Last week Bitcoin broke the $55,000 resistance level and now seems to be headed to reclaim the $60,000 valuation. Along the way, Bitcoin’s total market capitalization also surpassed $1 trillion. Ethereum and many other altcoins largely followed the bullish trend, carrying the total market capitalization of the crypto sector above $2.3 trillion. Although we believe BTC and ETH are almost always a sound investment, we went on the lookout for greater potential returns this week, which means that we had to venture in riskier and often also more speculative markets, such as meme tokens and blockchain gaming. However, be aware that this article does not constitute financial advice and that you should always do your own research prior to investing.
3. Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Shiba Inu (SHIB) is a meme token that was launched in August 2020 by the anonymous founder known as “Ryoshi”. Shiba Inu aspires to be an Ethereum-based alternative to the more popular and longer-running meme coin – Dogecoin (DOGE). At launch, 50% of the Shiba Inu’s total supply was sent to Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum wallet, making SHIB a unique community experiment as well. Ethereum co-founder ended up donating 10% of the supply to a COVID-19 relief effort in India and burned the rest of his SHIB holdings. It is worth mentioning that his donation was worth around $1 billion at that time. While SHIB began as a fun experimental currency it is now transforming into a decentralized ecosystem.
SHIB’s 300% rally carried the meme currency among the top 15 cryptos by market capitalization
As it is usual for meme coins rallies, there is no clear fundamental explanation as to why SHIB soared more than 300% last week. Many crypto observers say that the meme token’s performance is closely linked to Elon Musk’s social media activity. Tesla CEO, who recently got a new puppy of the Shiba Inu breed, posted two pictures of his new four-legged companion named Floki. This triggered rallies in all dog-related cryptocurrency markets, including DOGE, FLOKI and SHIB as the crypto community overly interpreted Musk’s puppy tweets as hidden and cryptographic coin endorsements. In the days following the second tweet, SHIB soared from $ 0.000009 to $ 0.000035 almost exceeding its ATH price of $ 0.000038, which was set on May 10, 2021. As a result of the price surge, the meme token found itself positioned within the top 15 cryptocurrencies by market cap (at one brief moment SHIB was listed on 12th position). SHIB’s price has since corrected, and the token is currently changing hands at a price of $ 0.000026. The total SHIB market capitalization is currently $10.2 billion, which puts the token on the 20th place.
May it be because of Musk’s tweets or not, Shiba Inu has lately been seeing a large influx of new users, which can be seen in the increasing number of active addresses. Due to the increased attention, Shiba Inu has also increased the number of followers on social media. Shiba Inu’s official Twitter account, for example, recently celebrated crossing 1 million followers. In addition, the recently introduced SHIB burning program has made SHIB a deflationary token, which is another factor contributing towards token appreciation over time. If the SHIB rally was fuelled purely by speculation and hype, the price of SHIB will likely drop as fast as it rose. However, if investors and developers recognize SHIB as a valuable and promising token due to reasons listed above, SHIB may retain its value or even set a new ATH price in the near future.
2. Axie Infinity (AXS)
Axie Infinity is a Pokémon-inspired blockchain-powered trading and battling online video game. The game, which has netted more than $2 billion in NFT sales to date, is developed by a Vietnamese gaming studio Sky Mavis. Axie infinity players utilize Ethereum-issued tokens AXS and Small Love Potion (SLP) to breed, trade and battle with their virtual creatures called Axies. Each Axie is represented by an NFT, and the growing userbase and protocol revenue has made Axie Infinity one of the most expensive NFTs collections. Blockchain-based gaming sector is currently booming and games facilitating the ”play to earn” concept are especially popular. Axie Infinity is a prime example of such a blockchain gaming project, which has resulted in AXS appreciation as well. AXS token is not only the best performing gaming token, but also the best performing cryptocurrency from the top 200 this year as AXS price increased over 200x YTD.
AXS sets a new ATH price of $154 following the launch of AXS staking and a massive airdrop to early-adopters
Riding the tailwind of booming popularity of the blockchain gaming platforms, Axie Infinity (AXS) climbed towards its new ATH price of nearly $155 last week. However, since AXS is outperforming every other gaming token and even every other cryptocurrency, there must be more reasons behind the latest AXS rally. The already popular game and token were made even more desirable by players and investors by the launch of AXS token staking on September 30. Since many players are trying to make profit by playing this play-to-earn (P2E) game, the promised APR of 240% for stakers made AXS a very sought-after asset. According to the official AXS staking dashboard, users have staked almost $2 billion worth of AXS tokens in an attempt to get a share of the 78.3 million AXS that the Axie Infinity team has put aside for staking rewards. As a result of the high amount of staked AXS the estimated APR has dropped to 140%, which is still substantially more than staking rewards of many other protocols. In less than four days following the roll-out of AXS staking, the price of AXS more than doubled, reaching a high at $154 on October 4. In addition, the team behind Axie Infinity decided to generously reward its early users by airdropping 800,000 AXS (currently worth around $94 million) to around 10,000 wallets that interacted with Axie protocol prior to October 26, 2020. Some of the more active players were happy to find out that their wallets suddenly contained quite a small fortune. Furthermore, Jeff Zirlin, the Co-founder and growth lead at Sky Mavis, the company developing Axie Infinity, recently revealed that they are planning to launch a decentralized exchange (DEX) service with trading functionality limited to crypto assets within the Axie Infinity ecosystem, which will allow players to trade and use tokens all within the same ecosystem without having to constantly use network bridges.
1. Terra (LUNA)
The Terra blockchain, which acts as the basis of the algorithmically governed stablecoin platform called Terra, is developed by a South Korean based company Terraform Labs. The platform is built on the Cosmos technology and utilizes a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. LUNA, which is the reserve currency of the Terra platform, has three key functions; these are ensuring the price stability of Terra stablecoins, mining Terra transactions through staking and providing incentives to blockchain validators.
Terra’s interoperability with Solana and Polkadot causes LUNA to surge to a new ATH of almost $50
The Columbus-5 upgrade, which we already wrote about four weeks ago, took place on September 30. Besides massively overhauling Terra’s tokenomics, the Columbus-5 upgrade gave Terra the ability to communicate and interact with protocols in the Cosmos ecosystem such as Solana and Polkadot. Due to this new interoperability, Terra and its TerrUSD (UST) dollar-pegged stablecoin are now accessible to a wide range of dApps and projects. As already mentioned, Columbus-5 also introduced a major change to the project’s tokenomics model, which states that instead of being channelled into the community pool, all LUNA used to mint UST shall be burned. These two changes combined, could prove to be very beneficial for LUNA price action in the long-term as interoperability will likely result in a more wide-spread use of Terra’s blockchain and greater use will cause accelerated burning of LUNA. In fact, many investors speculated on the possible consequences of these changes, which caused a small LUNA rally that peaked at a price of almost $50 on October 4. Since then, LUNA has dropped below $40 again. However, with time, the deflationary pressure generated by LUNA burning should show up on the price charts again. In addition, according to data provided by DeFi Lama, Terra is the 4th largest chain according to the total value locked (TVL) in protocols running on it. It boasts with a TVL of over $8 billion even though just 8 DeFi protocols (most well-known are Anchor, Mirror, and Lido) are operating on its chain. Do you think Terra could turn out to be the real ”Ethereum killer”?
Andrew is a writer that does most of his work on cryptocurrency-related topics. While he’s primarily interested in Bitcoin, he also follows major altcoins and the innovative ideas that new cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are bringing to the table.