The cryptocurrency market dropped back to where it was before starting this week. At the time of writing, Bitcoin has been trading at $26,630. With that, the total crypto market cap has also fallen a bit in the past 24 hours to now stand at $1.09 trillion.
Ether, however, continues to extend its losses as it exchanges hands at $1,597. The second-largest crypto asset has actually fallen to a fresh 14-month low against the crypto king, Bitcoin.
This was amidst the positive news in the form of delaying payouts related to the Mt. Gox implosion about a decade ago, which has been a long-time source of selling pressure scare in digital asset markets.
Meanwhile, these losses came after the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's hawkish remarks on Wednesday about keeping financial conditions tight and interest rates high for longer. Initially, crypto assets held up well but couldn't manage to do so long as the market contemplated what it all meant.
The US central bank has projected not only one more rate hike for this year but also rate cuts are now fewer (down to two) for next year, which sent the 10-year Treasury yield to a 16-year high of 4.490% and the DXY index to briefly jump near 106, the highest level since March when the US regional banking distress occurred.
This negatively impacted the risky assets, as seen with the US equity markets being sold off. The broad-market index S&P 500 lost 1.6%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 1.8%. This bearishness in the traditional market could also affect the crypto market, which is already showing weakness.
“US equity and rates markets have broken some very key levels on the back of this, and reflexivity can take over with the bearish thesis from here,” the QCP wrote in a market update. “This macro move could seep into crypto markets and take BTC lower with it, albeit with a lower beta as compared to other very stretched macro markets like the Nasdaq.”
For crypto to recover and rally, interest rates need to go down. For now, the only bullish scenarios for the market are the Bitcoin halving in the first half of 2024 and the approval of spot exchange-traded funds (ETF).
Amidst this, Bitcoin's non-whale wallets, addresses with under 100 BTC, have climbed to new highs, now owning 41.1% of the available supply, as per crypto data provider Santiment. Meanwhile, Bitcoin whales, those with 100 to 100K BTC, own 55.5% of the supply, their lowest amount held since May.
However, while indicators like price drawdown and Market Value to Realized Value Ratio (MVRV) suggest we might be in the final stages of accumulation, several market participants feel this bull market might not be as strong as the previous ones, and maybe investors need to adjust their expectations.
ONT Price Trajectory
Early on Friday, the $158.5 million market cap coin ONT recorded a 14% jump in value in less than an hour. This spike sent the price of ONT past $0.1957, a level last seen in mid-August. Since hitting this level, ONT has lost more than half of its gains already, and at the time of writing, it is trading at $0.1770, still up 6.8% against USD and 7.1% against BTC in the past 24 hours.
During this time, the trading volume of ONT jumped a whopping 369% from a day ago to over $36 million, signaling a recent rise in market activity.
As of writing, the ONT/KRW pair listed on the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit accounts for almost 48% of all ONT global trading volume, followed by Binance at 16.4%. Upbit is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, and ONT is currently the 10th largest crypto asset on the platform, according to the data provided by Coingecko. This week, South Korean traders also pumped the price of ImmutableX's IMX token, which remains the platform's 4th most traded crypto asset.
The crypto asset is currently up 10.3% in the past week as well as in the past 30 days. As for 2023, the altcoin had a volatile year. Up until Feb.21, ONT's price nearly doubled in value, only to lose 35% of its value over the next three weeks. Then, between mid-May and mid-April, ONT price yet again surged 60.5% as it went from $0.190 to $0.305.
Over the next two months, the price dropped 22%, along with the rest of the crypto market. From there, the price made attempts at recovery, only to fall even more. In August, the ONT price went lower than the value it was at the beginning of the year. However, since then, the price has regained some of its value, and now, with this latest price action, it is currently up 20% year-to-date (YTD).
ONT has lost 20.8% of its value over the past year and is down a whopping 98.4% from its all-time high (ATH) of $10.92 hit five years ago during the 2018 bear market. Meanwhile, the lowest this altcoin ever went was $0.145208 in Dec. 2022, and it has recovered 22.11% since then.
ONT is the native token of the Ontology blockchain that operates a dual-token model using an architecture that supports scalability and rapid, high-volume, low-cost transactions. Together, ONT and ONG tokens are essential to the ongoing operation of the Ontology public blockchain.
The ONT token serves as the primary means of transfer of value on the Ontology network. Token holders are also allowed to vote on proposed upgrades, changes, and project direction. When ONT token holders delegate their stake to a node, they allow that node operator to make proposals and vote on matters of governance on their behalf.
Meanwhile, for fees and transactions, the network requires the use of the ONG token. Much like ONT tokens, ONG also has a maximum and total supply of 1 billion. ONG token is currently exchanging hands at $0.230, up 2.3% in the past 24 hours while managing $2.2 million in trading volume. This token is also down about 95% from its $4.39 peak hit towards the end of 2018.
