The state of the weakening dollar gave a glimmer of hope for a relief rally, conservatively lifting both equities and crypto. Within the cryptoverse, large caps remained steadier than previous weeks as Bitcoin was seen ranging between the $28.5K-$31K, meanwhile Ethereum wicked down to the yearly-low major support level at $1700 only to rebound, sweep the $2100 resistance level and continue oscillating within this range. The total crypto marketcap gained roughly 6% following the turbulent week that saw the collapse of the Luna token and its counterpart UST stablecoin.
Now, even though the valuations of some of the market’s blue chips has returned to levels not seen since late 2020, it still seems that further drawdown could be on the table. Reason being is that entities with less than 10 BTC in their portfolio managed to add the 2nd highest amount to their stack on the 20th of May, as seen below. A signal that illustrates that we may not be out of the woods yet since retail hasn’t been able to aptly time local or macro bottoms on a historical basis.
However, as the dust begins to settle pertaining to this implosion, the industry has begun to comprehend what came to pass during this unsettling period. The collapse first started with a huge sell-off of $UST on both Centralized and Decentralized Exchanges, which caused the peg to deviate from the $1 mark. While the native mint-burn mechanism (Check out our Statement for details) between $LUNA and $UST can help $UST to slightly restore the peg at the beginning, the consequences are crashing $LUNA’s price by minting tremendous amount of $LUNA in the market. Accordingly, the token’s circulating supply soared to 6T from 340M, causing Luna’s value to deteriorate and bring down UST’s peg along with it.
The crumbling state of affairs led to what is known as the death spiral. It became apparent that despite the Luna Foundation Guard’s attempts to use their 80K BTC reserve to maintain the UST peg, the liquidity was not enough to act as the exit liquidity for UST holders. Not only did the peg fail to restore, but the BTC selloff also caused the slump in Bitcoin’s price and the wider market drawdown that followed. In light of the collapse of the blockchain and the algorithmic stablecoin, Terra’s founder, Do Kwon, has announced a Revival Plan that includes launching a new Terra blockchain. The new Terra blockchain will go live on 27 May if the proposal passes successfully. The existing network will be renamed to Terra Classic, while its token will be renamed as $LUNC.
Regulations and Adoption
The main key giveaway on the regulatory side this week had been the Biden’s Administration’s plans to demand crypto exchanges to separate retail and corporate clients’ funds. The key driver behind the proposition could be due to Coinbase’s recent alert that customers will lose money if they go bankrupt.
Within the exchanges vertical, Binance was found to be seeking regulatory approval in Germany, trying to obtain a license for operation. Bitmex’s Founder was recently sentenced to 6 months of home detention instead of jail time due to violating the US Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). However, the event did not stop Bitmex’s expansions efforts. They have launched a spot trading service beyond solely focusing on derivatives. While traditional players are trying to gain exposure in crypto, FTX US expanded its offerings to traditional finance by offering 0 commission stock trading. There will be no minimum balances, 0 fee brokerage account, 0 commission trading and free market data.
Speaking of crypto’s adoption, the trend was preserved as we saw multiple traditional players tipping their toes or expanding their exposures into the industry. For example, one of the Big 4 Accounting firms, EY, has launched a new supply chain service, OpsChain, on Polygon Nightfall. This service is co-developed with Polygon and will allow organizations to create tokens or NFTs as a representation of assets and inventory within companies that can be traced on the blockchain. Nomura is preparing to launch a crypto subsidiary in the traditional banking side, and Julius Baer is also planning to offer their high net worth clients crypto exposures.
The race for building an EVM wallet is heating up as we saw multiple companies gearing up their efforts to launch a Metamask competitor. First it was reported that Revolut had plans to launch a non-custodial crypto wallet on Ethereum. The function will be similar to Metamask, one of the most popular non-custodial wallets. GameStop also has released a self-custodial Ethereum wallet instead of a non-custodial one for users to store, send and receive cryptos and NFTs. Robinhood also has indicated its plans to launch a custodial wallet for users to trade cryptos and NFTs. In other news, the E-Commerce giant eBay will be launching their 1st NFT collection, with 13 limited-edition NFTs in partnership with Web3 platform OneOf. Spotify and Instagram are pilot testing the NFT features on their platforms via selected producers/artists.
DeFi and NFTs
Ethereum($ETH) Co-Founder, Vitalik Buterin said “The Merge” upgrade will happen in August. This upgrade will shift Ethereum from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake blockchain. Alternative Layer 1 blockchain, Fantom($FTM) has seen a price pump this week. $FTM token dropped to $0.25 on 11 May and rose as high as $0.51 on 24 May. The price movement is likely fueled by the speculation that Andre Cronje, the founder of Yearn Finance, is returning to Fantom since he committed the github of Fantom’s stablecoin project. Ethereum’s scaling solution, Optimism, is going to launch a new upgrade named Bedrock. The upgrade will bring higher speed, lower cost, and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) Compatibility to the solution.
