First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Layer 2 Stacks Begins May on Top

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for May 3, 2023.

AccessTimeIconMay 3, 2023 at 12:23 p.m. UTC
Updated May 3, 2023 at 3:20 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

Latest Prices

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Latest prices 5/3/2023

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Bitcoin (BTC) climbed on Tuesday, gaining more than 2% on signs the U.S. banking crisis isn’t yet over. Helping the bullish tone was the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), which showed job openings declining to their lowest level since April 2021. Ether (ETH) also gained, climbing 1.5%. Bitcoin layer 2 Stacks (STX) outperformed the majority of crypto assets, soaring 13% over the last 24-hours. Last week, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance, announced it would support the network’s upgrade and hardfork. Stacks upgraded its network earlier today to fix a bug that was found in another recent upgrade. STX has surged 177% over the last 3 months, according to data from Messari.

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Crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG) said Chief Financial Officer Michael Kraines stepped down in April, and revealed that it fully repaid a $350 million senior secured term loan during the first quarter. Kraines became CFO two years ago. DCG has engaged Heidrick & Struggles for a new CFO search, according to a letter to shareholders, while President Mark Murphy and Chief Strategy Officer Simon Koster run the finance department in the meantime. Also in the letter, DCG, which is CoinDesk's parent company, reported first-quarter revenue of $180 million, up 63% from the fourth quarter, thanks to rising crypto prices. First quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was negative $6 million.

Frenzied trading activity has pushed the newly-launched pepe token (PEPE) to garner trading volumes higher than those of dogecoin (DOGE) and shiba inu (SHIB) – which previously were biggest memecoins by trading volumes. PEPE trading volumes surged to over $250 million in the past 24 hours following a 100% price spike during a weekend rally. Over the same period, trading volumes on dogecoin stood at $225 million, while shiba inu volumes were only $100 million. Data from CoinGecko show crypto exchange OKX had over $76 million in trading volumes for PEPE tokens, followed by $43 million at the decentralized exchange Uniswap. The bulk of these volumes may have been generated by automated bots, which continually buy and sell tokens to generate trading activity and provide liquidity to investors in turn for a few dollars of profits.

Chart of the Day

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(QCP Capital)
  • The chart shows bitcoin's price movements since the third mining reward halving, dated May 2020, look similar to the price action following the previous reward halvings.
  • If history is a guide, the path of least resistance for cryptocurrency is on the higher side.
  • The fourth halving, or programmed 50% reduction in per-block BTC issuance, is due next year.

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Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

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Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

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