There has been significant progress across the crypto industry in the first four months of 2019. Major products have launched and meaningful strides have been made to address the quality of on-chain crypto and exchange data. Traditional venture investment into the space has been trending upward as well as funding via initial exchange offerings (“IEOs”), a new fundraising tool similar to ICOs. On the institutional front, finance and tech incumbents have made major announcements about their involvement in the crypto ecosystem and regulator attention has visibly increased.
In our 1Q19 Crypto Retrospective report, we expand on these key developments in 2019 to date, provide an update on additional crypto trends to watch this year, and review market performance and blockchain data insights year to date.
- ETH locked in Maker, Uniswap, dYdX, Compound, and Augur (collectively dubbed “open finance”) rose by 18% to 2.2M ETH in 1Q19. Notably, ETH locked in Uniswap rose 15x.
- DAI has been struggling to reach its $1 target price due to an excess supply – YTD, DAI hit a low of $0.95. In response, Maker token holders have voted in six total increases to the stability fee YTD to lower demand for minting DAI.
- Preliminary data from Autonomous Next suggests the number of security token issuances will increase by almost 250% in 2019. On the other hand, the money raised by STOs is projected to increase by only 10% compared to 2018.
- The median percent of tokens staked across staking networks is 35%. As it stands, Ark has the highest staked tokens percent of total, at 74%.
- Total crypto fund holdings across crypto hedge funds, venture capital firms, and private equity firms reached over $14 billion at the end of 1Q19, a 40% q/q increase. The combined investment into crypto data companies in 1Q19 was at least $63 million.
- Of the ten best performing assets in 1Q19, three were exchange tokens – BNB (BinanceCoin), KCS (Kucoin Shares), and HT (Huobi Token). A key reason for this trend is the rise of initial exchange offerings (“IEOs”).