A Glimpse into the Latest Developments in Cryptocurrencies and NFTs




Market Overview: 

Crypto Roundup: Latest News and Updates You Need to Know


In the UK, HSBC and Natwest have put the brakes on the UK government’s crypto vision by limiting transactions to crypto exchanges, sparking debates about the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country. Meanwhile, Binance’s market share has hit its lowest point since November 2022 after the CFTC lawsuit and the end of zero-fee trading.


In positive news, Euler Finance announced that all the funds stolen by hackers have been returned, and the previously released $1M reward plan will no longer accept new information. Additionally, Gucci has announced a partnership with Otherside to launch the KodaPendant NFT series and physical necklaces.


GMO Financial Holdings has acquired a 10% stake in crypto hedge fund AWR Capital for an undisclosed amount. According to an April 2023 report by Brown Brothers Harriman and Co., 48% of institutions surveyed plan to add crypto-related ETFs to their portfolios in 2023, a decrease from 54% a year ago.


In the world of mining, Marathon announced that it produced 2,195 BTC in Q1, the highest quarter in the company’s history. They currently hold 11,466 BTC after selling 750 BTC in March. Meanwhile, Cardano’s Layer 2 scalability solution,Hydra,  continues to undergo further developments on its way to mainnet release, seeking faster and cheaper transactions for ADA holders.


NFT Market News:


Q1 2023: A Quick Review of the NFT Market Landscape


The NFT market has been an interesting sector to watch in the first quarter of 2023. Despite the recent volatility and headwinds from the macroenvironment, the market has seen promising developments and innovations that leave many hopeful for a strong recovery. 


Let’s take a closer look at a few of the market trends in Q1:


According to the “Blue Chip Index”  by Dune Analytics which tracks the sales volume of the top NFT collections by market cap, prices in Q1 look to have rebounded with volatility having stabilized in contrast to the heavy price swings and fluctuations of 2022. The market has now remained in a bear market for an extended period of time, which as maybe expected, has led to reduced buyers’ interests and liquidity. However, the recent uptick in trading volume, which reached a three-month peak in mid-February, is an encouraging sign for the market’s future.

(Market Cap & Volume - Data Source: NFTGo.io)
(Market Cap & Volume – Data Source: NFTGo.io)


Moreover, the number of NFT holders has increased by 13.57% to 4.29 million compared to the previous quarter. We believe this growth indicates that more people are interested in investing in NFTs and that the market has the potential for further expansion.

(Holders & Traders - Data Source: NFTGo.io)
(Holders & Traders – Data Source: NFTGo.io)

In terms of top collections, the Yuga Labs ecosystem accounted for a quarter of the overall trading volume in Q1, with blue-chip projects accounting for the rest. MAYC and BAYC were the top two collections by volume over the past three months, followed by Sewer Pass, which contributed about 70K ETH of the total, making it one of the top-performing collections.

(Collection Distribution - Data Source: NFTGo.io)
(Collection Distribution – Data Source: NFTGo.io)


The emergence of new and exciting projects seems to have  reignited interest in the NFT market. Nakamigos, HV-MTL, MG Land, Opepen Edition, and Checks – VV Edition are among the trending projects that have caught the attention of NFT enthusiasts and investors alike. These projects have seen impressive trading volume, and it will be exciting to see how they fare in the coming months.


Regarding marketplaces, the intensified competition has led to the emergence of new players. OpenSea has been the leading NFT marketplace since its inception in December 2017, but the landscape has since changed. The new marketplace Blur has taken the industry by storm, with a quarterly transaction volume almost twice that of OpenSea since January 2023. We believe this growth can be attributed to Blur’s multi-phase airdrop strategy, which created trading incentives for a wide range of users. By offering rewards in multiple phases, Blur captured the attention of potential traders and fostered a sense of anticipation and excitement surrounding its platform.

