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Crypto Market Q1 Recap According to CoinGecko

Following the release of its “How to DeFi” book with its step-by-step guides on how to get started with Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications, CoinGecko has just published its 2020 Q1 Cryptocurrency Report.

The 55-page document gives an overview of the state of the cryptocurrency sphere in the first quarter through spot market data, derivatives markets insights, world events, traditional markets and others.

Key highlights include that the crypto market capitalization shrank marginally due to uncertainties in the global markets compounded by COVID-19 panic which saw the market crash by ~40% in March and ended the quarter with a -5.03% total decrease.

Bitcoin (BTC) was the biggest loser among the top five coins with 11% loss in Q1 despite having performed well in the beginning of 2020 with almost +50% gain within the first 50 days of the year. Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) both fared relatively well with 3.1% and 7.1% gains respectively while Ripple (XRP) followed with a 10% loss. Bitcoin SV (BSV) was the top gainer in Q1 with a 70% gain following rumours that the chief scientist at nChain and self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright, has gained access to Satoshi’s Bitcoin private keys.

BTC also lost significant dominance (-3.5%) in Q1, going from 71.3% to 67.8% but still gained by 56% when looked at it over a year period (1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020) beating gold which had a gain of 24% over 12 months while ETH went down by 7%.

Within the three months, stablecoins’ supply increased by 32.1% to $7.5 bln (adding $1.8 bln) as market participants sought refuge from the market decline amid a global economic downturn – Tether (USDT) continued its dominant stretch over the stablecoin market with its 84% share. However, not much changes were seen in the overall daily traded volume according to figures from the crypto data aggregator thus pointing to indicate that “many traders have decided to sit out of the markets while holding stablecoins to weather out the storm.”

In the derivatives market, Binance dethroned BitMEX after gaining a +15.1% market share in Q1 in terms of trading volume for BTC perpetual contracts to end as the market leader. On the other hand, BitMEX lost -7.5% trading volume dominance to become the top volume Bitcoin perpetual swap exchange (though BitMEX still dominates nearly half the market with 47% dominance), followed by Bybit (-3.2%) and OKEx (-2.8%). BitMEX also still leads for BTC Perpetual swaps (a form of futures contract with no expiry date) with close to $460 mln in open interest value remaining despite the massive decrease in Q1.

From dominating 50-75% of real spot trading volume to obtaining the most web traffic, Binance was on top among crypto exchanges in Q1 2020. The Changpeng Zhao-led exchange had more than 66mln pageviews within the period which translates to being over four times larger than Bithumb, Coinbase, or Upbit; about a quarter of the web traffic to top 20 exchanges. It is followed by BitMEX, the most popular derivative exchange, which had over 36 mln pageviews (or roughly 15.8%) of all crypto web traffic to top 20 exchanges. Among top seven crypto exchange tokens by market capitalization, Kyber Network (KNC) performed the best with a 136% gain in Q1 2020 – though Huobi Token and OKB saw large burns push price up.

Traditional market analysis shows that BTC maintains a consistent positive correlation with gold, which is a known safe haven, but it is not clear that this indication makes Bitcoin a safe haven too – at least up till this point.

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