The cryptoeconomy was shellacked in the second week of March 2020, as the top U.S. stock indexes sunk past bear-market territories amid the coronavirus pandemic and an oil price war breaking out between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The de-risking sell-off in risk-on stocks hit the risk-on cryptoeconomy particularly hard, as both bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) plunged more than 50% intraday on March 12th.
As such, the Thursday trading frenzy was one of the craziest, most active days the fledgling cryptoeconomy has seen yet. That reality resulted in numerous milestones being set in the space, which we’ll now briefly review to better track what’s happened.
Wall Street Enters Bear Market
The cryptoeconomy is a fringe ecosystem that hitherto has loosely tracked the performance of the risk-on stocks space in recent months.
That’s why prices in the crypto ecosystem took a dive this week as America’s top stock indexes — the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 5000 — dove past bear-market metric thresholds, which sent a wide variety of industries across the world into an economic panic.
Such panic accordingly hit the crypto arena, which is part of the reason why the top cryptocurrencies saw their prices plummet on March 12th. That panic coincided with Wall Street’s major drop, which was the worst that the mainstream American finance sector has seen in 30 years.
Worst Days Yet for BTC and ETH
As U.S. stocks went on a severe decline on March 12th, the bitcoin price dropped more than 40 percent, sinking to a price of $5,800 USD. It was the OG crypto’s worst daily performance in seven years.
In the same span, Ethereum’s ether (ETH) price was hit even harder, sinking some 50% to past $95 temporarily as panic sellers fled for fiat currencies or stablecoins. Notably, the dip below $100 was the first time ETH had done so since December 2018. Moreover, the historical crypto downturn made some people wonder if an all-out bear market had returned.
Uniswap Volume Explodes
As crypto traders headed for the exits in droves in this week’s de-risking environment, some decentralized exchanges, like Uniswap, experienced new volume records.
For example, on March 12th the Ethereum ecosystem’s darling DEX, Uniswap, saw its daily volume levels acutely reach over $54 million — a new all-time high milestone for the platform. With that said, the stress test showed that the dApp could gracefully weather major upticks in activity.
“I don’t feel like celebrating but I’m glad it was able to handle the massively increased load without issue,” Uniswap creator Hayden Adams said on the news.
Yesterday during all the insanity Uniswap 24hr volume reached $53M
I don’t feel like celebrating but I’m glad it was able to handle the massively increased load without issue.
A major testament to Ethereum imo
Was this the highest volume day of any DEX ever? pic.twitter.com/cv4x3m8Zyu
— Hayden Adams 🦄 (@haydenzadams) March 13, 2020
Compound Liquidations Spike
Amid what Compound CEO Robert Leshner hailed as the “first major test” of DeFi, the Compound dApp — a very popular lending platform on Ethereum — held firm amid last week’s major Ethereum price drop.
With that said, Compound experienced a surge of lending position liquidations on March 12th. Specifically, the platform endured $5 million worth of liquidations on Thursday — more than it ever has before. But even in the tumult, Compound’s leadership asserted that a new era was upon us.
“And all of this sets the foundation for the reinvention of financial infrastructure,” Compound CEO Robert Leshner said in the wake of the March 12th sell-off.
Maker Pivots to Emergency Auction
MakerDAO is the leading lending dApp in Ethereum’s DeFi sector. Through it, users can put down collateral like ETH in order to draw out automated loans in Dai, the project’s stablecoin.
Last week, however, the platform experienced one of its most trying days yet. On March 12th, gas congestion on the Ethereum network that led to acutely high gas prices combined with dropping ETH prices pushed the Maker lending system seemingly to its edge.