes and Latin American-based SenseiNode, thus contributing to Ethereum’s geographic resilience. Launchnode, who has previously worked with UNICEF to pay for school internet connectivity and Save The Children funding tablets for refugee camps, has committed a portion of future staking rewards to fund similar long-term social impact projects in developing countries. Regarding fundamentals, Lido’s staked ETH grew 7.17% from 7.95 million on July 31 to 8.52 million ETH (~$14 billion) on August 31. Lido retains 10% of staking rewards, registering over $5.3 million in revenue in August, and is on track to surpass $60 million in annual revenue for 2023.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) traded down 16.37% over the past month. On August 17, Tether announced they would discontinue support for USDT on Kusama, Omni Layer, and Bitcoin Cash SLP due to a ”lack of significant traction over a significant period of time and no signs of recovery in usage indicators.” The low usage meant maintaining support became inefficient for Tether and jeopardized security oversight. For context, Bitcoin Cash SLP refers to ”Simple Ledger Protocol,” a blockchain token system that allows users to create, issue, and transfer digital tokens leveraging the security of the Bitcoin Cash network.

Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot’s native token DOT decreased by 16.44% in August. During Decoded 2023, the ecosystem’s flagship conference, Polkadot founder Gavin Wood announced the network’s vision as a ”global, multi-core supercomputer” on which many applications run. Under the current architecture, projects that want to launch a ”parachain” (i.e., app-specific blockchain) on Polkadot need to lock up a significant amount of DOT, which token holders loan to lease their slot for two years. The new direction presented by Wood, which people are dubbing ”Polkadot 2.0,” would evolve Polkadot away from its current reliance on parachain slots to offer more flexible ways of launching applications on the network.

Stacks (STX)

Stacks’ native token STX traded down 16.81% over the past month. Hiro Systems, core contributors of the Stacks network, announced a new feature dubbed ”Chainhook” that will enable more efficient indexing of Bitcoin blockchain data and a novel way to add conditional logic to applications on Stacks. On another front, Pyth’s oracle network, which secures more than $1.2 billion in value across the Solana, BSC, and Optimism ecosystems, has enabled more than 300 price feeds on the Stacks network, including equities, exchange-traded products (ETPs), commodities, foreign exchange pairs, and cryptoassets. Because blockchains are isolated from their world outside their ledger, integrations with oracle networks feeding data external to the blockchain are essential for a thriving ecosystem.

Solana (SOL)

Solana (SOL) traded down 16.96% despite exciting ecosystem developments. Solana Pay, a decentralized payment protocol, has integrated its plug-in with e-commerce company Shopify, allowing millions of businesses on its platform to use Solana-based stablecoins like USDC for payment at checkout. In addition, Visa expanded its USDC cross-border settlement pilot to include the Solana blockchain to onboard more clients, citing ”significant demand to leverage newer, high-performance blockchains that can send and receive stablecoins with higher speed and lower costs” than Ethereum. Compared to a ~3-minute average settlement time on Ethereum, Solana settles transactions in just ~400 milliseconds. Solana’s integration with existing financial software players marks a crucial step toward the widespread adoption of stablecoins for merchant payments.

Cardano (ADA)

Cardano’s native token ADA traded down 16.96% over the past month. The education team of IOHK, the company behind Cardano’s architecture, conducted teach-in sessions on Haskell in Nairobi, Kenya, and the ITESO University in Guadalajara, Mexico. For context, Plutus – the language developed to write smart contracts on Cardano – is based on Haskell, commonly used in the banking and defense sectors. Education is essential to lower the barrier of entry of new builders to the Cardano ecosystem – Stack Overflow’s 2023 Developer Survey suggests that only 2.09% of worldwide developers use Haskell.

Tezos (XTZ)

Tezos’ native token XTZ traded down 16.97% in August despite some exciting developments. Following the activation of the Nairobi protocol upgrade on June 24 – which increased transactions per second (TPS) by ~8x – the Tezos team announced Oxford, the network’s 15th upgrade proposal. Among many improvements, Oxford will introduce a dynamic inflation mechanism for XTZ based on a target staking ratio of 50%. When the percentage of staked funds decreases from the target, emission rates will increase, incentivizing validators to stake funds to re-approach the target and vice versa.

