The total value of the crypto market has now returned to pre-crisis levels, which is estimated to be over two trillion US dollars. Bitcoin and Ethereum represent 60.3 percent of this total market value, with Bitcoin making up 42.2 and Ethereum 18.1 percent.
While Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently still trading at prices 28.7 and 26.2 percent below their highs, respectively, there is no doubt that we are heading for a second bull market. This becomes clear with a look at the current NUPL (Net Unrealized Profit and Loss) ratio.
The metric measures the difference between unrealized profit and unrealized loss of every Bitcoin investor based on their initial cost of capital in relation to today’s value, and shows that more than 50 percent of current investors are in the profit range. A few weeks ago this number was below 40 percent.
The main drivers behind this new bull market are:
- The pressure to buy Ethereum created by using Ethereum in NFT games like Axie Infinity (a Pokemon-like computer game) or to buy online avatars like Pudgy Penguins. So it’s no surprise that OpenSea, the premier marketplace for NFTs, generates more transaction fees than Uniswap, the leading decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. Opensea processed transaction fees valued at $ 1.83 million, while Uniswap in its second version (v2) processed $ 1.32 million in fees.
- The continuing interest and reception of cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin from the institutional side – comes primarily from Ethereum. For the first time in its history, the trading volume of Ethereum on Coinbase exceeded that of Bitcoin, as the crypto exchange announced in its report for the second quarter. Ethereum made up 26 percent and Bitcoin 24 percent of the total trading volume.
- The emerging crypto ecosystems beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum are gaining traction and recognition in the retail market due to their improving network integration of decentralized applications. Solana (SOL) is the archetype of such an ecosystem. SOL is the first cryptoasset to hit new all-time highs as part of our product range with an estimated market cap of $ 20 billion. Since the launch of our SOL-ETP at the end of June this year, Solana has grown 118 percent – an upward trend that is based on the solid integration of decentralized applications into the Solana blockchain, such as the launch of an NFT project called Degenerate Ape Academy, which was recently launched went viral. Currently the Solana ecosystem consists of more than 300 projects.
At 21Shares, we’ve always remained true to a thesis that has now come true: Ethereum has fueled the imagination of entrepreneurs around the world to build better financial services and digital media beyond the status quo. DeFi and NFTs are the first use cases of this endeavor, which is fueling demand for Ethereum and its competitors. As a result, the entire addressable market for these platforms will expand in line with the emergence of new innovations. An impressive example is a project run by UNICEF, which is researching the possibilities for using DeFi for initiatives with social benefits, including access to financial services for people without a bank account.
Author is Eliézer Ndinga, Research Lead at 21Shares