This week in Crypto: Week of March 3

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Illustration: Milica Mijajlovic

Investment developments  

Santiment, the on-chain analytics platform, shared on Twitter that the number of Bitcoin (BTC) addresses that hold 1000 BTC (whales) is decreasing. At the moment, there are 2,011 such addresses compared to 2,266 that existed just a year ago. Having whales accumulate a token is usually followed by a price increase. This current trend of whales “dumping” BTC could put more pressure on the price of the world’s leading cryptocurrency.  

Over the entire week, BTC has been slowly losing steam, then recovering, and repeating this cycle. However, on March 3, in just one hour, BTC dropped 5%. It has been over four months since BTC had such a drastic move in the markets. Whether we see a quick recovery will depend possibly on whales looking to scoop up more BTC “on the cheap.”   


BTC 1-hour price drop. Source: Twitter  

According to data from CoinMarketCap BTC had a pretty muted 30 days. This was followed by a souring sentiment from investors on BTC, even when the price was above $23,000. The data offered by Santiment, shows that the negative sentiment for BTC increased to 893 points, a level seen in September 2022. This negative sentiment trend implies that the view of the rally in crypto that has preceded this week was negative.   


BTC sentiment. Source: Santiment  

Despite the data, some CryptoQuants, believe that BTC will probably trade around $22,000. Other technical data, such as the Bollinger Bands (BB) do indicate high volatility, possibly confirming the possibility of BTC trading at $22,000. 


BTC Bollinger Bands. Source: TradingView 

Finally, according to data from CoinMarketCap, the global crypto market cap stands at $1.03 trillion, a 3.80% decline since yesterday. Meanwhile, the total crypto market volume over the last 24 hours is $55.48 billion, a 21.76% increase since yesterday.  

The Crypto Fear and Greed Index, which uses six measurements to asses the current sentiment in the markets, shows a neutral emotion with a value of 50. The index rates market emotions from 1, extreme fear, to 100, extreme greed.  


Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: Alternative 

The latest reading coincides with the data points indicating that the trust in the crypto rally was weak and that a more measured approach by investors and traders can be expected in the markets.  

Crypto Exchange developments  

Brian Armstrong, co-founder and chief executive officer of Coinbase Global Inc., shot back at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Namely, in an interview with Bloomberg, Armstrong claimed that staking products should not be classified as a security. His claims come fresh on the heels of SEC’s crackdown on crypto and crypto exchanges. Note that last week due to SEC’s pressure, rival exchange Kraken entered into a settlement to close its US staking business. 

If the pressure and fines on crypto exchanges continue due to their staking practices, there is a big chance for such services to move off-shore for US clients. 

Meanwhile, a group of senators is pressing the world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance. The allegations include money laundering and sanctions evasion, giving the CEO of Binance until mid-March to respond to a list of demands for compliance. The investigation of Binance began in 2018, by the US Justice Department.  

One of the senators wrote in the letter to Binance:  


In the years since Binance’s founding, the company has faced increasingly disturbing allegations regarding the legality of its operations. Mr. Zhao “decline[d] to disclose the location or entity behind his own exchange.

Following the collapse of FTX, the regulators are looking to pile on the pressure on crypto exchanges, and it seems, Binance is no exception.  

Web3 developments 

According to data from DappRadar, NFT sales skyrocketed in the month of February. Trading surpassed $2.04 billion, up 117% month-on-month. This makes February 2023 the best month seen since May of last year, after Terra’s implosion encased the crypto world in ice.  

The positive news coming out of the NFT space could be attributed to the battle between Blur and OpenSea. The growth Blur saw during February, was 158,000 UAWs (unique crypto wallets interactions), up over 200% on the prior 30-day period. Volumes saw a 200% jump with transactions jumping 150%. These staggering numbers, prompted OpenSea to also cut its fees to zero to get users back to its platform. 

As the AI hype is the buzzword of the year, thanks to ChatGPT, Binance jumped on the bandwagon by introducing Binance Bicasso. On March 1, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) took to Twitter to share news on the new project that turns “your creative visions into NFTs with AI.” 

The beta test that was released aimed at minting 10,000 NFTs; however thanks to the AI hype, the service was flooded with requests in just the first hour after release, causing issues for both Binance and the users trying to test out Bicasso.   

DeFi developments 

Some 263 days after Celsius froze withdrawals in the lead-up to its bankruptcy filing, the first withdrawals by customers seem to have started. According to social media posts, as of March 2, certain customers that held funds in Celsius accounts were allowed to withdraw their assets. 

Apparently, users that are eligible for withdrawals received an email from Celsius, indicating that withdrawals can be processed. Also, it seems that there have been large delays with the withdrawal requests, while some users received their funds shortly after submitting a request.  


Email from Celsius to users. Source: Twitter  

Lido Finance closed out its call to the community on the question of approving withdrawals on its staking router. According to a snapshot of the votes, almost 100%  of the liquid-staking protocol community members supported the proposal.  

It seems that Lido community members were already eyeing the “Shanghai” Ethereum (ETH) upgrade on LDO. At the time of writing, The Lido protocol is leading the Total Value Locked (TVL) in the DeFi ecosystem.  

In other news, the end of February has seen over $20 million in losses in the DeFi markets, thanks to bad actors who have stolen the funds or found ways to siphon them out of projects. The three latest attacks include attacks on dForce network, Platypus Finance, and Orion. Most of these attacks were aimed at issues with the protocol logic.  

Tech developments 

Near Protocol, a decentralized application (dApp), is releasing a new blockchain operating system (OS). The focus is on improving Web3 experiences through a common layer for browsing and discovering new open resources on the web.  

In the end, the goal of the OS is to allow developers the ability to simply plug into the system, build apps and have them shown to billions of users.  

Earlier this week, Solana Foundation was staring at yet another outage that lasted almost 20 hours following a network upgrade. At the moment, the investigation of why it occurred is still ongoing. Currently, Solana is the eleventh biggest crypto with an $8.02 billion market cap, still being dubbed the faster and cheaper alternative to Ethereum.