These Crypto Projects Are Still Hitting All-Time Highs

A number of tokens, including Rocket Pool, Aptos and Optimism have each hit all time highs so far this month, potentially setting the scene for a major 2023 turnaround


Dima Zel/ modified by Blockworks


As traders begin to turn cautiously optimistic that 2022’s bear market is fading at last, alternative coins — altcoins — have gotten off to a good start this year. 

Tokens including Rocket Pool, OKCoin’s OKB and Optimism have each hit all time highs — either against bitcoin or the dollar — so far this month, potentially setting the scene for a major turnaround in 2023. 

Optimism hit its highest point yet against the dollar on Sunday, along with Aptos’ ATP token. Aptos, launched in 2022 and backed by a16z and FTX Ventures, booked a welcome turnaround last week, after the PancakeSwap community approved deployments on the layer-1 blockchain. 

Optimism has posted a major increase in daily active users so far in 2023, contributing to a price increase of more than 6% over the past week. 

Martin Lee, a data journalist at Nansen, previously told Blockworks that as time goes by, ecosystems like Optimism are becoming more developed — perhaps one reason behind their increased interest, as demonstrated by growing transaction volumes.  

Rocket Pool’s RPL and Frax’s FXS also have posted strong starts, with RPL hitting an all-time high against bitcoin on Jan. 18. FXS — while still a ways off from records set a year ago, is up nearly 150% year to date.

“Both FXS and RPL have shown impressive strength due to their liquid staking derivatives, which enable investors to earn a yield on ETH without having to go through the trouble of setting up validators on their own,” said Spencer Hughes, an analyst at Blockworks Research. “With ETH yielding [more than 6%] after the transition to proof of stake, these protocols’ tokens are trading higher on potential growth in revenue.” 

RPL already set a bitcoin record high, will USD be next? | Chart by David Canellis

Not just altcoins

Rocket Pool could also be surging because of higher beta trades for those catching onto the liquid staking derivative (LSD) narrative as it heats up toward the Shanghai upgrade, according to Blockworks Research analyst Ren Yu Kong. Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade, which will enable validators to finally withdraw their staked ether, should help bring better price parity for LSDs, according to a recent research note.

Another factor could be MetaMask launching an integration that would allow ETH stakers to stake directly to Rocket Pool through the portfolio site. 

GMX hit record highs against bitcoin in mid-December; GNS set its own against bitcoin on Dec. 4 and now trades around 4% below its all-time peak, relative to the dollar. 

Trust Wallet (TWT) also peaked against the dollar in December, while Toncoin (TON) set its own record against bitcoin around the same time. Binance Coin (BNB)’s bitcoin price briefly topped out in late November as Binance weighed an FTX acquisition for $1 — a non-binding offer that was later rescinded. 

The altcoin rally comes as traders are getting more bullish on broader crypto markets. 

Bitcoin and ethereum both have stayed in the green of late, each rallying more than 30% since the start of 2023. If monetary policy continues to head in the dovish direction analysts are expecting, even more growth could be in the pipeline. 

There’s likely to be “much greater support for digital assets by investors,” if and, and perhaps when, “monetary policy reverses in the second half of the year,” according to James Butterfill, CoinShares’ head of research. 

“It will also be the point at which the momentary higher correlation between risk assets such as equities and digital assets will degrade,” Butterfill wrote in a recent research note. 

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