Crypto Q1 Report Highlights 300% Meme Coin 'Renaissance' And 'Major Step' For Ethereum

Zinger Key Points
  • Appetite for meme coins hit the highest since 2021 this quarter," notes Outumuro, emphasizing the category's growth.
  • The SEC's approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs and the conversion of GBTC could transform institutional investment in cryptocurrency.

A research report summed up the significant uptrend in the cryptocurrency sector in the first quarter of the year, led by explosive growth in the value of meme coins.

What Happened: Lucas Outumuro, Head of Research at IntoTheBlock, a crypto market intelligence firm, revealed a striking statistic in the company’s Q1 report: “The aggregate value of meme assets has nearly tripled in Q1 of 2024 to $56 billion.”

This period was pivotal due to several key developments that have reshaped the cryptocurrency market, with the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. standing out as a watershed moment.

“More than 10 years after the first application, the SEC approved the launch of nine new spot Bitcoin ETFs,” Outumuro notes, highlighting the enhanced accessibility and attractiveness of Bitcoin to a broader range of investors.

The impending Bitcoin halving event, which reduces the reward for bitcoin mining, further stirs the market.

Outumuro points out, “The halving cuts the amount bitcoin miners are paid for adding blocks to the blockchain by 50%,” a technical tweak with significant economic repercussions for the cryptocurrency.

The “renaissance” in interest in meme coins, according to Outumuro, signals a shift in investor sentiment and market dynamics.

“Despite interest rates remaining high and no ‘stimmy checks’ being sent out, appetite for seemingly useless crypto-assets has been very strong,” he says, underlining the surprising resilience and popularity of meme coins.

Also Read: Bitcoin Up 3.5% To $71,700, Pushing Ethereum And Crypto Stocks Higher

This quarter also saw Ethereum‘s ETH/USD Dencun upgrade, a move anticipated to dramatically lower transaction costs and bolster on-chain activity.

“Dencun implemented EIP-4844, enabling lower costs through the introduction of data blobs,” Outumuro details, marking a significant step forward in Ethereum’s ongoing evolution.

Meanwhile, speaking with Benzinga, Stijn Paumen, co-founder of Helio said the Ethereum blockchain has been the backbone of Web3 innovation, but exorbitantly high gas fees have created a catch-22 situation.

“This is precisely why the upcoming Dencun upgrade is so significant. By separating data from the mainnet and layer-2, Dencun has the potential to significantly reduce congestion and pave the way for a more scalable and accessible Ethereum,” he said.

“Dencun is a major step forward for Ethereum's future, and specifically the impact on gas fees for Layer 2 chains like Polygon and Optimism. Lower costs means more usability and an opportunity for next generation Blockchain innovations like payments apps to reach mass adoption,” he added.

What’s Next: As these developments unfold, their broader implications for the cryptocurrency sector are set to be a hot topic at the Benzinga’s Future of Digital Assets conference on Nov. 19.

Read Next: Cathie Wood: U.S. Crypto Industry Suffers From “Brain Drain,” Praises Hong Kong’s Regulatory Approach

Image: Shutterstock

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