The cryptocurrency market is a resilient sector that continues to thrive despite damaging interventions by regulators. In this blog post, we delve into the key highlights from CoinGecko’s 2023 Q2 Crypto Industry Report, providing their and our own insights into the performance of Bitcoin, Ethereum, stablecoins, NFTs, and both centralized and decentralized exchanges. The Q2 report reveals a crypto market in a state of consolidation, continuing its recovery after 2022’s pain.
Note: This blog post is based on CoinGecko’s 2023 Q2 Crypto Industry Report. For more detailed insights, please refer to the full report. All graphics have been taken from its report.
Disclaimer: The following article does not constitute financial advice of any kind and reflects only the opinions of the author, not CoolWallet.
Timeline: What happened in Q2 2023 in Crypto?
Overview of the Crypto Market in Q2 2023
The second quarter of 2023 saw the crypto market consolidate gains, essentially remaining at $1.240 trillion on June 30, 2023. Despite a barrage of regulatory actions in the US, the market remained even keel, thanks to big technological milestones such as Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade on April 12. However, its correlation to the surging S&P 500 has turned slightly negative.
Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) hovered at the end of Q2 around $30,000 and $1,900 respectively, recovering from the sharp drop after the SEC’s lawsuits against Coinbase and Binance thanks to the very bullish BlackRock Bitcoin Spot ETF application announcement which might clear the way for massive institutional investment in 2024 soon. This period of consolidation is positive and shows that with so many potential bullish factors coming into play next year, holders are HODLing.
How Did Crypto Do in Q2 2023?
Bitcoin (BTC) Performance
Bitcoin experienced some volatility in Q2 2023, ending the quarter with a 6.9% gain. Despite a decline in the average daily trading volume, BTC prices trended upwards throughout Q2, hitting a yearly high of $30,694 after the announcement of BlackRock’s spot bitcoin ETF filing on June 15. This upward trend, despite the decreased trading volume, could suggest a growing holding behavior among investors, indicating increased confidence in Bitcoin as a store of value.
This could be due to a number of strong complementing reasons, such as:
- Institutional support: BlackRock and other TradFi giants’ ETF applications
- Tokenomics: April 2024’s Bitcoin Halving will drop mining rewards from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.
- Macro-economic: Likely lowering of FED interest rates in 2024
- Legal status: US regulators like the SEC and the CFTC do not consider Bitcoin a security but a commodity.
Ethereum (ETH) Performance
ETH staking grew by 30.3% in Q2 2023, after the Shapella upgrade enabled withdrawals and thereby made staked ETH more liquid. Lido remained the dominant staking provider, servicing about 1/3rd of all staked ETH. This significant growth in staking highlights the increasing interest in passive income opportunities within the crypto space, and the growing maturity of Ethereum’s staking ecosystem, despite regulatory questions marks remaining on its status as a security.
However, its trifecta of massive layer-2 adoption and growth, an eco-friendly status after last year’s Merge as well as its deflationary EIP-1559 mechanism, which saw 146,000 ETH burned last month, have become significant selling points.
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The total market cap of the top 15 stablecoins fell by 3.5%, with USD Coin (USDC) and Binance USD (BUSD) experiencing the most significant losses, following US regulator actions against Circle and Paxos. USDC’s depeg in March 2023 also likely played a part.
On the other hand, non-US stablecoin leader Tether (USDT) strengthened its foothold, ending Q2 with 2/3rds of the total market share of the stablecoin market. This suggests a consolidation of trust in Tether, despite ongoing FUD about its reserves, incoming CBDCs, and competition from other stablecoins.
NFT trading volume saw a big 35.0% drop in Q2 2023. Ethereum remained the dominant platform for NFT trading, capturing 83.0% of the volume. This drop in trading volume, despite the growing interest in NFTs, could be attributed to market saturation or a shift in investor focus towards other sectors of the crypto market.
The growing popularity of Bitcoin Ordinals peaked in May, capturing a crazy 20% of all market volume that month thanks to the likes of Bitcoin 2023 in Miami dedicating a whole section, Ordinals Alley, to it.
Centralized Exchanges (CEX) Performance
Spot trading volume across the top 10 centralized crypto exchanges (CEX) totaled $1.42 trillion for Q2 2023, representing a massive 43% decrease from Q1. This can be explained by the SEC’s actions against Binance, Coinbase and others like Kraken, which has caused an exodus of users who withdrew their funds to avoid another FTX disaster.
Binance’s market share dropped to 52% amid regulatory pressures from the US targeting both the parent company and Binance.US and the exchange cutting 1000 jobs.
This decrease in trading volume and Binance’s shrinking market share could be indicative of a broader shift towards decentralized trading platforms and the impact of regulatory scrutiny on large exchanges.
Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) Performance
Despite the apparent migration from centralized to decentralized trading, spot trading volume across the top 10 decentralized exchanges (DEX) totaled $155 billion in Q2 2023, representing a 30.8% drop from Q1.
Uniswap maintained its position as the largest DEX, with its dominance reaching as high as 70% in May. Despite the drop in trading volume, the resilience of DEXs like Uniswap, who recently rolled out at ETH CC in Paris its new DeFi protocol UniswapX, an upgrade that ensures competitive order execution, suggests a persistent demand for DEX solutions, which offer greater privacy and control to users.
The Q2 2023 crypto market saw a period of consolidation and slight growth. While some sectors experienced a decline, others, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, showed promising gains. As we move forward, it will be interesting to see how these trends evolve in response to market dynamics and regulatory developments. The insights from this quarter underscore the importance of staying informed and adaptable in the ever-changing crypto landscape.