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ETFS 21Shares Crypto Monitor - 23rd March


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Market Outlook

Recovery is on track this week, with Bitcoin performing better by over 7% and Ethereum by 16% since last week. Avalanche is also up by a whopping 28.7%; a development that may be attributed to the increasing interest in the NFT ecosystem when gauging the 48% jump in the network’s NFT sales, as well as the excitement surrounding the expansion of Terra’s Anchor money-market protocol onto the AVAX network.

Broadly, the market has gained a mildly bullish momentum on the back of massive outflows occurring across exchanges for Bitcoin. This might be signaling that institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals could be capitalizing on this 38k-42k price level for withdrawing their BTC holdings into their cold storage for long-term holding. A precursor that usually occurred before a rally, as shown below in November of 2020, and September of 21.

Bitcoin: Exchange Net Position Change [BTC] - All Exchanges


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We delve deeper into Ethereum's merge; key takeaways from the US Senate hearing on crypto and sanctions; increasing global crypto adoption; and the developments with DeFi and NFTs. Read more here. 

There are undoubtedly opportunistic inflows into commodities, including palladium and gold, which reached all-time highs in light of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, of which capital likely came out of the equity market. As discussed previously, Bitcoin's dominant use case in the past couple of weeks has been to serve as a neutral and non-sovereign payment alternative to support the Ukrainian government. It's clearly time for Bitcoin to shine as a non-state, non-sovereign, and emerging store of value — and this decade has clearly been battle-testing this thesis.

Weekly Returns

The returns of the top five crypto assets over the last week were as follows — BTC (4.4%), ETH (10.54%), BNB (6.7%), XRP (9.26%), and LUNA (8.05%).

Top 5 Assets Weekly Performance



Afghans Resort to Crypto to Survive Taliban’s Sanctions-Ridden Economy

What happened?

The AFP reported that cryptocurrencies have been helping Afghans back into financial inclusion amid the financial crisis that has been paralyzing the war-ridden country ever since the Taliban rose back to power last year, inviting sanctions and diplomatic isolation. Consequently, bank transfers to Afghanistan have become impossible and even with money in a bank, individuals are limited to withdrawing the equivalent of $200 a week, and businesses $2,000.

Why does it matter?

US sanctions have been plaguing Afghanistan since 1999, and they’ve proven to have done more harm than good. According to a recent report by US Today, it is estimated that more people will die from the economic impact of sanctions over the next year than the number who died in 20 years of war.