Polygon (MATIC)

Polygon’s native token MATIC traded down 20.24% over the past month despite the number of brands with a footprint on the network continuing to grow. Japanese electronic manufacturing company Casio announced the launch of Virtual G-Shock on Polygon. The project will issue 15,000 limited-edition ”G-Shock Creator Pass NFTs,” granting holders access to exclusive Casio community projects and channels. Furthermore, German airline Lufthansa launched Uptrip, a mobile application that rewards travelers with NFT cards living on the Polygon network for every flight they take. With the cards, users can form collections that offer loyalty rewards like business lounge vouchers and free miles.

Cosmos (ATOM)

The Cosmos Hub’s native token ATOM traded down 22.01% in August despite signs of ecosystem traction. Last month marked the second implementation of Interchain Security (ICS) – liquid staking network Stride became a ”consumer chain,” joining Neutron in handing block production to the Cosmos Hub’s validator set and rewarding ATOM stakers for this service. As such, the Stride blockchain now has the same economic security as the Cosmos Hub (~$2 billion), a nearly 100x increase from Stride’s previous security. In addition, Circle will launch USDC on Cosmos via Noble – an ”appchain” purpose-built for native asset issuance in the Cosmos ecosystem by leveraging the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol.

Avalanche (AVAX)

Avalanche’s native token AVAX traded down 22.21% over the past month. On August 8, Circle launched its wallet-as-a-service platform for developers on Avalanche, Ethereum, and Polygon. The service allows developers to seamlessly embed wallets into their interface, with user-friendly features such as a PIN and social account recovery instead of lengthy private keys and mnemonic phrases. Regarding ecosystem developments, the Avalanche Foundation granted $3 million to Dexalot, a central limit order book (CLOB) Subnet, as part of Avalanche Multiverse, an up to $290 million incentive program to accelerate the growth of Avalanche Subnets.

Chainlink (LINK)

Chainlink (LINK) traded down 22.25% over the past month. In August, interbank messaging company Swift released a report on its year-long experiment using Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). The results showed that by combining Swift’s messaging standards with CCIP, financial institutions like BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, and Citi successfully used their existing backend systems to interact with tokenized assets and transact across public and private blockchains. Increased adoption of CCIP would benefit Chainlink’s profitability as the protocol charges a fee on top of the gas cost overhead for every transaction. Since launching in July 2023, Chainlink has earned over $69,000 from CCIP.

Decentraland (MANA)

Decentraland (MANA) traded down 23.05% despite rising platform usage. About 3,820 unique wallet addresses interacted with Decentraland throughout August, a ~108% growth from July. On August 22, the Decentraland Foundation announced monthly event themes, starting from September 2023 through the end of 2024. The initiative aims to create a framework for the community and brands in the decentralized virtual world to launch their own events and experiences related to a specific theme, encouraging innovation and new content on Decentraland. For instance, the themes for the next three months will be design, artificial intelligence (AI), and music.

Stellar (XLM)

Stellar’s native token XLM traded down 23.63% over the past month. On August 15, the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) acquired a minority stake in money transfer company MoneyGram International (MGI) to help expand its digital business with blockchain technology integrations. Thanks to a partnership with MoneyGram, USDC on Stellar already has over 81,000 on-ramp locations and over 320,000 off-ramp locations worldwide. The SDF’s investment could further benefit Stellar’s mission to provide seamless fiat-to-crypto on and off-ramps.

The Sandbox (SAND)

The Sandbox (SAND) traded down 26.72% in August, underperforming the broader market. Regarding ecosystem traction, the British Museum chose The Sandbox to establish its metaverse footprint. Through the partnership, the British Museum will create a range of digital collectibles and experiences showcasing its history – founded in 1753, it was the first public national museum to cover all fields of knowledge. On a less optimistic note, about 3,780 unique wallet addresses interacted with The Sandbox throughout August, down 17% from July.

XRP Ledger (XRP)

XRP traded down 27.00% in the past month. XRP’s relative strength index (RSI) was in the ”overbought” zone (>70) for the latter half of July as the cryptoasset rose ~47% on the back of the U.S. District Court’s summary judgment deeming that the XRP token, by itself, was not a security under U.S. law. In August, the SEC filed a motion to request an interlocutory appeal of the landmark decision from July, arguing it could have a ”substantial impact on a large number of pending litigations.” On another front, the Republic of Palau partnered with Ripple to pilot the launch of the Palau Stablecoin (PSC), backed by the U.S. dollar, on the XRP Ledger.

