Market Wrap: Bitcoin Fades From $42K, Alts Still Ahead as ApeCoin Pumps

Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos were mixed on Wednesday. Altcoins continue to gain ground as APE rallied by as much as 24%. And DeFi tokens are lagging, although the downtrend appears to be slowing.Read MoreFeedzy

Bitcoin (BTC) reached a high at $42,199 earlier in the New York trading day, although the buying eventually waned. The cryptocurrency is roughly flat over the past week, which could indicate some uncertainty among market participants.

Meanwhile, some alternative cryptos (altcoins) are starting to outperform bitcoin. For example, AAVE, EOS and CAKE all rose by more than 3% over the past 24 hours. Also, on Wednesday, a pair of tweets from the pseudonymous profiles ignited a 24% rally in the price of ApeCoin (APE), a token linked to the non-fungible token (NFT) project Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).

Trading volumes in the NFT market ticked higher last week, albeit at a far lower level than last year’s peak. The uptick could reflect an increase in speculative behavior among crypto traders, which typically occurs when market sentiment is bullish.

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Stocks were also mixed on Wednesday, while gold, a traditional safe haven asset, ticked higher.

?Bitcoin (BTC): $41,196, -0.52%

?Ether (ETH): $3,070, -1.23%

?S&P 500 daily close: $4,459, -0.06%

?Gold: $1,959 per troy ounce, +0.19%

?Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 2.84%

Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at

Decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens have continue to underperform bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies.

The chart below shows the CoinDesk DeFi Index (DFX) compared with the CoinDesk Large Cap Index (DLCX). Typically, during market rallies, DeFi and other altcoins outperform BTC because of their higher risk profile.

The current downtrend in the DeFi index appears to be slowing, which could point to a brief rise in bullish sentiment among crypto traders.

CoinDesk DeFi and Large Cap Indices (CoinDesk)

A deeper look, however, shows mixed performance for some DeFi tokens such as AAVE, AMP and COMP. For example, over the past month, AMP has dropped 15%, compared with a 28% gain in COMP and roughly flat performance in BTC.

Weekly and monthly returns (CoinDesk, Messari)

And the chart below shows net inflows to the 21Shares exchange-traded products over the past week. Positive figures could indicate a preference for alternative crypto products among investors.

For now, uncertainty remains, according to 21Shares. Bitcoin is a “risk-on asset class, entirely at the mercy of the global macro outlook – as denoted via BTC’s continued correlation with the stock market,” the firm wrote in a research report.

Net inflows of 21Shares ETPs (21Shares)

Coinbase NFT marketplace: Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) launched the beta version of its long-awaited non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace on Wednesday, allowing a small group of users from a wait-list of 3 million to use the platform for the first time. The marketplace, which was first announced last October, will support Ethereum-based NFT trading, with a social-media spin that could distinguish it from competitors. Read more here.

Blockchain gaming usage explodes 2,000% in a year: Blockchain-based game playing increased 2,000% since the first quarter of last year, equating to 52% of all blockchain activity, according to the recent DappRadar x BGA Games report. Blockchain games attracted 1.22 million unique active wallets in March, with Axie Infinity accounting for 22,000 of those in spite of the $615 million Ronin Bridge hack. The bridge is software that allows Axie Infinity gamers to transfer their digital assets from the game to different blockchains. Read more here.

Ethereum DeFi staple MakerDAO adds StarkNet bridge: Crypto lending platform MakerDAO is addressing the cost and congestion of its native Ethereum blockchain by bridging to a cheaper, faster overlay network in the form of StarkNet, the zero-knowledge (ZK) side chain built by StarkWare. Ethereum’s pricey gas fees have driven more activity and users to other blockchains. Read more here.

Listen ?: Bitcoin trades steady as U.S. real yields remain negative, plus the CoinDesk Markets Daily team examines how the Ethereum network’s merge to proof-of-stake won’t solve it’s scalability issues in one upgrade.

Optimism for US Spot Bitcoin ETF Grows With Approval of Teucrium Futures Fund: The Teucrium fund gained the SEC’s nod under laws that may apply to spot ETFs.

One-Quarter of French Financial Scams Involve Crypto, Ombudsman Says: Marielle Cohen-Branche also warned of a loophole for complaints about unregistered crypto firms.

Australia Crypto ETF Market Heats Up With Two More Spot Funds Set to Launch: 21Shares and ETF Securities will introduce Australia’s first spot exchange-traded products for bitcoin and ether next week.

FTX Plan Said to Face CFTC Roundtable Next Month: A proposal from FTX.US on direct derivatives clearing is set to be the focus of public discussion on May 23.

BlueYard, Sequoia Invest in Privy to Bring Secure Data to Web 3: The $8.3 million funding round will fuel Privy’s developer tools aimed at securely collecting data to improve the crypto user experience.

Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day lower.

Top Gainers

Top Losers

Sector classifications are provided via the Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS), developed by CoinDesk Indices to provide a reliable, comprehensive, and standardized classification system for digital assets. The CoinDesk 20 is a ranking of the largest digital assets by volume on trusted exchanges.


The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

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