Retail Gains Amid Institutional Influx in Q1: CoinDesk Quarterly Review

The suits are here to stay, but retail isn’t going away.

That’s just one of the takeaways from CoinDesk Research’s hot-off-the-presses Quarterly Review for Q1 2020. During the period, we saw the consolidation of institutional involvement, with new names joining MicroStrategy in the bitcoin-on-balance-sheet movement, and with well-known traditional financial institutions announcing plans to roll out crypto services.

Retail Gains Amid Institutional Influx in Q1: CoinDesk Quarterly Review

Yet at the same time, Q1 also saw the emergence of retail investors as a market driver. Activity on more retail-focused exchanges surged along with institutional ones, hinting at growing leverage, and on-chain metrics showed some large holding profit-taking supported by a surge in small holders.

Retail Gains Amid Institutional Influx in Q1: CoinDesk Quarterly Review

Over more than 100 slides, our Q1 review also looks at the evolution of the BTC and ETH markets, as well as developments in DeFi, stablecoins and – of course – NFTs.

Crypto market infrastructure companies completed impressive raises and some even announced plans to go public at hefty valuations, signaling strong belief in the crypto market’s enduring growth and future profitability.

It also started to spill over into ether, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, highlighting the industry’s technological progress, and a deeper understanding of the benefits of crypto asset diversification.

The explosion in interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from investors, celebrities and the general public caught us by surprise, but in retrospect, it shouldn’t have. Combining culture and connection with new technology, new experiences and astonishing prices makes for an irresistible cocktail of creativity and meme investing. Whether this is an extension of the change in investing culture that the GameStop saga highlighted, or the emergence of a new type of asset classification, or the development of new types of micro economies and business models, or all of the above, both the hype and the substance had us transfixed.

Retail Gains Amid Institutional Influx in Q1: CoinDesk Quarterly Review

Stablecoin developments were dominated by the surge in supply, driven in part by increased exchange and OTC activity, and by the conclusion of a multi-year investigation by the New York Attorney General into the internal finances of tether and its sister exchange Bitfinex.  

The report also looks at the growth in value held in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, transaction growth, token appreciation and more.

Retail Gains Amid Institutional Influx in Q1: CoinDesk Quarterly Review

Download the full 110-slide report for free on the CoinDesk Research Hub.

CoinDesk Research presents its Q1 2021 Quarterly Review, with 100+ slides highlighting the main trends and developments investors should know about.

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