In the DeFi market, Near’s ($NEAR) Layer 2 solution, Aurora($AURORA) launched Aurora+, which offers users 50 free transactions per month and airdrop to early users. In light of the brief depeg event that occured to $USDT, Tether announced that they had reduced the commercial paper holding to improve the reserves’ quality. In the meantime, Tether also requested the state of New York’s supreme court to refrain the public from examining documents related to Tether’s reserves during the last several years. However, the request was denied.
In the NFT market, Aave($AAVE), a blue-chip money market protocol, has launched a decentralized social graph named Lens Protocol on Polygon. Developers can build social media platforms on top of Lens Protocol and users can mint social profiles, follow others, and create and collect posts in an on-chain way. Finally, with respect to capital raising, VC giant A16Z launched a $600M gaming fund to be utilised for investing in game studios, apps and infrastructure. While it may not be a crypto native fund, crypto gameFi startups could also benefit from the funding given A16Z ‘s rapid investments in the crypto space. Good news aside, Axie Infinity’s Discord bot was compromised. Hackers released fake minting messages to users, but the team deleted the statement shortly after.
The returns of the top five cryptoassets over the last week were as follows — BTC (-4.38%), ETH (-5.77%), BNB (3.65%), ADA(-11.28%), XRP (-7.65%).
Net Inflows per 21Shares ETP
The net Inflows of our ETPs amounted to $4.65M in the past week. Find the breakdown of the inflows and outflows per ETP below.
This week we are thrilled to reveal that we are launching two US-based funds; the 21Shares Crypto Basket 10 Index Fund, tracking the performance of the top 10 cryptocurrencies with regards to market capitalization, and 21Shares Crypto Mid-Cap Index Fund, offering diversified exposure to the next tier of emerging cryptoassets, those ranked 3 through 10 in market capitalisation.
“Historically, the cumulative return rate of the top dozen cryptocurrencies has vastly outperformed traditional indexes like the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, or Nasdaq Composite,” said Arthur Krause, Director of Product at 21Shares. “Our two new index funds enable accredited investors to participate in cryptocurrencies without assuming the responsibility of managing custodial arrangements, tracking private keys and passwords, or being susceptible to hacking or security breaches.”
On this occasion, Ophelia Snyder, president and co-founder of 21Shares, made an appearance on Coindesk to discuss the launch of our first two crypto ETPs in the US for accredited investors. Ophelia also discussed the impact of Terra’s collapse and the wider crypto bear market on investor demand. On Bloomberg Technology, Hany Rashwan, 21Shares’ CEO and co-founder was featured to also speak about the company’s first ETPs in the US market.
Opensea introduces seaport, a protocol for creating tailor-made NFT marketplaces
Opensea revealed the launch of their latest NFT platform – built on the centralized firm’s new marketplace protocol. Dubbed Seaport, the new protocol is expected to accord users with flexibility in exchanging NFT collections such that other ERC20 tokens (ETH-based tokens), as well as ERC 721/1151 (baseline standards for NFT collections), would be deemed as an acceptable form of payment. This is rather than exclusively relying on the native tokens of the multiple blockchains Opensea supports for its hosted collections.
Furthermore, the brand new protocol will feature an improved message signing capability that should help reduce the exuberant gas fees while clearly illustrating what item should be obtained in exchange for which collection of token(s). In addition, the protocol’s refinements should bring forward a more nuanced trading regime as offers will not be limited to collections anymore and will instead trickle down to traits.
Why does it matter?
Several reasons contribute to the excitement behind this key development. One, buyers in this new paradigm will have the opportunity to leverage their current asset holdings immediately without jumping through several hoops to obtain either ETH or any of the other currencies their preferred collections are denominated in. The convenience offered through this system design is reminiscent of the early days of the decentralized exchanges vertical, particularly around the birth of Uniswap.
Cultivating a user-intuitive front-end experience encourages wider market participation while allowing for sophisticated trading strategies. Considering how DeFi was pushed forwards with the introduction of new complicated protocols that leveraged the DEXs infrastructure, the NFT industry should expect to observe an unprecedented level of innovation over the next couple of months on the back of this refinement.
Open Sourcing the protocol is another benefit that will allow for healthy competition to underpin the breeding of new exciting products. In fact, the evolution will assist in better servicing the end-users, while clearing the way for further decentralization of the NFT marketplace landscape by enabling growing protocols to target a portion of the lion’s share dominated by opensea.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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