The uptrend continued throughout Week 4 of 2023, causing the total cryptocurrency market capitalization to climb from $1.07 trillion towards $1.09 trillion. While the uptrend appears to have slowed down last week, the vast majority of cryptocurrencies has ended the week in the green. In fact, from the Top 20 cryptos only ETH (Ethereum), and SHIB (Shiba Inu) ended last week in the res, posting losses of 1% and 1.5% respectively. AVAX (Avalanche) and MATIC (Polygon) on the other hand, both appreciated for more than 15% during the same period. Who are going to be the gainers of this week?
3. dYdX (DYDX)
dYdX is a non-custodial decentralized cryptocurrency derivatives exchange. The same named DYDX token is a governance token for the dYdX exchange protocol. Token holders govern the dYdX Layer 2 protocol to align incentives between traders, liquidity providers, and partners. Aside from governance, traders are eligible for trading discounts of up to 50% when trading on dYdX provided they hold the required number of tokens. dYdX governance token, which launched in early September 2021, was airdropped to protocol users retroactively based on their trading volumes on the platform prior to its full decentralization. 25% of the initial token supply were distributed to users who traded on the dYdX in the form of trading rewards, while liquidity providers benefited from the reward pool that consisted of 7,5% of the initial supply. In addition, a community treasury was put in place to grow the ecosystem through grants and liquidity mining programmes.
dYdX decides to postpone token unlocks for investors, employees, and consultants to the end of 2023
dYdX has recently announced that the dYdX Foundation, dYdX Trading Inc. And certain other parties have signed an amendment which among other things extended the lock-up period of tokens issued to investors, employees, and consultants at dYdX governance token inception in September 2021. This means that the 150 million tokens (worth around $282 million) that would have released on February 3, will be locked for 10 more months (more precisely until December 1, 2023).
If the whole number of tokens were to be released in the beginning of February, this would have more than doubled the circulating supply of DYDX, which would inevitably affect the token’s pricing. It is therefore not surprising that the decision to postpone the unlocks was well received by investors and that the DYDX token appreciated by more than 30% last week. However, extending the locked period only shifted a significant part of the impact to the end of the year, when we will, whether you like it or not, likely see the significant dYdX market dilution.
2. Uniswap (UNI)
UNI is the governance token of the automated market maker (AMM) protocol Uniswap. UNI tokens are ERC-20 tokens that allow holders to decide on the future of Uniswap by voting on proposals. Uniswap – the platform, which facilitates quick swaps between various Ethereum-based tokens, has recently been struggling to keep its users and market share because of high fees on Ethereum. In March this year the project released Uniswap V3, a new and improved version of the AMM protocol on Ethereum mainnet. In July 2021 Uniswap tried to reduce the costs of trades by launching on two Ethereum Layer 2 networks: Optimistic Ethereum and Arbitrum. In its 4 years of existence, Uniswap has pioneered several DeFi functionalities and supported almost $1.3 trillion in cumulative volume.
Uniswap DAO favours the deployment of Uniswap v3 on BNB Chain
A recent survey of Uniswap DAO users showed that the community is clearly favouring a deployment of Uniswap v3 on BNB Chain. The community survey saw participation of 6,495 Uniswap addresses, which is the highest number of voters to participate in a single Uniswap Governance vote in the DAO’s history. 0xPlasma Labs, the proposer of the deployment of Uniswap v3 to BNB Chain noted:
While the vote held earlier this month was just a “temperature check” to gauge how the community feels about the deployment, a “real” vote could be taking place very soon due to the overwhelming support of the integration. Uniswap expects that the integration with the BNB Chain could bring in more than $1 billion of additional TVL and increased trading volume by giving BNB Chain’s large and growing user base exposure to this AMM protocol. It is estimated that the integration could bring in from 1 to 2 million new Uniswap v3 users and new UNI holders. Once Uniswap v3 is live on the BNB Chain, we can therefore expect positive influence on Uniswap ecosystem and UNI price performance.
3. Aptos (APT)
The Aptos Lab officially launched officially launched Aptos mainnet in October 2022, after raising more than $350 million in funding from several prominent investors in early 2022. Aptos is therefore a relatively new but highly scalable Layer 1 network that was brought to life by a team of ex-Diem stablecoin (previously known as Libra project) developers. However, team members are not the only thing that Aptos has in common with Diem, as the new blockchain utilizes Move, a programming language that was initially developed for Meta’s Diem project. The low latency Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) engine allows Aptos to reach consensus extremely quickly – we are talking about sub-second block finality. Combined with high scalability the team believes that Aptos is the most product-ready blockchain in the world that can withstand the industry’s move to Web3.
Aptos surpassed 75 million transactions per week as the blockchain is gaining popularity among NFT creators and buyers
Several collections that have attracted a large amount of attention have recently launched on Aptos blockchain, including Aptomingos, a collection of comic flamingos, and Aptos Monkeys, a collection of cute monkeys with jungle vibes. Combined with other NFT drops the sale of these non-fungible tokens generated tens of thousands in trading volume per day on Aptos. In addition, last week Aptos blockchain has facilitated more than 75 million transactions. The huge interest in Aptos NFTs seems to be the key fuel of the currently ongoing APT rally. But the growth of NFT sales on Aptos is not at all coincidental as the Aptos team had made a structured plan to improve operations on NFT data by dropping prices for dynamic NFTs (by up to 10x) and building gas-efficient data structures with end-to-end support already in 2022. According to the goals Aptos developers set last year, they also plan to deploy an advanced gas model that would separate storage and execution costs and thereby provide a purely demand-driven gas costs for execution in late Q1/early Q2 this year. To further popularise and promote Aptos as a NFT friendly blockchain, the Aptos team recently held an NFT meetup event and will be holding the Aptos World Tour event with the first out of three stops being in Seoul, South Korea next week.
On the tailwind of increased usage that has resulted in extraordinary on-chain metrics, Aptos has gained more than 30% last week. In fact, Aptos is the most profitable cryptocurrency from the top 100 cryptocurrencies year-to-date, having gained more than 430% since the beginning of the year, whereas the second-placed Gala (GALA) trails with “just” a +260% price increase in the same period. During the bull run, on January 26, APT has also set its ATH price of $19.92. At the time of writing APT is trading 10% below its ATH at around $18 per token. While it seems that the bull run could continue for a bit, it should be noted that the extreme bullish activity could quickly turn into a sharp correction of the price of Aptos.
Andrew is a writer that does most of his work on cryptocurrency-related topics. While he’s primarily interested in Bitcoin, he also follows major altcoins and the innovative ideas that new cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are bringing to the table.