Bitcoin in Price Discovery Mode

BTC rockets through $40k past yearly highs

Weekly Beluga Insights

Beluga is happy to report that with Bitcoin climbing over $44,000 this week, not only have we reached levels not seen in 1.5 years but the country of El Salvador’s BTC purchases are finally back in the green. Solana continues to steal the spotlight from many other tokens, this week with an airdrop from the Jito protocol which rewarded users with up to $200,000 worth of tokens. While things continue to climb up, sentiment seems to be turning from “only up” euphoria to a more cautious belief that a local top for the market may be in. We’re not sure which way things will go yet, however either direction Beluga will be here to keep you updated and on top of the market.

Source: ScaleLogo

Despite sitting up over 100% this year, Ethereum has not been shown the same love in terms of price action that we’ve seen with Bitcoin. A major contributor to this seems to be the conversation around Bitcoin ETF approvals coming early 2024, which often neglects to mention ETH spot ETF’s are expected to come soon after once BTC has paved the way. A niche of Ethereum that has yet to gain much recognition by way of use is the Layer 2 network Base, founded by Coinbase this year.

Base has yet to announce any kind of token for themselves, however changes in messaging from the team seem to indicate a token is still on the table. In Beluga’s experience, the most lucrative airdrops happen when the least number of people know it is happening, and Base certainly fits that description. Airdrop aside, with on chain activity heating up across the board, ETH looking like it may begin its comeback, and Coinbase itself getting a lot of attention the Base ecosystem looks ripe for buying.

Source: Coinbase

One of the tokens we have our eye on currently is AERO of Aerodrome, which is the largest DEX on Base chain as well as the largest protocol by TVL and was launched by the same team as is behind the largest DEX on Optimism, Velodrome. After trending downwards since launching around the peak of Base’s initial hype at almost $0.20, the token is starting to show signs of demand with a 30% daily green candle at time of writing. As the Base ecosystem is still small relative to other ETH L2’s, AERO itself is valued quite low. However, should Base activity and inflows increase as we expect it to, it stands to reason that the largest DEX on chain with a trusted team behind it will receive a large share of the volume. We are going to continue watching AERO as well as other Base ecosystem tokens to see if they gain some traction as we head into the new year, and hopefully get ready for a Base airdrop at the same time.


Quick Quips: Catch Up on What You Missed

Source: Jito via X

Chart of the Week

After more than a year of trending down, the total market cap of stablecoins is finally reversing. This tends to be a good indicator of liquid capital in crypto - when people are not interested in trading, they redeem their stablecoins for USD and cash out to a bank account. When they are interested, they transfer USD to mint new stablecoins on chain.

Total Stablecoin Market Cap, Source: DefiLlama

Did you know?

Despite what many headlines may imply, it was found that $20.1B or only 0.24% of crypto volume was related to illicit funds in 2022 according to a study by Chainalysis. In comparison, the size of global money laundering efforts in 2020 exceeded $4T, or between 2-5% of the global GDP.

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