Is it bull or bear?

By EdgyMay 2, 2024

Damnnn, the markets are looking bad.

Here’s my gameplan.

  1. Converted my portfolio to something more defensive oriented. Think more stablecoins / narrative alpha plays. No idea how long this lasts so you want to survive the storm.
  2. Take a quick break. The past few months have been insane. It’s ok to go on a trip and catch up on some shows. Can’t wait to start Shogun!
  3. Then back to the grind. Take this as an opportunity to research. And when the time’s right, start deploying capital.

Be patient – Don’t blow your stack trying to squeeze blood from a rock.

Here’s what we got today:

  • Market Analysis. Is the bull market over?
  • The $EIGEN Drop. Everything you need to know about the new token.
  • Around the web. Jupiter launched Jito Bundles, Immutable introduced a $50 million rewards program, and more.

Here’s your Edge 🗡️!


Markets

Is the Bull Market Over?

The past month was a bloodbath in crypto.

  • Bitcoin fell from $72.3k on April 8th to $57.3k.
  • Ether fell from $4k on March 13th to $2.9k.
  • Total Crypto Market Cap fell from $2.9 trillion to $2.3 trillion.

Many people are genuinely worried if the bull market is over. We’ve lost >20% in $BTC, $ETH, and total market cap. Many alts got destroyed as well.

​So I’ll present some data and some charts so you can come to your own conclusions.

Bear #1: The institutional money is leaving.

Spot BTC ETFs powered $BTC’s rise to $73k. Spot BTC ETFs were the fastest-growing ETF launches in history. It attracted $1.5 billion, $6 billion, and $4.6 billion of demand in January, February, and March, respectively.

BTC ETF flows
Source: https://www.theblock.co/data/crypto-markets/bitcoin-etf/spot-bitcoin-etf-flows

The above graph tracks the inflows and outflows to the BTC ETFs. The inflows to BTC ETFs peaked on March 12. And numbers went downhill from there. So, ETFs aren’t attracting big money anymore.

The Digital Asset Fund Flows Weekly Report from Coinshares is another chart to monitor.

Crypto Assets Flows graph

It tracks the net fund flows of various Digital asset investment products. Last week was the third consecutive outflow totaling $435 million.

The current bull run was primarily driven by institutional money. And the institutional money is drying up. So the market is trending down.

To start pumping again, we need the institutional money to come back.

Bear #2: Exponential Decay Theory

Peter Brandt is a veteran chart analyst. He is known for predicting Bitcoin’s steep plunge in 2018. And he has a bearish take.

According to him, there’s a 25% chance Bitcoin has already topped for this cycle. He even said that $BTC can fall to the mid-30k range.

From 2009 to 2021, there have been four major bull cycles. And $BTC’s growth in each bull cycle was only 20% of the previous bull cycle.

  • Dec 21, 2009 to Jun 6, 2011 [3,191x]
  • Nov 14, 2011 to Nov 25, 2013 [572x]
  • Aug 17, 2015 to Dec 18, 2017 [122x]
  • Dec 10, 2018 to Nov 8, 2021 [22x]

He calls it “Exponential Decay”. According to this framework, $BTC will only 4.5x in this cycle. If we take the low for the current cycle as $15,473, the top of this cycle should be $72,723. And we have already crossed that.

If you want the full article, here’s the link.

The above two are major cases for the bear market. But it isn’t comprehensive. There are more bearish factors at play.

  • The usual liquidation cascades. Thousands of traders are being forcefully liquidated. This is pushing the price down.
  • The Fed is still concerned about inflation. So, investors are being cautious.
  • May is historically one of the worst months for crypto markets. It is the 2nd worst month after September. But I don’t have much confidence in this kind of pattern-matching either.

Now, let’s move on to the bull case for crypto.

Bull #1: Another way to read the chart

Peter Brandt’s bearish take isn’t the final truth. Below are some problems with his bearish take.

  • Arbitrary tops and bottoms. The way Peter picked cycle bottoms and cycle tops is seen as arbitrary by Giovanni.
  • Cycle timing. Bitcoin halving was only on April 19th. The real bull market comes after the halving. We’ve barely transitioned from the bear market to the bull market.
  • Limited data. If we exclude the pre-halving period, we only had three $BTC bull markets. If consider the ratios only, Peter had just 2 data points for evaluation. It’s not enough to make any scientific prediction.

​This article presents another way to read the chart. Instead of directly looking at prices, he measures the difference between the general power law graph and $BTC prices. He then measures the cycle tops and bottoms as a deviation from the general power law trend.