Uniswap (UNI)

Uniswap (UNI) traded down 33.18% over the past month, underperforming the broader market. Uniswap launched on Coinbase’s L2 Base on August 8 and is already the network’s most dominant decentralized exchange (DEX) with ~$46 million in weekly trading volume. On another note, the Uniswap Labs team hosted an internal 24-hour ”hackathon,” a coding event that gave life to sixteen new projects. The winning team created an end-to-end NFT ticketing system for venues that would allow Uniswap mobile wallet users to display a QR code for their NFT tickets, which they can sign in-app to prove ownership. The venue system would then scan the QR code, verify ownership, and mark attendance on the backend.

Strategies of the Month: August 2023

Every month, our research team will also present the ten best-performing strategies of the month in our product suite. With a data-driven approach, we highlight the most important developments and events causing price movements.

Figure 2: 30-Day Performance: Strategies of the Month vs. Traditional Asset Classes

Data Source: 21Shares Index Management Console and Yahoo Finance, from 31-June-2023 to 31-August-2023 (Close Price)


The 21Shares Short Ethereum ETP (SHETH) rose 7.12% over the past month. SHETH seeks to provide a -1x return to the performance of Ethereum for a single day. This enables investors with stringent risk-management practices to benefit from tactical short-term inverse exposure to ETH during market downturns. The BitMEX Weekly Historical Ether Volatility Index (EVOL7D) hit an all-time low in the first half of the month before ETH dropped 7.8% on August 17, bringing volatility back.


The 21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP (SBTC) rose 4.94% over the past month. SBTC seeks to provide a -1x return to the performance of Bitcoin for a single day. This allows sophisticated investors to hedge and benefit from tactical short-term inverse exposure to BTC. Despite outperforming all the major cryptoassets (with the exception of BNB), BTC still traded down 11.31% in August. The BitMEX Weekly Historical Bitcoin Volatility Index (BVOL7D) was near all-time lows during the first half of the month before BTC dropped 9.7% on August 17, bringing volatility back.

Research Newsletter

Each week the 21Shares Research team will publish our data-driven insights into the crypto asset world through this newsletter. Please direct any comments, questions, and words of feedback to research@21shares.com


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Den nordiska ETF-marknaden november 2023



Handeln på den nordiska ETF-marknaden november 2023 uppgick till cirka 9,1 mdkr (11,8 mdkr i oktober) varav cirka 8,6 mdkr omsattes i den svenska marknaden. Av den totala nordiska ETF-omsättningen var XACTs marknadsandel cirka 97%.

Handeln på den nordiska ETF-marknaden november 2023 uppgick till cirka 9,1 mdkr (11,8 mdkr i oktober) varav cirka 8,6 mdkr omsattes i den svenska marknaden. Av den totala nordiska ETF-omsättningen var XACTs marknadsandel cirka 97%.

Av den totala börsomsättningen i Sverige i november svarade ETF-handeln för cirka 2,2.%.

Den nordiska ETF-marknaden november 2023

Som vanligt var det XACT som hade störst marknadsandel på den nordiska ETF-marknaden i november 2023, med en marknadsdel på 96,78 procent. Finska Seligson & Co hade en marknadsandel om drygt 2,6 procent, vilket faktiskt gör att detta företag hade 100 procent av den finska ETF-marknaden. Resterande andel, 0,57 procent, svarade norska DNB OBX för. DNB är, sedan XACT lagt ned sina norska ETFer, den enda aktören som är verksam i Norge.

Statistik för den nordiska ETF-marknaden för perioden: 2023-11-01 – 2023-11-30

Antal handelsdagar: 22

Under november 2023 var den mest omsatta börshandlade fonden den traditionella XACT OMXS30 ESG (UCITS ETF).

Den näst mest omsatta börshandlade fonden hävstångsfonden Xact Bear x 2. Xact Bear x 2 tillsammans med Xact Bull x 2 handlas frekvent, och på kort sikt, vanligt förekommande i till exempel daytrading.

På fjärde plats hittar vi XACT Svenska Småbolag, en fond som sällan hamnar så pass högt på denna lista,

På femte plats finns Xact Norden Högutdelande, en ETF som oftast ingår i varenda utdelningsjägares portfölj, just för att denna börshandlade fond delar ut varje kvartal. Denna ETF lämnade årets fjärde utdelning under november vilket kan ha bidragit till det stora intresset.

