The phrase “Beware the Ides of March!” is often used to warn about a potential misfortune, but on the Roman calendar this date was known for something else—the deadline for settling debts.
March might have been more about creating new debts than settling old ones, but the Ides of March 2023 may be remembered as the spark for a Bitcoin revival. Our CIO Samir Kerbage wrote about why Bitcoin was built for this moment.
The month wasn’t all good news for crypto. A White House report dismissed the value of digital assets and US regulators continued their steady march against the industry. This came as more big steps in crypto’s acceptance took place, including Amazon moving forward with its NFT platform, Telegram accepting Tether (USDT) payments, and a new Citi report suggesting that blockchain technology will soon see “billions of users and trillions of dollars in value.”
March 15 was a memorable day for our team, as we rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Read our CEO Marcelo Sampaio’s speech from this special day here.
Finally, on Wednesday, April 19, our investment and research teams will host a webinar to review our first quarter Market Pulse, a new initiative that will look at the most important ecosystem developments impacting crypto’s investment case.
As always, our team is here to answer any questions you have about these markets.
-Your Partners at Hashdex
NCI PERFORMANCE (USD) SINCE INCEPTION 63.9%
MARCH NCI PERFORMANCE 18.0%
The Nasdaq Crypto IndexTM (NCITM) posted its third consecutive monthly increase in March. The index was up 18.0%, accumulating a return of 63.9% for the year. The month was also positive for other risk assets, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 rising 3.5% and 9.5%, respectively.
However, the early part of the month was negative for crypto prices as US regulators' actions against crypto-related companies caused concern. The main shock, however, came from the US banking sector, as problems faced by Silvergate and Signature—two of the main banks used by crypto companies—were uncovered. This led the NCITM to fall more than 13%.
The middle of March delivered a strong recovery. This was driven by the strengthening of the Bitcoin thesis as a store of value in the face of widespread distrust of banks, especially after the Silicon Valley Bank situation, as well as a reduction in US interest rate expectations. Toward the end of the month, the crypto market traded mostly sideways. The exception to this flat performance was a decline, which quickly reversed, after the announcement of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) lawsuit against Binance.
Although it was a positive month for the NCITM overall, results for individual assets were mixed, with five of the 10 index constituents posting losses for the month. Bitcoin (21.8%) and Ethereum (11.9%) had the second and third best performances, respectively, behind Stellar Lumens (26.2%).
The NCI’sTM strong outperformance was not shared by other Hashdex product benchmarks. Among CF Benchmarks sectoral indices, DeFi and Digital Culture had drops of 5.8% and 8.0%, respectively, while Smart Contracts rose 2.2%, helped by the appreciation of Cardano (11.9%). The Vinter Hashdex Risk Parity Momentum Index rose 2.9%, with Ripple standing out, rising more than 40%.
The third consecutive month of NCITM gains is an important signal of a regime change from last year. Despite the strong first quarter results, we always emphasize to our investors our belief that crypto assets are most suitable for long-term investments.
Ethereum’s next upgrade will activate next week
The Shapella network upgrade, which combines changes to Ethereum’s execution layer (Shanghai) and changes to its consensus layer (Capella) is set to activate on April 12, 2023. This will allow users to withdraw staked ETH from the network. This upgrade is highly anticipated and could potentially impact ETH’s performance in the coming weeks.
White House report blasts digital assets
The White House’s annual Economic Report of the President included a grim view on crypto, including a statement that many crypto assets “have no fundamental value.” This actions are a further sign of a coordinated effort against crypto businesses in the US.
Nasdaq to launch custody services for crypto
Nasdaq said it will offer crypto custody services for Bitcoin and Ethereum by the end of the second quarter of this year. Given its size and reputation, this new service is an important one for the crypto industry’s development and adoption.
Visa's crypto strategy remains intact despite crypto winter
Despite rumors Visa was pulling back on its crypto plans, a spokesperson for the payments company told CoinDesk that “the recent failures do not change our crypto strategy and focus to serve as a bridge, helping connect both platforms and technologies emerging in the crypto ecosystem.”
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