The Biggest Crypto Movers & Shakers of the Week
Concerns have arisen in the digital asset industry about whether it will continue to have access to traditional finance in the US after the sudden failure of three major banks: Silvergate Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank. Despite this, the market has pushed higher as efforts are made to shore up the banking sector.
The stability of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum has been highlighted during the recent banking collapse in the US. As Cathie Wood of Ark Investment noted, while the banking system in the US was seizing up in response to bank runs, crypto networks remained stable and in working condition.
Meanwhile, the pressure on yet another bank Credit Suisse Group AG, has triggered a rally in sovereign bonds as investors seek safe haven assets like gold. The collapse of banks has also reignited the possibility of the US cutting interest rates later this year, which has bolstered investor sentiment. Any sign of interest-rate cuts will likely push funds to riskier assets, which could bring institutional funds back into the crypto market.
Crypto Market Rejoices after Initial Market Volatility
Initially, when the banks went down last weekend, the crypto market took a tumble. But this week, the market is going higher, with the total market cap near $1.2 trillion.
Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the US, has also seen a 30% jump in its share price since last Friday. The exchange, which trades on the Nasdaq, ended last week at $53.44 and is now trading near $70.
The winner of the banking collapse, however, has been Bitcoin, which is one of the biggest gainers this past week, up 32% and inching closer to hitting $27,000. The largest cryptocurrency has rallied 58% year-to-date (YTD) but is still down about 62% from its all-time high (ATH).
The broader crypto market is also enjoying decent gains in line with the stock market and metal prices after US regulators announced plans to backstop all depositors in the failed Silicon Valley Bank as well as make additional funding available for other banks.
Now, let's look at the top gainers among the top 100 cryptocurrencies as well as overall in the crypto market.
The $666 million market cap cryptocurrency CFX is leading the pack with over 90% gains this past week, according to CoinGecko. The coin has been recording a jump in trading volume as well at over $710 million in the past 24 hours. CFX price is up 1310% YTD.
Conflux, also known as China's MATIC, has been performing well, with the platform's on-chain stats showing a peak of 18,000 new accounts, the highest level for 2023. This indicates an increasing interest in the network among investors.
The project has been gaining popularity as the only blockchain in China that complies with legal requirements and uses the Tree-Graph consensus mechanism for scalability and throughput. It is also one of the top projects in the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem, with the most social connections.
This year, Conflux Network partnered with Little Red Book, a China-based social media platform with 200 million users, and China Telecom to develop and pilot a blockchain SIM (BSIM) card service in Hong Kong, which has 350 million users.
Conflux is leading the way for NFT adoption in China, with Taopai being one of the first web3 solution companies and NFT marketplaces on Conflux Network, boasting 1 million users and collaborations with top Chinese firms.
But this is not all. This week, KuCoin Ventures led a $10 million funding round into the stablecoin CNHC issuer. The stablecoin is 1:1 pegged to the value of the offshore yuan and issued on Ethereum and Conflux.
According to Fan Long, co-founder of Conflux, the significance of CNHC lies in its “capacity to connect traditional financial systems with the emerging Web3 landscape, especially amid heightened regulatory scrutiny in the US.” He believes CNHC presents an alternative for those searching for compliant options beyond the US-centric regulatory framework.
Click here to learn all about investing in Conflux.
A $1.5 bln market cap crypto, STX, is another top gainer, which is up over 88% this past week and more than 400% YTD. Its 24-hour trading volume, meanwhile, has climbed to almost $350 million.
These gains came after the coin suffered from consecutive days of price decline due to the recent banking crisis that impacted the crypto market. Moreover, the coin's ride on Ordinals NFTs' popularity has long faded, resulting in successive days of price downturn. However, as the market sentiment improved this week, the coin also started rallying.
STX is a layer-one blockchain project that aims to facilitate smart contracts and dApps on the Bitcoin network. Using familiar programming languages like Clarity, developers can build and deploy their dApps on the existing Bitcoin blockchain.
Currently, the Stacks network is working on developing its Nakamoto Release and sBTC, which would unlock three essential features, including enabling a Bitcoin economy, allowing developers to write on Bitcoin, and scaling network speed and capacity.
