By: Ria Bhutoria and Wilson Withiam
The second quarter has been one for the books. The price of bitcoin rose to levels not seen since January 2018 with trading volumes up across the board on custodial and non-custodial exchanges as well as derivatives platforms globally. On-chain data mirrored the outperformance of price and trading volumes, with key metrics like hashrate, on-chain transaction value, active addresses, transaction count, etc. up quarter over quarter.
In our report, we identified innovative work by the technical community on developing and experimenting with sustainable governance and funding models and the analytical community on creating innovative ways to evaluate these networks. We also touch upon the upcoming bitcoin block reward halving in 2020, ETH 1.x and 2.0, the launch of next-gen smart contract platforms, among other key topics. We expect there to be continued discussion on these areas going forward.
We expand on these developments in the second and third quarter to date, provide an update on additional crypto trends to watch, and review market performance and blockchain data insights year to date.
- Loans originated across Maker, Compound, Dharma, and dYdX in 2Q19 rose by almost 140% in 2Q19 relative to the prior quarter, primarily driven by the mainnet launch of dYdX.
- Grayscale reported assets under management were up 125% in 2Q19, and 84% of these inflows were from institutional investors, up from 59% in 3Q18.
- Tether’s dominance was unhindered despite regulatory concerns and the realization that USDT is only 74% backed by cash and equivalents. USDC exhibited the greatest growth in market cap among stablecoins in 2Q19, rising 48.7%.
- IEOs appear to have become the preferred fundraising method of choice relative to ICOs. But while a couple of tokens have experiences significant returns since listing, the median performance of the largest IEO tokens vs. offering price is -40%.
- Derivatives volumes spiked in line with the price of bitcoin in 2Q19. Combined bitcoin options volume on Deribit and LedgerX was $2.6 billion in 2Q19, up over 200% q/q. Bitcoin futures volumes on BitMEX and CME combined were $342 billion, up over 270% in 2Q.
- Value locked in staking networks is about $6.5 billion, up 12% in 2Q19 and up 790% year to date. The median staking yield for the top 15 PoS networks is 7.1%; however, the median real staking yield (accounting for current inflation rates) is negative at -1.15%.