Crypto markets had a strong run after the Shapella upgrade on Ethereum. We note the impressive rallies experienced by the majors in the immediate aftermath as BTC and ETH soared to new highs for the year. Nonetheless, prices continued to see-saw through the month, especially with the recent rumors and false alerts over the US government selling a large amount of Bitcoin. Fortunately, these were quickly absorbed, leaving the market positioning ahead of another possible interest rate hike in May’s FOMC.
For the first time, validators can now withdraw staked ETH from the Beacon Chain after the long-awaited Shapella upgrade on Ethereum was implemented on April 12. There has not been a rush for the exit, and withdrawals from the Beacon chain have been reasonably paced so far.
April marks the third consecutive month in which creators on Blur have received more royalties than creators on OpenSea. NFT volume on Blur continues to exceed that on OpenSea.
Venture capital firms invested US$2.4B into crypto-focused companies in Q1 2023, the lowest amount since 2020. However, on a more positive note, the number of deals has picked up in Q1, with pre-seed deals driving most of this growth.
Average Ethereum transaction fees surged in April and recorded a high not seen since June 2022. This surge was largely driven by transactions related to meme coins.