Stock Analysis & Ideas

This Week in Crypto: Fed Rate Hike Spurs Market-Wide Gains

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A 0.25% interest rate hike, paired with improving macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions, helped the crypto market expand upon its previous week’s upward trend, helping investor sentiment recover from months of “Fear” to reach the “Greed” category.

This week was eventful for Bitcoin (BTC-USD), as it finally broke past $24,000 briefly for the first time this year. BTC’s seven-day gains stand around 4.4%, pushing its 30-day return to over 40%.

There has been a significant rise in the BTC spot trading volume over the last seven sessions, thanks to the positive weekly performance across legacy financial markets, a steady improvement in global macroeconomic conditions, and the Federal Reserve unveiling a 25 basis point rate hike.

Additionally, multiple on-chain data points suggest that BTC may be on the verge of a significant breakout higher as investor sentiment continues to improve. The latest report from ByteTree shows that exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have increased their holdings massively, with three ETFs adding more than 1,465 BTC in January alone.

Altcoins Bask in Green as Polygon Sets Fresh Rally

Although Bitcoin’s new multi-month highs captured most of the headlines, the altcoin market outperformed the most prominent crypto, expanding upon the positive momentum from previous weeks. Polygon (MATIC) led the charge among the top 10 altcoins by market capitalization this week, rising 15% over the last seven sessions. The main reasons behind MATIC pumping higher this week include growing user activity on the Polygon chain and a newly-forged partnership deal with Genso. 

Meanwhile, the value of Avalanche’s AVAX token jumped by 22% over the week, primarily due to structured finance platform Intain launching a permissioned Avalanche subnet, titled IntainMarkets, which will enable users to issue and trade on-chain asset-backed securities.

Other standout performances arrived from Fantom (FTM) and Mina (MINA). The value of Fantom’s FTM token surged 30% over the last week after the platform revealed its plans to launch the much-anticipated fUSD version 2 stablecoin later this year. Mina (MINA), on the other hand, jumped 29% following the announcement of a new partnership with Viable Systems to deliver the OpenMina web node browser concept.

The week’s top performers centered on DYDX and RNDR tokens. DYDX, the governance token of the non-custodial dYdX crypto exchange, gained 44% over the last seven sessions. This surge comes on the heels of the dYdX Foundation’s decision to delay a 150 million token unlock initially scheduled for next month, instead pushing the date to December 2023. 

RenderToken (RNDR), Ethereum’s (ETH-USD) distributed GPU network, was the market leader after appreciating by 97.5% over the week. The uptrend reflects the growing demand for 3D rendering services, the Render team’s efforts to integrate AI technology to boost performance, and newly introduced built-in NFT features.

Threshold and Near Protocol Miss Out Yet Again

Despite the reversal in market conditions and rapidly improving investor sentiment, Threshold (T) and Near Protocol (NEAR) failed to capitalize on this week’s rally. The ongoing Threshold (T) downtrend persisted, sending the token tumbling another 7% over the last seven trading sessions while also experiencing a 63.10% drop in 24-hour trading volume. 

Not far behind, Near Protocol’s NEAR token FELL around 1% amid the ecosystem’s attempts to recover from the series of problems sparked by the FTX collapse, pulling back from a price recovery that saw the token reach multi-month highs. Nevertheless, the outlook for the NEAR token is increasingly upbeat following Veax Labs’ launch of its NEAR Protocol-based decentralized exchange (DEX) testnet.

BTC Payments, BonqDAO Hack, Decentralized Twitter, and More

As the aggregate crypto market continues its recovery from the FTX lows, mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies continues to gain traction, especially in emerging markets. The latest embrace of crypto comes from South Africa’s Pick-n-Pay grocery chain, which has begun accepting BTC in all 1,628 stores it operates across the country. 

In the meantime, as speculation grows that Twitter will challenge PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) in the payments space, a new decentralized alternative for Twitter, named Damus, has been approved for listing on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey shared the news with his 6.5 million followers, labeling it a “milestone moment” for open-source protocols.

Finally, the BonqDAO Protocol suffered a massive breach this week. Per on-chain reports, a hacker exploited an oracle to manipulate the price of the AllianceBlock (ALBT) token before stealing an estimated $120 million worth of BEUR and wALBT tokens.


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