Market Trends You Should Follow: ETF, NTF, and DeFi
Focus of February:
- Canada’s First Bitcoin ETF Hits $421.8M AUM in Two Days
- NFT blockchain drives surge in digital art auctions
- DeFi Money Market Compound Embraces Multi-Chain Future With ‘Gateway’ Testnet
Besides Bitcoin hype lately, ETF and NFT (Non-fungible Token) have been the hottest discussions in the crypto world, traditional finance industry, social media, and general media. Various blockchain projects have also been eyeing the DeFi (decentralized finance) market.
Recently, institutions have not only been investing in Bitcoin, but also in its financial products. On February 18, the first Bitcoin ETF in North America, Purpose Bitcoin ETF, was launched in Canada, collecting over US$421.8 million in assets within two days. The second Bitcoin ETF, named Evolve ETF, was launched the following day. Financial giant Goldman Sachs also restarted its cryptocurrency desk. After securing a permit from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, the company plans to launch its crypto exchange fund consisting of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more. Introducing cryptocurrency products to the traditional finance market will bring about new waves of growth.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey recently auctioned his first-ever tweet as an NFT, attracting bids over millions of dollars. The term NFT is no stranger to crypto enthusiasts — think of it as a unique form of digitally collecting video game items, art, celebrity sneakers, and more. NBA Top Shot is currently the biggest NFT market, which has traded digital basketball highlights that are worth over US$30 million. The NFT phenomenon has gone viral this year. American artist Beeple’s digital artwork was sold for US$6.6 million at an NFT marketplace, and it headed to auction at Christie’s, the world-renowned auction house. The rock band, Kings of Leon, also released its new album in the form of NFT. Celebrities like the Rick and Morty writer Roiland, Canadian musician Grimes, and Paris Hilton have also debuted NFT creative works. The future of NFT collections will only expand to include more diverse talents.
Last month, Steaker kicked off the 2nd DeFi Yield Farming Project; let’s look at the overall DeFi market. Many notable DeFi projects have seen new developments. Balancer V2 has added a bunch of new features, significantly improving its token management efficiency. SushiSwap now supports multi-chain services and launches MISO, a new open-source platform that encourages more non-technical project founders to launch their tokens. The most noteworthy highlight is Compound’s launching of Gateway, a cross-chain interest rate market that allows users to borrow assets on one chain with collateral from another chain, drastically improving its original protocol.
Beyond Ethereum projects, newcomers have been pouring into the market. High transaction fees have driven users to use other chains like BSC (Binance Smart Chain). The trading volume on PancakeSwap, an exchange platform on BSC, has even surpassed industry leaders like UniSwap and SushiSwap. Andrew Cronje is a huge supporter of Fantom. Solana’s ecosystem is also expanding with expectations of staggering performance, especially after the addition of Oxygen, a DeFi brokerage protocol. DeFi will no longer be a game limited on Ethereum soon, but a battlefield for the entire blockchain.