Av de mest omsatta ETFerna på den nordiska ETF-marknaden oktober 2023 var elva av de tretton mest handlade börshandlade fonder emitterade av XACT. Utöver ovanstående ETFer finns även två börshandlade fonder från Lyxor, numera Amundi samt en från isländska Landsbréf, som handlas på den nordiska marknaden.

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WDGE ETF investerar i amerikanska utdelningsaktier och valutasäkras i euro



WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth UCITS ETF - EUR Hedged Acc (WDGE ETF) försöker spåra WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth (EUR Hedged)-index. WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth (EUR Hedged)-index spårar utdelningsbetalande amerikanska aktier med tillväxtegenskaper. Aktierna som ingår filtreras enligt ESG-kriterier (miljö, social och bolagsstyrning). Indexet är ett fundamentalt viktat index. Valuta säkrad till euro (EUR).

WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth UCITS ETF – EUR Hedged Acc (WDGE ETF) försöker spåra WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth (EUR Hedged)-index. WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth (EUR Hedged)-index spårar utdelningsbetalande amerikanska aktier med tillväxtegenskaper. Aktierna som ingår filtreras enligt ESG-kriterier (miljö, social och bolagsstyrning). Indexet är ett fundamentalt viktat index. Valutasäkrad till euro (EUR).

Denna börshandlade fond har en TER (total cost ratio) som uppgår till 0,35 % p.a. WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth UCITS ETF – EUR Hedged Acc är den enda ETF som följer WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth (EUR Hedged) index. ETFen replikerar det underliggande indexets prestanda genom samplingsteknik (köper ett urval av de mest relevanta indexbeståndsdelarna). Utdelningarna i ETFen ackumuleras och återinvesteras i den börshandlade fonden.

WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth UCITS ETF – EUR Hedged Acc är en mycket liten ETF med tillgångar på 0 miljoner GBP under förvaltning. ETF lanserades den 31 juli 2023 och har sin hemvist i Irland.

WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth UCITS ETF – EUR Hedged Acc

Fonden strävar efter att spåra pris- och avkastningsutvecklingen, före avgifter och utgifter, för WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend Growth UCITS Index. Andelsklassen strävar efter att leverera exponering mot indexet samtidigt som den neutraliserar exponeringen mot fluktuationer i euron genom att implementera en valutasäkringsmetod.

Varför investera?

• Få tillgång till högkvalitativa, utdelningsväxande företag från globala utvecklade marknader som uppfyller WisdomTrees ESG-kriterier (miljö, social och styrning)

• Dra nytta av riskscreening för att utesluta företag baserat på egenutvecklade kvalitet och momentum

Direktavkastning och inkomstpotential kan vara högre än ett börsvärdesindex

• Används som ett komplement till globala högavkastande utdelningsstrategier eller som en ersättning för aktiva tillväxt- eller kvalitetsstrategier med stora bolag

• Valutavolatiliteten minimeras genom användning av valutaterminskontrakt

• ETFen är fysiskt uppbackad och UCITS-kompatibel

Potentiella risker?

• Utdelningsviktade index kan prestera annorlunda än ett börsvärdevägt index

• En investering i aktier kan uppleva hög volatilitet och bör betraktas som en långsiktig investering

Direktavkastning och inkomstpotential kan vara högre än ett börsvärdesindex

• Investeringsrisken kan vara koncentrerad till specifika sektorer, länder, företag eller valutor

• Avkastningen av valutaterminskontrakten, som rullas på månadsbasis, är utformade för att minimera valutafluktuationer men kanske inte perfekt kompenserar de faktiska fluktuationerna.

Denna lista täcker inte alla risker – ytterligare risker beskrivs i KIID och prospekt


WisdomTree US Quality Dividend Growth UCITS ETF – EUR Hedged Acc (WDGE ETF) är en europeisk börshandlad fond. Denna fond handlas på flera olika börser, till exempel Deutsche Boerse Xetra och Borsa Italiana. Av den anledningen förekommer olika kortnamn på samma börshandlade fond.

Det betyder att det går att handla andelar i denna ETF genom de flesta svenska banker och Internetmäklare, till exempel DEGIRONordnet, Aktieinvest och Avanza.


