This week in Crypto: Week of April 7

We cover weekly key developments in the world of crypto assets and blockchain that have influenced price action and general sentiment.

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This Week in Crypto

Illustration: Milica M.

Investment developments

Ethereum (ETH) experienced a pullback on April 6, dipping below $1,900 following its recent peak above this level, the highest it had been since last August. Despite this, ETH managed to stay in the green for the week, adding 4% over the last 7 days, likely driven by the anticipation of the April 12, Shanghai hard fork – an upgrade that promises to tackle staked ETH withdrawals. At the time of writing, ETH was trading at $1,857, down 1.59% over the last 24 hours (April 7).

Data from CryptoQuant revealed that selling pressure was significantly more intense than buying in the derivatives market, as evidenced by Bitcoin’s (BTC) taker buy/sell ratio. Over 15 million long positions were liquidated in the last 24 hours (April 7), which further confirms that the selling pressure was heavier. This could very likely be the cause behind BTC’s downward trend over the last 24 hours (April 7). Furthermore, a decline in Open Interest also points to a bearish future for the cryptocurrency market’s leader.

Open interest VS Liquidation

Open interest VS Liquidation. Source: CryptoQuant

Despite the uncertainty in the current market, there is hope for BTC. Exchange reserves have gone down, which signals low selling pressure, and the total number of active wallets used for sending and receiving coins has grown, a positive indicator. A noteworthy occurrence is a whale receiving BTC worth a whopping $500 million, which speaks to the crypto’s high level of confidence.

An analysis of Santiment’s chart reveals a similar trend of accumulation: over the past week, Bitcoin’s supply on exchanges dropped significantly, while its supply outside of exchanges skyrocketed – an unmistakable sign of bullish sentiment that indicates investor faith in BTC.

BTC supply on exchanges VS off exchanges

BTC supply on exchanges VS off exchanges. Source: Santiment

Finally, according to data from CoinMarketCap, the global crypto market cap stands at $1.18 trillion, a 0.79% decrease from April 6 to 7. Meanwhile, the total crypto market volume over the last 24 hours (April 7) is $36.19 billion, a 10.59% decrease.

The Crypto Fear and Greed Index, which uses six measurements to asses the current sentiment in the markets, still shows the emotion of greed with a value of 64. The index rates market emotions from 1, extreme fear to 100, extreme greed.

Crypto Fear & Greed Index

Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: Alternative

Another week, another “greed” reading from the Index showing that investors are more bullish on crypto. A word of caution, though, if you are not in crypto at the moment, it would be best to stay on the sidelines to see how the next few weeks play out before jumping in.

Crypto Exchange developments

Last month (March), Uniwap (UNI) trumped Coinbase (COIN) in market share as investors sought refuge in decentralized exchanges (DEX) while U.S. regulations tightened and a banking crisis caused major stablecoins to tumble from their peg of $1. Boasting a whopping $70 billion of trading in March, Uniswap outdid its centralized exchange (CEX) rival Coinbase’s $49.2 billion, according to Coin Desk data. This skyrocketing activity pushed DEX volumes to a 10-month peak.

In yet another regulatory battle against crypto exchanges, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) pulled the plug on Binance Australia’s derivatives license. This took place following a regulatory investigation, leaving the exchange unable to provide derivatives trading services in Australia. Consequently, Binance Australia customers must close all existing derivative positions by 21 April; any positions that remain open beyond that date will be automatically terminated.

Web3 developments

CoinGecko’s survey results, released on April 6th, indicated that avid NFT collectors – those with 51 or more NFTs – represented one-quarter of all respondents. Meanwhile, the smallest group was those who only owned a single NFT. Collected in conjunction with Blockchain Research Labs, the data was gathered from 438 respondents in the period of December 2022 to January 2023. Evidently, the most passionate NFT fans are out in full force.

Despite 2022 having a bear market for crypto, it still saw the second-highest influx of new NFT collectors in the last five years with roughly 25% obtaining their first NFT during the year. On the other hand, only 2.9% acquired their initial NFT in 2017, the year Crypto Kitties and CryptoPunks were unveiled.

What’s more, the report suggested that NFT progression may quicken adoption in 2023, naming Bitcoin Ordinals and Stamps NFTs, plus Blur seizing OpenSea to become the top NFT marketplace.

NFT adoption rate per year

NFT adoption rate per year. Source: CoinGecko

OpenSea recently unveiled OpenSea Pro, an enhanced version of their NFT marketplace aggregator, on April 5th to cater to the needs of professional users – a product stemming from their April 2022 acquisition of an NFT aggregator.

OpenSea Pro promises the most competitive prices and an unparalleled selection of products, with 0% fees and access to 170+ marketplaces. It offers many advanced features, such as “floor sweeping,” instantaneous sales, and efficient gas fees, as well as an intuitive watchlist and inventory management. All this, and it’s available to use on your mobile device; now that’s convenient.

DeFi developments

S&P Global is searching high and low for a DeFi director to help it dive into the deep waters of the rapidly-evolving decentralized finance sector. The financial information and analytics behemoth is hiring for a leader who can shepherd its entry into the space, showing the world that cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based technologies have gained mainstream acceptance. According to the job posting on LinkedIn, the successful candidate should have expertise in digital asset trading and custody, as well as an understanding of smart contracts, decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and popular DeFi protocols like Uniswap and Aave.

The hire of a DeFi director by S&P Global could be indicative of the surging mainstream approval of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based technologies. It marks a pivotal moment for the industry, as it further showcases the soaring significance of DeFi in finance and commerce. Recent findings from Citi analysts further testify to the notion, with reports of crypto reaching an inflection point – soon to be driven by the emergence of CBDCs and asset tokenization to the tune of billions of users and trillions of dollars in value.

Tech developments

The ChatGPT AI tool seems to have taken a stance in the long-standing discussion about the relative merits of investing in gold or Bitcoin. Financial expert Peter Schiff has applauded the well-known text-generating engine for apparently backing gold.

The investor pointed to a “Gold IRA Guide” report from April 3 that delved into ChatGPT’s notion of a “recession-proof” portfolio, proposing that a 20% allocation to gold and other precious metals be included in order to weather any market downturns. Additionally, the rest of the hypothetical portfolio was composed of bonds (40%), defensive stocks (30%), and cash (10%) – with no mention of Bitcoin.

Noting the current corpus of knowledge on ChatGPT that only accounts for Bitcoin’s price movements until 2021, it’s no surprise that both gold and Bitcoin have emerged as sought-after forms of money given their scarcity, making them impervious to inflation and other monetary debasements. This was especially evidenced when the Federal Reserve lent a helping hand in March, infusing hundreds of billions of dollars into the banking system, leading to the soaring of both assets.