According to the latest Coingecko crypto industry report, during the first quarter of 2023, bitcoin became the best-performing asset after it saw its U.S. dollar value go up from just under $17,000 observed on Dec. 31, 2022, to just over $28,000 by March 31, 2023. The report attributes the crypto asset’s resurgence to “increased volatility from the banking crisis” and to Binance’s decision to end part of its zero-fee incentive scheme for bitcoin trades.
Bitcoin Beats Nasdaq Index and Gold
After closing the past year trading below $17,000, bitcoin staged a comeback that saw it close the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 trading above $28,000. With this performance, bitcoin, which eventually went past the $30,000 level, has outperformed major asset classes including the Nasdaq index and gold, data from the latest Coingecko crypto industry report has shown.
As shown in the report, bitcoin’s quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth of 72.4% makes it the best-performing asset during the period. The Nasdaq index and gold were the second and third-best performers with gains of 15.7% and 8.4%, respectively.
Although bitcoin and the entire crypto market’s recovery are known to have begun sometime in January, according to the report, the U.S. banking crisis might be the primary reason why interest in this asset class has surged.
“Trading volume saw an upswing in January 2023, when the market started rallying. It then spiked momentarily in early March due to increased volatility from the banking crisis, before tapering off in late March, when Binance removed part of their zero-fee trading incentives for BTC,” the Coingecko report said.
Stablecoins Lose Ground in Q1
With respect to stablecoins, the report said the market capitalization of this asset class had dropped by 4.5% or $6.5 billion “due to the shutdown of Binance USD (BUSD) by Paxos and the brief USD Coin (USDC) de-pegging event during SVB’s collapse.”
Meanwhile, the Coingecko report also reveals that the market capitalization of decentralized finance (defi) surged by 65.2% to end the quarter at $29.6 billion. Liquid staking governance tokens saw their value grow by 210.9% in Q1, thus making them “the 3rd largest category in defi.”
During the same period, trading volumes on non-fungible token (NFT) platforms also went up from $2.1 billion in the last quarter of 2022, to $4.5 billion. According to the report, a large share of these volumes came from Blur, which recently took Opensea’s place as the most dominant NFT platform.
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Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.
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