Borsa ItalianaEURDGRE

Största innehav

NamnKortnamnLandVikt %
1. Microsoft CorpMSFT USUS8.49%
2. Apple IncAAPL UQUS6.12%
3. Johnson & JohnsonJNJ UNUS3.98%
4. Broadcom IncAVGO USUS3.57%
5. Procter & Gamble Co/ThePG USUS3.16%
6. Home Depot IncHD UNUS2.78%
7. Coca-Cola Co/TheKO UNUS2.54%
8. Merck & Co Inc/NJMRK UNUS2.50%
9. Cisco Systems IncCSCO UQUS2.34%
10. Walmart IncWMT USUS2.24%

Innehav kan komma att förändras

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Bitcoin Expands Utility and All Eyes on Polygon: What Happened in Crypto in November?



Bitcoin Expands Utility Markets flourished in November. The total crypto market cap increased by ~13%, month-over-month, with increased institutional interest in this burgeoning asset class.

Markets flourished in November. The total crypto market cap increased by ~13%, month-over-month, with increased institutional interest in this burgeoning asset class. Stocks also had a comeback last month, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq recording their best performance since July 2022. In line with the market sentiment, Europe’s inflation dropped more than expected to 2.4% in November, down from 2.9% in October, the lowest over two years. The cost of living has eased with plummeting energy prices, but higher interest rates limit the economy’s ability to grow. However, with a cooling inflation towards the ECB’s 2% target, markets are hopeful that interest rates will stop by April 2024. In the U.S., inflation data is coming out on December 12, with indicators like the personal consumption expenditures price index (+0.2% month-over-month) already pointing towards cooling inflation and potential interest rate cuts in 2024.

Ahead of the historically calm holiday season, Bitcoin and Ethereum increased by 9.31% and 13.38% in November, respectively, as shown in Figure 1. The biggest winners of last month were Solana (+69.28%), Avalanche (+86.72%), and Uniswap (+42.34%). Additionally, in this report, we’ll explore what Argentina’s new president could mean for South America’s troubled, second-largest economy. We’ll also discuss Bitcoin’s expanding utility and how it reflects on its fundamental metrics; exchanges looking at Polygon for deploying their own custom blockchain; Avalanche aiming to position itself as the platform for financial institutions; and Lido decentralizing its node-infrastructure operations.

Figure 1: Price and TVL Development of Major Crypto Sectors in November 2023

Source: 21shares, CoinGecko, DeFi Llama. Data as of November 30, 2023.

5 Trends to Remember from November

Argentina’s New President

Bitcoin rallied back to pass the $37K mark as Argentina elected a pro-Bitcoin, right-wing president, Javier Milei. Although the president-elect made no promise to make Bitcoin a legal tender, the volumes indicate some hope that Milei’s appointment could mean economic revitalization for South America’s second-largest economy with the help of Bitcoin, a la El Salvador. El Salvador’s GDP is expected to reach $33.4B by the end of 2023, a ~20% increase from when it declared Bitcoin as a legal tender in 2021. With an inflation rate exceeding 140% in 2023, Argentina’s GDP growth has been sluggish, averaging 0.51% from 1993 until 2023, as shown in Figure 2.

“The central bank is a scam. What Bitcoin represents is the return of money to its original creator, the private sector,” Argentina’s president-elect said as part of his presidential campaign, vowing to shut down the central bank, replacing the Argentine peso with the US dollar, and embracing decentralized finance. Samson Mow, CEO of JAN3 (a startup scaling Bitcoin) and an advisor to El Salvador during its adoption of Bitcoin, has said he’s planning to meet with Argentina’s new president. Indicators of whether Milei’s plan will work in Argentina’s favor are yet to be discovered.