Click here to learn all about investing in Stacks (STX).
Image Generation AI (IMGAI)
Trading at $0.0187, this coin is up 120% in the past week while recording $290k in 24-hour trading volume, making it one of the biggest gainers in the entire crypto market, as per Messari.
ImgnAI is a crypto-native team focused on building a new leader in consumer AI. Their flagship product, Nai, is an AI-powered text-to-image bot that allows users to generate art via simple text commands. The project offers a seamless UI and several custom image models.
The ImgnAI team will soon use the token to unlock premium features and mint user generations directly as NFTs. ImgnAI also aims to decentralize its governance via the token and will soon release its first revenue stream, Premium, with plans to maintain a variety of revenue streams, including paid advertising, user-trained image models, and custom tooling for partners.
Now that we have covered the gainers, it's time to know the losers of the week that are experiencing negative price action while the crypto king Bitcoin continues to rally.
Among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, MKR is one of the very few coins in the red. Down by almost 10% this past week, the $655 million market cap MKR is the biggest loser. The coin is trading at $728.47 but is still up 40% YTD.
These losses come amidst the lending protocol and stablecoin issuer MakerDAO passing a proposal to increase its holdings of US Treasury bonds by 150% from $500 million to $1.25 billion. The proposal aims to increase the protocol's exposure to real-world assets and “high-quality bonds” following the recent market volatility that caused its DAI stablecoin to lose a $1 peg.
Last week, the collapse of SVB created market panic, leading to a $750 million debt ceiling hike approved by 77% of Maker's delegates. The approved proposal aims to allow Maker to take advantage of the current yield environment and generate further revenue on Maker's PSM Assets in a flexible and liquid manner.
Terra Luna Classic (LUNC)
LUNC is a $766.4 million market cap coin trading at about $0.00013, fluctuating between red and green while managing $65.8 mln in 24-hour trading volume. The token was down 100% from its ATH a year ago.
The original blockchain of the distressed Terra (LUNA) ecosystem, Terra Classic (LUNC), has been recording poorer results compared to other assets in the cryptocurrency market. This could be attributed to developments regarding Do Kwon, the fugitive founder of Terraform Labs.
Nearly a year after the company's collapse, regulatory authorities are still pursuing Terra's stablecoin, TerraUSD (UST). The US Department of Justice has recently joined the investigation into the stablecoin's collapse. The Justice Department is also investigating Chai, the blockchain responsible for enabling UST, which Do Kwon wrongly claimed to be conducting millions of transactions.
The DoJ's investigation appears to align with the SEC's probe, with both agencies questioning former Terraform Labs employees. Last month, the SEC filed charges against the company and its founder, alleging that they orchestrated a multi-billion dollar crypto fraud by marketing the assets as an opportunity to earn a profit. If Terraform Labs and Do Kwon are found responsible, they could face criminal charges, including a prison sentence.
EUL is the biggest loser in the entire crypto market this week. The $30 million market cap coin has fallen more than 71%, which sent its 24-hours trading volume to $1.5 million. As of writing, EUL is trading at $1.86, down about 12% in the past 24 hours and 85.5% from its ATH hit six months ago. On Thursday, the token hit an all-time low (ATL) of $1.60.
These losses were due to the Euler Protocol suffering the sixth-largest hack in DeFi history on March 14th, leading to the loss of nearly $200 million worth of crypto assets — 34.4 million USDC, 8.89 million DAI, 85,690 stETH, and 849 WBTC.
According to blockchain security firm PeckShield, the hacker(s) “used flash loans to deposit funds and then leveraged them twice to trigger liquidation logic, donating the funds to the reserve address, and conducting self-liquidation to collect any remaining assets.”
Euler Labs, the startup behind Euler Protocol, is currently working with other firms, such as Chainalysis, to recover the stolen funds. Despite offering the hacker an escape hatch to return 90% of the stolen funds, investors seem to have little faith in the recovery process. The hack led to at least 14 protocols and their users being affected.
Overall, the crypto market is in green, with investors and traders expecting more gains ahead. But given that crypto is highly volatile, always remember to be cautious, do your own research, and invest only what you can afford to lose.