Cryptos storm higher in Q1, 2023 despite major headwinds
Cryptocurrency had a great Q1 2023, even with major regulatory enforcement actions in large markets like the U.S. and E.U. Bitcoin rose over 70% from the beginning of the year, and other tokens also saw gains.
Bitcoin opened up 2023 at the $16,500 level, and as of March 31, BTC is holding the $28,500 level. 2022 was a rough year for cryptos, and many of the themes that haunted the space in 2022 are still around in 2023.
Despite the problems and regulatory uncertainty, BTC prices were up more than 70% in Q1. The embattled former-FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, was hit with more charges in Q1, 2023, and remains in U.S. custody.
Some of the financial issues that started in the crypto world over 2022 have entered the mainstream financial system, although cryptos don’t seem to be impacted by bank failures in the U.S. and E.U.
Altcoins also up in Q1 2023
Ethereum, the largest altcoin by market cap, rose more than 50% in Q1. Starting the year around $1,200, ETH ended Q1 at over $1,830. As Q1 ended, ethereum was cited in the commodity futures trading commission (CFTC) suit against Binance, as it could be considered a commodity by the U.S. agency.
While crypto prices didn’t fall on a lasting basis due the the CFTC suit, Binance did see substantial outflows from both its exchange, and its BUSD stablecoin. While the amount of money held in both Binance and BUSD are down, BNB hasn’t fallen substantially in the wake of the CFTC suit.
BNB started 2023 at $247, and at the end of Q1, it is trading above $317. With a gain of over 28% in Q1, 2023, the token has shrugged off all the regulatory action in the crypto sector, and direct action by the CFTC against Binance.
Big gains for solana
Solana, which has been under selling pressure for more than a year, was strong in Q1, 2023. SOL started the year at $10.09, and ended Q1 at $20.89. Despite the massive price falls SOL seen in 2022, the development ecosystem for the Solana blockchain remains robust.
NFT and DeFi development continues on the Solana blockchain. There are ongoing NFT launches on Solana, and if markets stabilize in 2023, there may be a new influx of development capital across the industry.