Ethereum Tokens Are Soaring. What’s Next for the Ecosystem?


Key Takeaways

The cryptocurrency market has jumped off the back of the Federal Reserve’s latest 0.75% interest rate hike.
ETH and other Ethereum-related tokens have rallied on the bounce.
The Ethereum ecosystem could have high upside in the next crypto bull market.

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Many Ethereum-related tokens are outpacing ETH in the latest market rally. 

Market Surges Off Back of Fed Hike

Macro conditions may still look bleak, but that hasn’t stopped the crypto market from surging today. 

Ethereum-related tokens are the big winners in the latest market bounce, defying another week of bad market news in which the Federal Reserve announced its fourth 75 basis point interest rate hike of the year. 

Though the market was briefly shaken off the back of Wednesday’s hawkish update from the U.S. central bank, Loopring, Polygon, Lido DAO, and other tokens have posted double-digit gains today. 

By far the strongest performer among crypto’s major assets is Loopring, whose LRC token has gained 49.5% on the day. Loopring is a Layer 2 solution that leverages ZK-Rollups, technology that Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and others have touted as key to helping crypto’s top smart contract network scale. Alongside other ZK-Rollup solutions like StarkNet and zkSync, Loopring is believed to be one of the hottest contenders in helping Ethereum achieve its ambition of mass crypto adoption.

Polygon, which launched as an Ethereum scaling solution but has since spawned a sprawling ecosystem of its own, has seen its MATIC token jump 21.6% over the past 24 hours. Lido DAO, another Ethereum staple that’s grown in popularity over the past year thanks to its liquid staking offering, has also risen, with LDO up 17% today. 

Curve’s CRV and Aave’s AAVE, two of the most popular Ethereum DeFi tokens on the market, have also gained double digits over the past 24 hours. 

As is often the case on market bounces such as this, Ethereum is lagging behind many assets with lower market capitalizations. ETH has jumped 6.6% to around $1,650, helping the global cryptocurrency market capitalization rise by 4.8%. 

The Future Outlook for the Ethereum Ecosystem

As crypto approaches one year since the market peaked in November 2021, investors and traders alike have been on the lookout for narratives and tokens that could lead on the next bullish market cycle.

While it can be difficult to predict which way the market will move, one popular strategy for determining future winners is to identify bear market outperformers. Cosmos and the Cosmos-based network Osmosis, for instance, have shown strength during adverse market conditions over the past few months, giving so-called “Cosmonauts” hopes of an upcoming rally when the market flips. Cosmos revamped its ATOM token in September and is focusing on cross-chain interoperability, leading many to believe that it could enjoy a rise as interest returns to the market. Other lesser-known projects like GMX have also been hitting highs in utility and token performance despite the enduring crypto winter. 

Ethereum has also been highlighted as a potential leader of the next market cycle. While Ethereum’s ETH is unlikely to outperform the bull market’s strongest outliers due to its $199 billion market capitalization—it underperformed many assets such as the leaders of the “alternative Layer 1” boom in 2021—it’s arguably the second most likely crypto asset to survive the upcoming months and any further market turmoil alongside Bitcoin. Plus, Ethereum underwent a major technological upgrade in the form of “the Merge” in September. As the Merge cut ETH issuance by about 90% but ETH still trades almost 70% down from its highs, Ethereum’s most ardent believers have argued that the event is not yet “priced in” due to the bearish market climate. 

As with the previous crypto bull cycle, if ETH is to rally, many other prominent tokens in the Ethereum ecosystem are likely to benefit and even outpace it. Rapid developments in the Layer 2 space have fueled a narrative that Layer 2 tokens could have high upside potential in the next bull market, which could bode well for assets like Optimism’s OP and Loopring’s LRC. zkSync is due to share further details on its forthcoming token this month, StarkNet has confirmed its own token, and Arbitrum is also widely expected to launch one. 

Other Ethereum-related tokens like Polygon and Lido DAO could also benefit from an ETH surge in the future. Polygon has secured many notable partnerships this year including a recent tie-up with Starbucks, and Meta this week announced support for Polygon NFTs on Instagram. Lido DAO has received significant attention since the Ethereum Merge, but the project will have to overcome concerns that it is centralizing Ethereum. 

Ethereum fans have also been wondering when DeFi will catch a break after 18 months of sluggish price action since the space suffered a significant correction in May 2021. While many DeFi tokens are trading significantly down from their highs, Ethereum is home to crypto’s strongest DeFi ecosystem. Should the technology attract new users in the future, projects like Aave, Curve, and Uniswap could see the benefit. 

The global cryptocurrency market capitalization is currently $1.1 trillion. It’s about 63% down from its $3 trillion peak recorded in November 2021.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH, MATIC, LRC, CRV, AAVE, ATOM, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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