That was the story in cryptocurrency markets in September as prices tumbled for digital tokens from “decentralized finance” (DeFi), the fast-evolving arena of blockchain-based lending and trading platforms.
Chainlink, which supplies data feeds to DeFi systems, saw its LINK token fall 42% month-to-date, the worst return among digital assets in the CoinDesk 20.
The DeFi market correction came at a time when traditional markets also were hit hard by growing anxiety over the increasingly contentious U.S. presidential elections in November and resurgent coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe, according to Anil Lulla, co-founder of the cryptocurrency research firm Delphi Digital.
It was a reality check after DeFi’s ebullient August during which traders speculated that the emerging sector would reap fast revenue growth buoyed by well-received debuts of DeFi protocols. Tokens mooned from Aave’s LEND to Yearn.Finance’s YFI and Spaghetti’s PASTA. Total collateral locked in DeFi rocketed to $9 billion at the end of August from $2 billion at the start of July. It is currently at $11 billion.
The slowing rate of growth in September translated to a sell-off in DeFi tokens.
“If you look at August, crypto came off probably with one of the best months of performance ever,” Lulla said. “So I don’t think it’s unusual to see a breakdown, a little dip like this.”
The DeFi tokens’ monthly swings were bigger than for bitcoin (BTC), which slid 7.9% in September, after a 2.6% rise in August.
Matthew Hougan, global head of research at Bitwise Asset Management, noted that LINK’s decline followed a 10-fold rise in the 12 months through August. The token is still the best-performing digital asset the CoinDesk 20, up 458% year-to-date.
“That’s the crypto shuffle,” Hougan told CoinDesk in an email. “I don’t think anything has fundamentally changed about the story or the investment case. The DeFi market got a little bit ahead of itself and now it’s resetting.”
CoinDesk’s Zack Voell reported Tuesday that some crypto traders are shifting funds from alternative tokens into bitcoin in a bet that the largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of about $200 billion, might prove a better bet over the next several months. And CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole reported that data from the cryptocurrency options markets suggest that ether, the native token of the Ethereum network which serves as the backbone of DeFi, might start to take its cues from bitcoin’s price direction.
Bitcoin closed Tuesday at $10,836, setting a record of 65 consecutive daily closes above $10,000, the longest period in history.
The Norwegian crypto research firm Arcane Research also noted that the number of daily active addresses on the Bitcoin blockchain surged last week to its highest level since January 2018.
“This is a healthy sign and shows that the adoption and use of bitcoin is increasing,” the newsletter wrote.
Cryptocurrency analysts are daring to venture into a categorization of bitcoin that would have been unthinkable a few years ago: That historically volatile bitcoin prices now be above $10,000 to stay.
“It is safe to say that the leading cryptocurrency has established itself as a 5-digit cryptocurrency this year,” the Norwegian digital-asset analysis firm Arcane Researchwrote Tuesday in a weekly report.
Bitcoin has now had 65 consecutive daily closes above $10,000, a record, and over the past six days, the largest cryptocurrency has stayed in a tight range between roughly $10,600 and $10,800.
Diginex’s Matt Blom wrote Tuesday that he sees price-support levels at $10,500, with “more solid support” at $10,350. Barring that, the next level of $10,150 would likely be “well defended by the bulls, should we reach it.”
So the logical question is whether prices can sustainably break above $11,00 and maintain that higher plateau.
“Once the markets make up their mind direction-wise, we usually expect some sort of breakout from the short-term ranges,” Greenspan wrote. “None looks more ready for this than bitcoin right now.”
Yearn.finance (YFI): Governance deployment error that temporarily charged an additional fee of 5% for each withdrawal instead of the originally set 0.5% has been fixed.
Ethereum (ETH): Ethereum 2.0 developers have launched yet another testnet, this time to give on-boarding stakers a dry run before the launch of network upgrade later this year.
Zcash (ZEC): Gemini exchange adds “shielded” withdrawals of privacy token.
Cosmos (ATOM): Coinbase adds 5% staking rewards on blockchain-interoperability project’s tokens.
Uniswap (UNI): Trading volume on decentralized exchange has declined over the course of September.
Traders using crypto derivatives and automated market maker HoneySwap to get liquidity in Reddit’s MOON tokens (CoinDesk)
Coinbase CEO Armstrong to staff: If you don’t like our “culture shift,” here’s a severance package (CoinDesk)
Hybrid blockchain platform Kadena plans to launch a new multi-chain decentralized exchange in hopes of wooing business from congestion-plagued Ethereum-based rivals (CoinDesk)
The latest on the economy and traditional finance
Fed stimulus helped push up total U.S. household net worth to all-time high in Q2 (Lyn Alden Investment Strategy)
ECB to consider inflation overshoot in echo of Fed strategy (Bloomberg)
Conference Board’s consumer confidence index jumps most for a month in 17 years as stocks rally (Reuters)
Chinese yuan posts strongest quarter versus dollar in more than a decade (WSJ)
Negative real interest rates seen “as far as the eye can see” (WSJ)
JPMorgan Chase will pay a $920 million to resolve probes from three federal agencies for role in manipulating global metal markets and Treasuries (CNBC)
Disney to cut 28K jobs as pandemic hits theme-park, cruise-line and retail businesses (Bloomberg)