By keeping the network's transaction costs predictable, ONG provides a friendly operating environment for both users and developers. By staking ONT in exchange for ONG rewards, users can contribute to the security and stability of the network.
Both tokens can be stored, exchanged, or transacted using the ONTO Wallet, a complete cross-chain identity and asset management solution, and is available as a mobile app and a Chrome extension. The Wallet also supports ONT staking and management of ONG rewards. As for those who want to be node operators, they can use the native desktop OWallet in addition to integrating with hard wallets like the Ledger Nano/X for enhanced privacy and security.
This way, Ontology (ONT) and Ontology Gas (ONG) tokens power the Ontology network and help bring self-sovereign, decentralized identity solutions to Web3.
Ontology Network Update
Founded by Jun Li, the project was officially released in Nov. 2017. Ontology joined the Decentralized Identity Foundation the next month, while its whitepaper 2.0 wasn't released until July 2019.
Ontology is a network of public blockchains and describes itself as a high-performance public multi-chain project and a distributed trust collaboration platform. The network aims to offer high-speed, low-cost, and decentralized identity and data solutions to Web3. Designed to help businesses use blockchain technology, the platform focuses on increasing the trust, transparency, and privacy of its users and companies.
The network also ensures smooth compatibility with Ethereum through its Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Ethereum is the pioneer of smart contracts and the leading programmable blockchain when it comes to users, activity, and value locked in the ecosystem.
To interact with applications built on Ontology EVM, native and standard OEP-4 tokens must be bridged as ORC-20 tokens. ONT is wrapped as WONT (Wrapped ONT), an ORC-20 standard token pegged to ONT, and ONG is wrapped as WONG (Wrapped ONG), an ORC-20 standard token pegged to ONG. Using the Ontology Bridge, one can bridge or wrap tokens both to and from the Ontology EVM.
Through the incubation of layer 2 Optimistic roll-up Goshen Network, the crypto project brought Ontology and Ethereum developers closer together, breaking down silos, promoting interoperability, and expanding the possibilities for dApps.
The platform also introduced the OntologyEVM Development Fund to encourage the development of partnerships. The fund provides resources and support to developers building on the Ontology EVM in order to foster innovation, expand interoperability, and drive the advancement of Web3.
In June this year, the project celebrated the 5th anniversary of its mainnet launch and noted all the strides made to create a more open and accessible Web3 experience for developers and users alike. The Ontology team has also been making efforts in high ledger memory usage optimization and EVM bloom bit index optimization to enhance performance, scalability, and overall network efficiency.
The crypto project is also focused on making its staking ecosystem easy to use, more accessible, and have a better user experience. In addition, Ontology has been working on liquid staking (stONT), which provides flexibility and liquidity, allowing users to maximize the potential of their staked ONT tokens. In its most recent weekly update, the team noted that they are almost done with the testing of ONT liquid staking.
Moreover, the platform has developed several products, including Ontology Trust Ecosystem, which includes its primary crypto wallet application ONTO that features 60+ leading networks, including popular chains like zksync, Arbitrum, and BNB Chain. Meanwhile, OWallet is a digital wallet that facilitates multi-signature technology, and Explorer acts as a public verifier system that offers monitoring blockchain activity. Then, there is a claim management tool called Ontology Authenticator, which increases the efficiency of signing servers for mobile apps useful for developers.
Over the past year, Ontology partnered with several entities. It collaborated with DeFi protocol iZUMi Finance, giving Ontology EVM a DEX for the smooth swap of ONG to ONT. They also teamed up with Alchemy Pay, improving accessibility with on-ramp solutions and enabling users to easily convert digital assets for real-world purchases. Additionally, they worked with Orange Protocol, which builds on ONT ID to offer cross-chain reputation management.
Over the last many years, Ontology has been working on its development, with its mainnet now hosting over 160 dApps and has recorded millions in total number of dApp-related transactions. Meanwhile, total mainnet transactions are now closer to hitting 19 million.
Moving forward, Ontology continues to be dedicated to its vision of a decentralized future where individuals control their data.
“With our ongoing efforts to optimize performance, empower stakers, and foster collaboration, we are shaping the future of Web3 and driving the adoption of decentralized technologies,” noted the team at the time.
Currently, for 2023, Ontology's roadmap is all about optimizing the Web3 infrastructure for adoption. This will be achieved by tech optimization, DID adoption, and ecosystem expansion.
So, as we saw, the entire crypto market isn't performing well, with prices down again this week. Not to mention, the fact remains that the market is still in a broad downtrend. The macro-environment also supports the ongoing downturn, with interest rates high and the US dollar strong. This means weakness might persist in the market for the foreseeable future.
This translates to bearish for ONT prices as well, which didn't even manage to hit new highs during the 2021 bull market, tapping out just above $3, nowhere near its peak. So, while looking at past performance, the altcoin may still not be able to make new highs this time around either, it may still experience a rally when the trend shifts and has bouts of volatility.