We had several such moments this past month: the confirmation from PayPal that it will support cryptocurrency buying, selling and holding on its platform; more interest in holding bitcoin (BTC) included in corporate treasuries; JPMorgan devoting a report favorable to a cryptocurrency its chairman mocked just three years ago; many significant fund managers breaching asset under management (AUM) milestones; Enhancing clarity on the definitions of crypto assets and regulated solutions and a whole lot more.
But it isn’t yet true of”suddenly.” We are still in the”gradual” phase. Every month brings progress that seems momentous at the time, but in the grand scheme of market evolution we are still in the beginning. We have left the starting block, for sure. But we aren’t even a quarter of the way round the trail.
In Research’s latest monthly report, we take a brief look in the advancement bitcoin and ether (ETH), the two biggest cryptocurrencies by market cap, created in October, as well as some of the tales their on-chain metrics are still telling us. Momentum is gathering, as exhibited by the growing congestion in the Bitcoin network and the technological evolution — Eth 2.0 — in Ethereum. And the use case of every is gradually getting more clear as marketplace and on-chain metrics start to paint a more detailed picture.
The volatility story
While BTC’s volatility was largely flat throughout October, ETH’s volatility decreased. This is likely an adjustment from the leap in September, once the ETH 30-day volatility increased by a significantly greater amount compared to the BTC, as seen by the spike and then the autumn from the ETH/BTC volatility ratio (blue line). This underscores the ETH marketplace remains more immature than that of BTC, and may indicate that the pending change in ETH’s technology underpinnings is incorporating a degree of uncertainty into an evolving market.
Bitcoin gets congested
Taking a look at the average block weight (dark blue line), we can see that Bitcoin cubes have been in near full capacity for the longest stretch since May. This can also be seen at the spike in average time between cubes (green line). Network congestion is a frequent feature of price rallies and generally results in an increase in transaction fees. This more recent congestion, however, has generated a much greater fee spike than in May, even when the U.S. dollar price increase is taken out of this equation, hinting at higher need for transaction processing.
Ethereum calms down
Average transaction fees on Ethereum dropped over 80 percent in October, retracing September’s sharp increase. The percentage of miner earnings from fees also declined sharply from a high of 75% in September to 30% by the end of October. Both metrics indicate lower user and dapp activity on Ethereum as the hype about decentralized fund (DeFi) applications starts to ebb. This is a positive sign for its community, which lately was pushed to its limits from the splashy debuts of fresh DeFi assets like COMP, SUSHI along with others.