BTC price chart

He notices the following patterns in the above chart.

  • The cycle bottoms tend to happen at -60% of the general trend.
  • There’s a decay for the cycle tops. And he extrapolates that the next top will be about 78% deviation from the trend.

​Giovanni also makes price predictions from the above chart. $BTC top will be ~$210k at the end of 2025. And the bottom for the next $BTC cycle will be around $83k.

If you want to read the full analysis, here’s the link:

Bull #2: Macro setup is bullish

In a recent article, Arthur Hayes claimed that the current macro setup is poised for a Bull market.

Governments can raise money by selling bonds to Central banks. And major central banks have been printing money for governments for a long time. This trend will intensify.

2024 is an election year for many large nation-states including America. The ruling parties will do everything in their power to win the elections. And this includes printing money to please the voters. The CCP is doing similar stuff in China.

There is also the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Iran war. The money printer will be used for funding proxies in these wars as well.

In conclusion, the money printer will go brrr in 2024. And the increasing liquidity should pump crypto prices.

Above is a simplified summary of Hayes’s argument. If you want the details, check out the full article.

Now what?

I don’t believe that the bull market is over. We are going through a temporary pullback. These pullbacks are expected even in bull markets.

​I’ve been through plenty of cycles. Pullbacks like these are normal.

Make sure your portfolio can weather the storm (more stables, less high risk plays). Use this as an opportunity to research some gems.


Token Launch

The $EIGEN Drop: What happened?

Introducing the Eigen Foundation, EIGEN token and Season 1 Stakedrop
Source: Blog.eigenfoundation.org

Our long-awaited hero is here, but he wasn’t the hero degens expected.

EigenLayer announced $EIGEN on April 29th. This was probably the most anticipated airdrop. Some were expecting generational wealth.

However, airdrop farmers are kinda pissed:

  • It is a non-transferable token. If you can’t sell the token, it is monetarily worthless. And the team hasn’t mentioned anything about unlocking the token. Since most airdrop farmers were there to make money, they were angry.
  • Geoblock. They have geo-blocked half the world, including the United States, from claiming the airdrop. In contrast, Americans weren’t blocked from depositing $ETH to EigenLayer. Only having the geoblock apply to claiming felt frustrating.
  • Multiple seasons. The EigenLayer points program has been going on for some time now. By extending the program even further, they are diluting existing points holders.
  • Allocation percentage. 15% of the total initial supply will be distributed across multiple seasons. Some may feel that this is low. But to be honest, it is in line with the usual industry allocation.

The disappointment can be witnessed all over crypto X. And if that’s a little too subjective for you, take a look at the EigenLayer TVL. On April 29th, they had $16.33B in TVL. By May 1st, this had fallen to 14.5%.

Source: DefiLlama

What should you do?

If you’ve been farming EigenLayer either directly or through a Liquid Restaking Protocol, you’re probably eligible. You can claim yours here: https://claims.eigenfoundation.org/

​But if you’ve been leverage-farming through protocols like Pendle and Equilibrium, your claim is not yet live. EigenLayer had difficulty calculating appropriate allocation for these users. So, their allocation will be distributed at a later date. More information about this “Phase 2” will become available from May 6th.

​This snapshot was taken on March 15th, 2024. And you’ll be able to claim between May 10th 2024 and September 7th, 2024.

Now let’s look at the tokenomics. From the perspective of investors, you should focus on the demand and supply dynamics.

Demand source: Universal Intersubjective Work Token

​In simple terms, people will be able to stake $EIGEN through the EigenLayer marketplace and receive rewards from protocols (to be technical, Actively Validated Services).

But this staking isn’t your usual staking as seen in other protocols. Instead, they are building a complementary staking option to Restaking $ETH.

This is where it’s going to get a bit technical. So, feel free to skip this section.

In previous newsletters, we explained how EigenLayer works. It is a marketplace between protocols that need certain services and restakers looking for more yield. And if the restakers don’t provide the service they promise to deliver, they are slashed.

But all services aren’t created equal. EigenLayer distinguishes between “Objectively attributable faults” and “intersubjectively attributable faults”. What does this mean?

  • Some services can be objectively verified with 100% certainty. For example, rollups can verify if a sequencer has submitted an invalid transaction. Degens restake $ETH in these services.
  • For other services, input may be required from the broader stakeholders. $EIGEN enables this by allowing people to slash-by-forking $EIGEN. Protocols (aka AVSs) will be forced to choose between forks.

