First Mover: Wacky Bitcoin-to-DeFi Crypto Markets Might Be New Home of Capitalism

First Mover: Wacky Bitcoin-to-DeFi Crypto Markets Might Be New Home of Capitalism

New digital markets might be the place where capitalism is getting revived. ("Portraits at the Stock Exchange" by Edgar Degas/Metropolitan Museum of Art, modified by CoinDesk.)

was slightly lower early Friday, leaving the cryptocurrency on track for its first weekly price decline since mid-July. 

The largest cryptocurrency broke above $12,000 earlier in the week and failed to hold the gains, though John Willock, CEO of crypto asset manager Tritum,  that “maybe we’ve got $13,500 in the next phase up in the coming days.” 

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 and the euro was down early Friday as investors continued to bet on technology shares and a vaccine breakthrough while shrugging off fresh signs that the economic recovery is faltering. The dollar was headed for its first weekly gain since mid-June. 

“It does almost seem as if the entire crypto market is taking its cues from the U.S. dollar,” Mati Greenspan, founder of the foreign-exchange and cryptocurrency analysis firm Quantum Economics, told subscribers in an email. 

Even after growing 100-fold in the past five years, the entirety of the cryptocurrency asset class, which has a total , is just fraction of the . 

What’s surprising is that still-fledgling digital-asset markets might be more rational and functional these days than Wall Street: The various ups and downs of token prices are sending out bona fide market signals that point to projects and opportunities where capital is warranted, and investors are responding. 

Mainstream investment analysts and  now assert matter-of-factly that the stock market is merely propped up by this year’s .

Sure, bitcoin has benefited from the perception that the largest cryptocurrency might benefit from inflation, since many investors see it as a hedge against currency debasement, similar to gold. 

Far more fascinating are the capital flows into the semi-autonomous lending and trading systems being built atop the Ethereum and other blockchains under the rubric of “decentralized finance,” or DeFi.

Soaring token prices for projects like , ,  and , not to mention good-luck-explaining-this-to-your-friends outliers like  and , have indeed attracted capital, at least for stretches. According to DeFi pulse, total value socked away into the platforms has jumped 10-fold this year to $7 billion. 

It might all just be , but that might actually be preferable to global foreign exchange markets that are heavily influenced if not controlled by central bank officials. 

Within the digital-asset ecosystem, investors have figured out how to quickly allocate and reallocate capital whenever new opportunities arise.   

CoinDesk’s Daniel Cawrey reported on Thursday that juicy returns in the DeFi market are making some investors shift away, at least temporarily, from putting their money into options contracts on bitcoin.

“Every derivatives trader that was looking for incremental yield and levered returns has been besotted by the magnitude of moves in DeFi,” Viashl Shah, founder of derivatives exchange Alpha5, told Cawrey. “So, naturally, cost of capital dictates at least some attention that way.”

Traders are even are putting their bitcoins into DeFi platforms to take advantage of the higher yields in the fast-growing arena. 

Since the start of the year, the number of bitcoin locked in DeFi has grown 34-fold to about 49,000. 

It might be a bubble, but at least it’s not a game of trying to anticipate the Fed’s next move. In fact there’s even room for investors to take bets on which projects might become dominant players in the future, without struggling so much to understand what exactly is happening, as often seems to be the case these days in so many traditional markets. 

“DeFi long term will revolutionize finance, but this short-term bubble is bound to pop eventually, in my opinion,” Michael Gord, co-founder of trading firm Global Digital Assets, told Cawrey. At that point, the locked-up bitcoins might flow back out of DeFi, and more money might flow back into bitcoin options. 

Almost like a real market. 

Bitcoin has pulled back more than 5% from the 13-month high above $12,400 reached on Monday. 

Read more: 

– Omkar Godbole

Dai (): Stablecoin gets on Binance’s new DeFi staking platform. Dai, the dollar-linked stablecoin for crypto lending platform MakerDAO, has become the . The Binance initiative aims to tap into this year’s  by offering users the ability to earn “staking rewards,” similar to interest on a bank deposit. Dai will be used to participate in Compound staking, . Compound, another DeFi money market protocol, has more than $993 million worth of dai supply right now, according to its website. As CoinDesk , users of Compound were rushing to deposit their dai on the platform to maximize yields.

Tether (): 1 billion of the dollar-linked stablecoins are shifted to the 

Kyber (): DeFi token looks cheap based on a discounted cash flow analysis, and comparison with Synthetix (SNX) and Balancer (BAL), according to a .  

Ethereum Classic (): Frequently-attacked blockchain could be in line for upgrades 

OMG (): Token price doubles in past week as record Etherum fees 

 

 

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