Crypto Market March Roundup: Bitcoin Up Amid Banking Uncertainty, Macro Headwinds
After bank failures, inflation and other macroeconomic headwinds in March, investors are turning to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a safe haven.
BTC rose 21% in March to $28,500. The largest cryptocurrency by market value broke through $29,100 Wednesday, its highest level since June 2022. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and other traditional assets were behind BTC. The technology-focused Nasdaq jumped nearly 4%.
Greg Magadini, director of derivatives at crypto analytics firm Amberdata, told CoinDesk via email that BTC and gold, typically safe-haven assets, had experienced “explosive upside volatility” in March.
Magadini claims that the volatility of the BTC options market after the collapse of crypto-friendly Silvergate and Silicon Valley banks was less spectacular than last year’s FTX collapse and other crypto disasters. He stated BTC was exploding. “The rush to ‘alternative money’ (BTC and GOLD) reveals some concerns about just holding on to USD.”
Despite the failure of crypto-friendly institutions Silvergate and Silicon Valley Bank and regulatory actions, the crypto industry is on the upswing this month. This week, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Binance and its founder Chengpeng Zhao for regulatory violations. Stablecoins were hit hard by the aftershock of the banking crisis earlier in the month, while cryptos were immune.
Prior to the Binance-CFTC case, IDX Digital Assets chief investment officer Ben McMillan told CoinDesk that the main concern for institutional investors was “regulatory volatility and regulatory ambiguity,” not “market volatility around bitcoin.”
In March, ETH was trading for $1,820, up 13%. The second largest crypto by market value hit $1,861 at the start of the month, its highest level since August 2022.
The CoinDesk Market Index (CMIbest-performing ) token in March was the Mask Network’s MASK token, which rose 68% to $6.30.
CoinDesk Monthly Leader (CoinDesk Index). According to Lookonchain, a whale withdrew 3.6 million MASK tokens, worth $14.8 million at the time, from multiple exchanges through various addresses, causing a spike.
According to Lookonchain, “in most situations, incoming transfers will lead to an increase in the price of MASK, while outgoing transfers will result in a decrease in the price.”
The second best performer was XRP Ledger XRP coin, which was up 41% to 54 cents. Ripple, the issuer of XRP, is well positioned to win major US cases, which contributed to the surge. Securities and Exchange.
Amberdata’s Magadini said, “XRP has been in a legal battle for a while, but the fact that we may eventually see a legal conclusion for XRP earns it a lot of value.”
INJ Injective Protocol tokens rose 34% and XLM Stellar tokens 26%.
Sector wise, the CoinDesk Currency Index is up 21% while the Smart Contract Platforms sector is up 9%.
In March, XCN Chain tokens in the CMI Currency category fell by almost 53%.
Monthly Slow CoinDesk Market Index (CoinDesk Index)
CoinGecko reported that Stargate Finance token STG’s cross-chain bridge technology in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) sector fell 32% to 71 cents.
StargateDAO plans to mint STG coin on March 15 amidst community concerns about liquidity and security due to the protocol’s engagement with Alameda Research, the trading arm of beleaguered crypto exchange FTX. The gang reverses their plan after FTX’s liquidator admonishes them.
AMP, the collateral token designed to speed up crypto network transactions, plunged 28%, while the LCX token lost 27%.
Stefan Rust, CEO of data aggregator Truflation and crypto investor, told CoinDesk on Wednesday that traditional finance (TradFi) has reached a tipping point. He commented, “It seems that people understand that the banking crisis is not really over.” Rust commented that the bank’s collapse had destroyed a significant tool for investors and others interested in the digital asset ecosystem and alluded to growing regulatory issues in the US that might hinder business expansion. He stated, “Many are navigating life and death situations and finding loopholes.”
But he noted that DeFi and TradFi’s current rocky relationship is likely to stabilize. As trust in centralized and controlled institutions has been undermined, he writes, “In the long term, there will be a whole new on and offramp system that connects DeFi, crypto, and the fiat world.” “There is no need to keep all your finances in one bank, one central institution that holds all your assets, because who knows what will happen to that entity and ultimately your savings.”