- The crypto market continues to fly, with DeFi showing no signs of letting up in their growth
- Crypto overall sentiment continues to grow in strength as traditional financial giants like Goldman Sachs dive in deep into crypto
It was a week that reminded speculators that sentiment can be a very powerful thing. As Bitcoin once more breached the USD 12,000 line to make a new high for 2020, and a new high in two years, the biggest altcoin market in Ethereum also did the same, today surging past USD 430 after yesterday falling dangerously low to USD 374.
For most observers, this is simply proof that the market has decidedly become bullish and that positive sentiment will take a lot more than flash crashes and profit-taking to change its mind. Decentralized finance (DeFi) also continues to hog the spotlight, with growth on almost every platform showing no abating, as news of one lone wolf trader who almost made a 100% profit on his assets in just a few minutes emerges. CoinDesk First Mover reports:
“In digital-asset markets, stablecoins like tether and USDC are supposed to represent $1 of value. But their prices often fluctuate on the pubescent trading platforms of decentralized finance.”
The savvy trader was tracked by a single ETH transaction on 10 August that showed him use a series of Tether and USDC transactions on three different decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges (DEXs): Uniswap, Curve and dYdX. His profit? USD 40,000 from a capital of USD 45,000.
All the attention hasn’t come without any side effects, however. As most Defi protocols are currently built on Ethereum, with smart contracts needing gas in the shape of Ether/ETH, ETH fees have been skyrocketing, spending most of yesterday above 300 gwei and recording a total all-time high network fee cumulative of USD 6.87 million on 13 August.
Synthetix (SNX) founder and CEO, Kain Warwick, issued a warning that these high fees would stunt Defi’s growth sooner or later, saying that:
“In the last three months, we’ve gone from an environment where DeFi was expensive to use and a little bit slow, to now, [where] for a lot of people it’s prohibitively expensive.”
Redditor Willy 3380 summed up the user frustrations with fees in his post:
“To require a transaction fee of 99 dollars is beyond ridiculous. This will be a major roadblock to growth if someone on the team does not address this.”
Bitcoin, on the other hand, hasn’t been as impacted as Ethereum. Although the amount of bitcoin locked in DeFi actually surpassed BTC 27,000 today, based on data from Defi Pulse., Bitcoin fees have not skyrocketed the way Ether has, and in fact the backlog has cleared today to around just below 5,000 transactions. Segwit and Lightning Network upgrades showing their long-term effect perhaps?
In any case, beyond these metrics, institutions, even from traditional banking and finance sector are now growing on Bitcoin, with recent moves this week signalling a clear intent to go long, go big, and go definitive on crypto assets.
First, it was New York Digital Investments Group (NYDIG) who managed to raise just shy of USD 5 million for a new Bitcoin investment vehicle, promising to be its third securities listing in 2020. The giant asset manager earlier last month raised USD 190 million for the NYDIG Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP and in June, did USD 140 million for a Bitcoin Yield Enhancement Fund. It was only a year ago that its inaugural Bitcoin Fund launched with just six investors pooling together USD 1.45 million.
And Goldman Sachs, forever the Bitcoin Jekyll and Hyde, who courted Bitcoiners when they celebrated the last Bitcoin rally three years ago, hurt a lot of feelings on crypto Twitter when their top executives published a listicle for an investors call on why they didn’t consider Bitcoin and crypto as asset class.
But now it looks to have made amends, copying JPMorgan (also a detractor turned supporter) in appointing a new global head of digital assets who, if the rumor mill is to be believed, will be examining its own blockchain asset to challenge Bitcoin.
Groans will ensue from the camps of those who decried JPMcoin and Libra, but it seems it was inevitable all along. Their new hire, Mathe McDermott, revealed to CNBC:
“We are exploring the commercial viability of creating our own fiat digital token, but it’s early days as we continue to work through the potential use cases.”
Chainalysis, the data analytics giant, says that Wall Street mammoths are now transferring larger and larger amounts of Bitcoin as North American wealthy look to dump capital into digital assets… and the trend seems to be only just beginning.
Big signs from big names? Always invest responsibly, with money you can afford to lose.
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