Small Cap Cryptos Bounce as Markets Attempt Recovery

Bitcoin dominance dropped more than 7% over the past week, as smaller names bounce harder relative to BTC


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Over the past week, 72 out of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market value found themselves in the green
  • Blue chips bitcoin and ether struggled, falling 14% and 5%, respectively

Almost three quarters of the top 100 cryptocurrencies have risen in value over the past week, as digital asset markets show their first hint of a bounce, forming a local bottom.

Native tokens for crypto derivatives platform Synthetix (SNX) and internet of things network Helium (HNT) dominated the top 100 digital assets by market value, up 37% and 32%, respectively, in the past week. Move-to-earn project StepN (GMT) came in third, gaining just shy of 32%.

Blue-chip cryptoassets bitcoin and ether, on the other hand, fell 14% and 5% over the past seven days. Bitcoin (BTC) was the fifth worst-performing digital asset among the top 100, which collectively rose an average of 7%, according to TradingView data compiled by Blockworks.

GLMR, the token powering Polkadot smart contract platform Moonbeam, tanked the hardest — shedding nearly a quarter of its value. Convex’s rewards token CVX came second with a 20% drop, as did monero. Nexo’s token only fared slightly worse than BTC, at 15%.

BTC dominance — which measures how much of the total crypto market capitalization comprises bitcoin — dropped 7.5% due to bitcoin’s relative underperformance and now stands at 44.25%. Ether (ETH) dominance remained flat, although it has fallen 20% over the past month.

“I think what makes this bear market different from the last one in 2017 is the sell-off in blue chips, which is confusing investors, especially on the institutional side,” said Martin Leinweber, digital asset product strategist at MarketVector, an independent affiliate of VanEck.

“Normally in a sell-off, altcoins are performing worse than BTC and ETH — this time, the BTC dominance is falling as the markets are crashing,” Leinweber added, noting that most altcoins have already lost 90% of their value.

Still, the relative size and underperformance of the top two cryptocurrencies led the total market to lose about 5% of its collective value, slipping under $900 billion for the first time since Jan. 2021.

Stablecoins now make up more of the crypto market, however, with both Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) dominance rising about 5%. DAI dominance grew even more, up nearly 8% in the past week.

These moves come despite Tether removing some $4.5 billion from USDT’s circulating supply, likely due to an influx of redemptions, representing a 6% reduction.

Meanwhile, USDC actually added $1.8 billion to its supply — a tad more than 3% — a market trend that has persisted since the collapse of Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin UST precipitated a general shift to stablecoins perceived as safer.

Zooming out

Alternatives to bitcoin and ether may seem rosy as the market bounces, but they are still deep in the red alongside BTC and ETH over the past month.

In fact, just three digital assets were in the green for the past 30 days, as of Monday morning: HNT (37.5%), BSV (25%) and Bitfinex’s native token LEO (8%) — the latter of which is continuing its stellar year.

Every other token in the top 100 (excluding stablecoins, wrapped tokens, and staked assets) was still firmly in the red for the month, as cryptoasset markets altogether collapsed by 30%, or $387 billion in representative value lost.

The native token for Lido DAO — the staking platform at the heart of the staked ether (stETH) discount controversy — was the worst performing top digital asset for the month, losing almost 65% of its value. 

Bancor’s native token BNT was next, down 62%, while Convex’s CVX sunk 58%. On average, the top 100 tanked some 30% in the past month. BTC found itself squarely in the middle, while ETH performed far worse than average at 43% in the red.

BTC at $20,000 and ETH at $1,000 are the levels to watch, Samir Kerbage, chief product and technology officer at Hashdex commented to Blockworks via email, adding that it’s more than just liquidations and fear driving cryptoasset investors.

“If these psychologically-meaningful levels are lost, we may see some significant fear in the market that may put more pressure on the short-term price. What we’re seeing now in the markets is probably investors unwinding long positions or building short positions anticipating this potential sell-off scenario,” Kerbage said.

Correction, Jun. 21, 2022: MarketVector is an independent affiliate of VanEck, not a VanEck index-maker.

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