Figure 2: Argentina’s GDP Growth Rate

Source: Trading Economics

Bitcoin Fees Skyrocket While the Network Expands its Utility

Bitcoin’s fees have increased by 593.94% over the past month, mostly driven by Ordinals, a protocol that allows users to inscribe digital assets akin to nonfungible tokens. Ordinals have had the most inscriptions since May 2023, as shown in Figure 3. With the backdrop of Ordinals’ success rate, Bitcoin developer Robin Linus introduced BitStream, a decentralized file hosting on Bitcoin, where users can upload unique files, enabling anyone to monetize their excess bandwidth and data storage capacities without relying on trust or heavy-weight cryptography. BitStream’s pay-to-download approach allows the server to charge for each download, ensuring that the revenue scales with the popularity and demand for the media, creating a balanced and profitable ecosystem. This development is another expansion of Bitcoin’s burgeoning use cases and would onboard a diversified audience. With BitStream’s promise, Bitcoin can capture the total addressable market of data storage, which stands at at least $230B. Although BitStream’s pricing scheme is not clear yet, decentralized data storage solutions, like Filecoin and Arweave, have been proven to be a lot cheaper than Google Cloud, Amazon S3, and its other centralized peers, varying by usage, as showcased extensively in the tenth issue of our State of Crypto, which you can find here.

Figure 3: Fees from Ordinals and non-Ordinals (%)

Source: 21.co on Dune Analytics

Exchanges Looking at Polygon for Deploying their Own Custom Blockchain

Kraken and OKX are strategically eyeing the Polygon network, aiming to capitalize on its CDK framework for constructing their individual blockchains. This strategic move aligns with Coinbase Base’s remarkable success, amassing approximately $5.4M in profit since inception, translating to an annualized profit of around $20 million. Boasting 9M and 50M monthly users, respectively, Kraken and OKX processed a daily average of ~$1B in 2023 and would potentially foster substantial growth within the on-chain ecosystem. Both moves would contribute to Ethereum’s revenue via anchored networks paying security costs to settle their transactions. Additionally, leveraging CDK modules proves advantageous for Polygon, empowering network stakers to bond POL and enhance earnings amid escalating network usage — a positive demand loop for the POL token within the new Polygon 2.0 staking layer design. Notably, Polygon’s efforts to onboard diverse companies are gaining traction, surpassing BNB and Ethereum in supporting new applications (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Total number of new applications on the five leading Smart-Contract Platforms

Source: Artemis

Avalanche Aiming to Position themselves as the Platform for Financial Institutions

For instance, Citibank and Fidelity unveiled a foreign FX exchange solution operating on a private permissioned Avalanche Subnet to enable instantaneous settlement and cost-effectiveness. Further, JP Morgan and Apollo Global collaborated on an asset-agnostic portfolio management solution. The latter empowers fund managers to tokenize portfolios using JP Morgan’s ONYX and the Oasis Pro asset-issuing platform while leveraging multiple crypto interoperability protocols to seamlessly exchange and rebalance portfolios across various blockchains, bridging EVM and non-EVM, private and public chains.

The experiment demonstrated the power of smart contracts in automating over +3000 operational steps and reduced costs by almost 20% via programmatic settlement despite involving multiple parties in the asset management process. The experiment also demonstrated the benefits of interoperability, providing a holistic solution for managing traditional and alternative assets in a single discretionary portfolio spanning multiple asset classes.

Both initiatives underscore Avalanche’s unique value proposition, positioning it as a standout choice among smart contract platforms. The Evergreen subnets, designed for compliance with KYC and AML checks, offer native privacy and customizability, providing enterprise-level blockchain support without the constraints of a siloed private blockchain system. The model also facilitates a pioneering connection between traditional finance’s proprietary software and native crypto railways, potentially fostering synergies and accelerating ecosystem integration. Ultimately, despite the initial surge in Avalanche’s transaction volume following these integrations, reaching its peak since inception, as illustrated in Figure 5, the network activity sharply declined after that. This underscores the imperative for the network to intensify its initiatives in onboarding high-demand projects as subnets.

Figure 5: Total number of transactions on the Avalanche Network

Source: Subnets.avax.network

Lido is Decentralizing its Node-Infrastructure Operations

Lido DAO, the largest non-custodial staking provider, approved two proposals to adopt Distributed Validation Technology. DVT refers to a mechanism spreading out key management and signing responsibilities across multiple parties to reduce single points of failure and increase validator resiliency. That said, Lido will integrate DVT modules with Obol and SSV protocols, which is set to introduce a more diverse profile of node operators beyond its current list of 38 validators and help address a key concern around centralization. This is a key development as Lido stirred a debate since it’s close to accounting for a third of staked ETH (see Figure 6); it could have undesired influence over the network’s validation process and block production. This implementation is crucial to ensure the diversification of the protocol’s node operators and increase their reliability in case of validator failures or censorship attempts. Conversely, SSV and Obol networks represent new primitives, so they must remain vigilant regarding any unforeseen vulnerabilities they could introduce.