(Percentage of Volume by Fill Source - Data Source: Dune Analytics)
(Percentage of Volume by Fill Source – Data Source: Dune Analytics)




Latest News:

WELCOME FRIENDS: Hundreds of institutions and prominent individuals have invested directly in crypto, adopted the value thesis, or started building technology to support digital assets since Wave started tracking this metric in late 2020. Now the rise of the Metaverse, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) is driving mainstream adoption of blockchain technologies everywhere we look. We’re continuing to keep track of it every week here:

  • UNICEF is testing concepts for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) aiming to provide an easier way of communicating about new features and their eventual funding for digital public goods projects. It is part of a wider interest in crypto for the organization, which set up a crypto fund as part of its venture arm in 2019. 
  • Bitcoin (BTC) rewards app Fold and Visa (V) have expanded their ongoing partnership. The U.S. payments giant will now serve as the exclusive network partner for Fold’s prepaid debit and credit products in North America, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. The bitcoin-friendly shopping app Fold first partnered with Visa in 2020 to issue a debit card offering bitcoin (BTC) rewards instead of traditional reward points, similar to the reward levels you’d expect from a credit card. Fold had followed several other companies, including Coinbase (COIN), that offered Visa cards that offer bitcoin rewards.
  • The Japanese megabank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and domestic blockchain players say they have teamed up to launch a stablecoin interoperability pilot. In a Mitsubishi UFJ press release, the firm’s trust and banking unit said it was partnering with the Tokyo-based blockchain developer Datachain. It will also work with a platform called Progmat Coin and the developer Soramitsu. 
  • Argentinian low-cost airline Flybondi is integrating Web3 into its ticketing process by issuing e-tickets as non-fungible tokens (NFT). The new integration announced Thursday is called Ticket 3.0 and is an expansion of its existing relationship with NFT ticketing company TravelX, which launched in September 2022. The NFT ticketing technology, built on the Algorand blockchain, allows passengers to change their name, transfer or sell their “NFTickets” independently.
  • French investment bank Credit Agricole CIB and Swedish bank SEB, stalwarts of traditional finance (TradFi) in Europe, have joined forces to develop a blockchain-based platform for digital bonds. The platform will allow companies to raise capital by issuing digital bonds on a blockchain network with the aim of improving “efficiency and enabling real-time data synchronization,” according to a statement received by email. Users will be able to manage securities and raise capital through smart contracts.


REGULATORY ROUNDUP: We’re living through the era of regulatory recognition of digital assets. The legislation, litigation, and regulation happening today will dictate the entire future of our industry, and we have a historic chance to shape those changes by staying informed and exerting political influence.

  • Japan’s Financial Services Agency in a warning letter published on Friday said foreign crypto exchanges Bybit, BitForex, MEXC Global and Bitget are operating in the country without proper registration. The regulator said at the time of the notice the exchanges were violating the country’s fund settlement laws by “conducting crypto asset exchange business without registration” and also said the list of unregistered traders “does not necessarily indicate the current state of unregistered business.”
  • El Salvador, the first country to establish Bitcoin as a legal tender, has decided to eliminate all taxes on technology innovations. The move runs parallel to establishing the National Bitcoin Office (ONBTC) of El Salvador, also known as “the Bitcoin office.“ When legalizing Bitcoin on Sept. 7, 2021, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele saw the technology as a means to counter hyperinflation and dependence on the U.S. dollar. Over the past 18 months, El Salvador restrategized Bitcoin investments and utilized capital gains in numerous instances to rebuild the nation. Moving ahead with the strategy, Bukele believed in winding down tax requirements to expedite technological development. As promised, on April 1, Bukele officially sent a bill to Congress — effectively eliminating all income, property, and capital gains taxes on technology innovations “such as software programming, coding, apps and AI development, as well as computing and communications hardware manufacturing.”


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not represent Wave Digital Assets LLC or any of its affiliates (collectively, “Wave”). The author and/or Wave may hold investment positions in some of the assets discussed. Nothing in this material or linked information should be interpreted as an offer or recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security or other financial product. This material is not intended to provide accounting, legal or tax advice. Certain information contained herein has been obtained from third-party sources, has not been independently verified and should not be viewed as being endorsed by Wave. Such information is believed to be accurate as of the date of its publication. No representation or warranty is made, express or implied, with respect to the accuracy or completeness, and readers should not place undue reliance on the information contained or linked to herein. Certain statements in this material provide predictions and there is no guarantee that such predictions are currently accurate or will ultimately be realized. Past performance is not indicative of future results.


Wave is federally regulated by the US Securities & Exchange Commission as an investment adviser. Registration with a federal or state authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Additional information including important disclosures about Wave Digital Assets LLC also is available on the SEC’s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. Or, learn more information about Wave at www.wavegp.com.


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