First Mover Americas: Fantom’s FTM Outperforms Market Ahead of Upgrade

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for March 22, 2024.

AccessTimeIconMar 22, 2024 at 12:19 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 22, 2024 at 12:22 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk's daily newsletter, putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Layer 1 blockchain Fantom’s native token, FTM, has gained over 190% in four weeks, becoming the best-performing non-meme cryptocurrency among the top 100 digital assets by market value. FTM’s price surged to $1.16, the highest since April 2022, according to data tracked by CoinGecko. The token’s market capitalization jumped to $3.29 billion, becoming the 44th largest digital asset in the world. Fantom’s impending Sonic upgrade, expected to boost transaction processing speeds, may have galvanized investor interest in the cryptocurrency. The Sonic mainnet will replace the existing Opera mainnet in the next few months. Sonic’s testnet went live in October. The closed testnet with simulated traffic has demonstrated a maximum theoretical throughput of 2,000 transactions per second (TPS) and a time to finality of 1.1 seconds. Opera is processing just 3.2 TPS.

Bitcoin (BTC) tested $66,000 during Asian trading hours on Friday, and market observers expect the leading cryptocurrency to face more volatility. The cryptocurrency has since retraced to around $64,800. “Bitcoin remains volatile with the drawdown of 10% we saw this week, with the recent catalyst being driven by spot bitcoin ETF outflows from GBTC of about 300mm on March 20,” Semir Gabeljic, director of capital formation at Pythagoras Investments, said in an email interview. “The drawdown still remains in line with the expected range of 10-20% as we’ve seen historically that happens right before the BTC halving event. More volatility is expected to come going into the BTC halving,” he continued. The CoinDesk road map20 Index (CD20), a measure of the world’s most liquid digital assets, is down 0.5%.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Frax Finance released a singularity roadmap on Friday to boost the total dollar value of crypto assets locked in its layer-2 blockchain, Fraxtal, to $100 billion by the end of 2026. At the time of writing the total value locked (TVL) was $13.2 million, according to data tracked by DefiLama. The road map proposed launching 23 layer-3 blockchains within a year and new assets like frxNEAR, frxTIA and frxMETIS. The existing assets, FRAX, sFRAX, frxETH, and the new ones will be issued on Fraxtal going forward, the proposal floated by founder Sam Kazemian and other contributors added.

Chart of the Day

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  • The chart shows the MOVE index, an options-based measure of expected 30-day volatility in U.S. Treasury notes.
  • The index has dropped to 90.82, the lowest since February 2022, in a positive development for asset classes further out the risk curve.
  • Reduced volatility in Treasury notes, which dominate global collateral and securities finance, facilitates the rehypothecation of collateral to create money, alleviating liquidity stress in the global market.
  • Source: TradingView.

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.