Figure 6: Dominance of Entities Staking on the Ethereum Network

Source: 21co at Dune

What to Expect

Binance, CZ, and the softening headwinds leaning into 2024

On November 21, Binance pleaded guilty and agreed to pay over $4 billion to resolve the Justice Department’s investigation into violations related to the Bank Secrecy Act, failure to register as a money-transmitting business, and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao (commonly known as CZ), also pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and has resigned as CEO of Binance. The world’s biggest crypto exchange by assets under management has experienced $47.3B in outflows and $44.6B in inflows in November, as seen in our Dune Analytics dashboard tracking Binance’s proof of reserves.

What should we expect in 2024? CZ could face up to 18 months in prison after his sentencing in February 2024. Binance’s new CEO Richard Teng, has outlined his vision to continue building on Web 3, with a special focus on decentralized applications that empower data ownership. With Binance’s Greenfield venturing into decentralized file storage, we can expect more investment in this space to diversify revenue streams and return Binance’s brand image to industry leadership. One catalyst for that is the fact that Teng is a member of the World Economic Forum, which can yield further institutional interest in the broader industry of decentralized finance. One challenge remains untackled: Binance’s dwindling market share, especially in derivatives. In the first weeks of November, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) toppled Binance in Bitcoin futures following speculation around a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S.

Figure 7: Binance Asset Flow

Source: 21.co on Dune Analytics

Interoperability Protocols are Rethinking Strategies to Remain Relevant

Polkadot, for instance, is replacing its long-standing parachain auction system with Bulk Coretime and Instantaneous Coretime. For context, the existing auction system is a model for applications to enter into a competitive bidding war to lease a slot on the Polkadot network as an interconnected network known as a parachain. That said, the new two models would introduce either a pay-as-you-go model where developers rent blockspace as needed for their projects or alternatively use the conventional lease model with shorter rent periods that make it more cost-effective for projects.

Polkadot’s imminent 2.0 system redesign, slated for the second half of 2024, incorporates the aforementioned modules and introduces a trustless bridge to link with the Ethereum ecosystem. These enhancements, addressing the network’s waning interoperability against competitors like Chainlink, are pivotal for Polkadot to sustain its relevance and fortify its accessibility towards more vibrant ecosystems such as Ethereum.

On the Cosmos side, the community approved a proposal to decrease the network’s inflation from 14% to 10%, reducing the staking APR from 19% to 13.4%. While the proposal addresses the challenge of ATOM’s high inflation, which dilutes the token’s value, it highlights a utility conundrum. ATOM lacks a clear role in facilitating access to the Interchain security economy powered by its InterBlockchain Communication protocol (IBC). This absence of a distinct value proposition beyond its attractive yield may prompt smaller validators to unstake, potentially leading to increased centralization and compromising IBC security.

That said, the discord led the founder to propose a hard fork of the network into ATOM1, as he argues the inflation rate cut compromises the security of the Cosmos hub due to the network’s interoperability design, which is more crucial than elevating ATOM as a sound medium of exchange currency akin to ETH. Further, Cosmos’s interoperability technology has also been exported to the Avalanche network on testnet, a significant milestone marking the first integration outside the Cosmos ecosystem and bringing crypto closer to a trustless multichain future. Finally, Cosmos is experiencing heightened chain activity, likely driven by the launch of dYdX and USDC on Cosmos and evidenced by increased fees and active users, reaching a YTD peak, as illustrated in Figure 8, which we’ll be closely monitoring over the next few weeks.

Figure 8: Growth of Active Users and Fees on the Cosmos network

Source: Token Terminal


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Next Month’s Calendar

These are the top events we’re closely monitoring in December.

Source: 21shares, Forex Factory, CoinMarketCal

Research Newsletter

Each week the 21Shares Research team will publish our data-driven insights into the crypto asset world through this newsletter. Please direct any comments, questions, and words of feedback to research@21shares.com


The information provided does not constitute a prospectus or other offering material and does not contain or constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction. Some of the information published herein may contain forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and that actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. The information contained herein may not be considered as economic, legal, tax or other advice and users are cautioned to base investment decisions or other decisions solely on the content hereof.

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