$EIGEN has a unique property where it allows people to create its forks. This property makes it suitable for a new class of services called “Intersubjective Work”. The technical minutiae isn’t that relevant to the everyday user.

But if you are a mental masochist, you may wish to read more about it here: https://www.blog.eigenlayer.xyz/eigen/

So, there’s a real demand for EIGEN. However, the extent of the demand is decided by the number of new protocols on the EigenLayer marketplace. So, keep an eye on that.

The Supply Dynamics

The total supply of EIGEN at launch will be around $1.673B. But there’s no upper cap on the supply. So, $EIGEN can inflate.

In fact, the EigenLayer team hasn’t even determined the emissions schedule for the token. So, we don’t know for sure yet just how much of the token will enter supply. The reason lies in the innovative nature of the token. Its emission mechanics won’t be like usual PoS chains.

We’ll have to wait for EigenLayer to release more details about their emissions mechanics before we can properly evaluate supply dynamics.

In the meantime, we can look at how the token is distributed:

  • Investors: 29.5%
  • Early Contributors: 25.5%
  • EigenLayer Foundation: 15%
  • Stakedrops: 15%
  • Future community initiatives: 15% + inflation when activated

​Investors and early contributors have a three-year lock period. This is divided into a full lock in the first year, followed by a linear unlock of 4% of their total allocation each month over two years.

Right now, the market is valuing $EIGEN pretty high. In HyperLiquid, pre-launch $EIGEN is trading at ~10. It makes the FDV around $16.7B. If we are in a Bull market, $EIGEN will probably maintain that valuation.

Now we have to wait until May 10th for the actual token drop.


🚀 DeFi Catalysts

Mantle is discussing the expansion of its Liquid Staking Protocol $mETH by creating a separate governance token and points program.

Dymension introduced eIBC. It’ll be an open market for bridging liquidity from RollApps. Users will get near-instant withdrawals from RollApps.

EigenPie shipped native $ETH restaking through its app. Restakers through EigenPie will receive $egETH as the LRT.

Stargate approved Stargate V2. The V2 will have transaction batching that will make transactions cheaper.

Kamino Finance launched its token and introduced staking $KMNO to boost the points earnings. You can boost your points up to 300% over time.

Jupiter rolled out tipping via Jito Bundles. By selecting the “Jito Tip” option, users can protect themselves against MEV.


🪂 Airdrop Alpha

Drift airdrop eligibility checker is live. The launch airdrop will distribute up to 12% of the total 1B supply.

Immutable launched Main Quest, the largest Web3 gaming rewards program with up to $50M in rewards.

RealT introduced its Genesis Airdrop. 500 Million $REG tokens will be distributed across five years. It’ll be divided into one-month-long epochs.

Treasure Chain testnet is live. Alongside, they’ve announced Treasure Portal, a Points system, and several major partnerships.

Io.net has started season 2 of its reward program. It’ll run from May 1 to May 31st. The snapshot for season one was taken on April 25th.

Stader introduced EigenBoost 3.0. The first 40k $ETHx to be minted and restaked will receive a share of 4 million extra EigenLayer points.

Nektar Network introduced its points program, Nektar Drops. Nektar is a multilayered restaking network.

Curvance Private Testnet is live for early supporters. They’ll have the opportunity to earn Bytes as part of their incentive program.


🐦‍⬛ X Hits

  1. Current Market view.
  2. Market Wisdom from Stoic.
  3. What is happening on the derivatives side?
  4. Macro view from Arthur Hayes.
  5. Revenue-backed token, a new idea.

Feature Walkthrough

✨ Use this to never miss an airdrops!

Airdrops is the current meta of crypto. Are you missing out on eligible airdrops? Well, you don’t have to worry anymore.

You can now look for eligible airdrops for any Ethereum address from Etherscan. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Go to Etherscan.io

Step 2: Input the transaction address / ENS name

Step 3: Click on the cards tab

Step 4: Click “Check” on Unclaimed Assets Card

You will be redirected to Bankless.com/claimables. And you’ll see a list of unclaimed airdrops.

You can directly go to the claim pages of these airdrops and claim those. Or you can follow the step 5.

Step 5: Select the airdrop card and click “Claim”

If you don’t have an account, you’ll have to create a free account.

Once you click claim, you’ll be redirected to the claim page for the airdrop. You can claim your airdrop there.

Are you interested in more step-by-step articles going into different features of the top DeFi tools? Or do you think this level of detail is unnecessary? Reply to this email. It helps us write the articles you want.


😂 Meme