First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Layer 2s Have Their Moment

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for April 22, 2024.

AccessTimeIconApr 22, 2024 at 12:43 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 22, 2024 at 12:46 p.m. UTC
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Tokens associated with Bitcoin layer 2 solutions have outperformed bitcoin (BTC) since the Bitcoin blockchain's highly-anticipated mining reward halving took effect early Saturday. STX, the native token of leading Bitcoin layer 2 network Stacks, has risen nearly 20% to $2.87 since quadrennial halving reduced the per block coin emission to 3.125 BTC from 6.25 BTC, according to data source CoinGecko. Bitcoin, meanwhile, has gained just over 4.7% to $66,300. STX is one of the best-performing top 25 cryptocurrencies of the past 24 hours, per Velo Data. Other layer 2 coins, like Elastos’ ELA token and SatoshiVM’s SAVM, have risen 11% and 5%, respectively, since halving. Bitcoin layer 2 solutions are projects that address scalability and transaction speed limitations on the Bitcoin blockchain. They are built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and bring scalability by processing transactions off the main chain.

Grayscale, which currently offers the most expensive spot bitcoin ETF, revealed that it is planning a spinoff version of the fund with a 0.15% fee, which would be the lowest of them all, according to pro forma financials in its latest filing. The existing Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) has a 1.5% fee. When Grayscale's Bitcoin Mini Trust (BTC) is introduced, the filing says the company will contribute 10% of the assets in GBTC to the BTC Trust. Shares of the BTC trust are to be issued and distributed automatically to holders of GBTC shares. (The pro forma financial statements are projections of future expenses and revenues based on a company's past experience and future plans.) Grayscale’s Bitcoin Mini Trust was conceived to offer GBTC investors a lower fee option that’s more competitively in line with other bitcoin ETFs approved back in January. Currently, the Franklin Bitcoin ETF (EZBC) at 0.19% is the lowest-cost spot bitcoin ETF.

Woo X is claiming bragging rights for being the first cryptocurrency exchange to offer retail customers exposure to tokenized U.S. Treasury bills. The yield-bearing product, unveiled on Monday, called RWA Earn Vaults (as in real-world assets) has been built in partnership with London-based institutional tokenization platform OpenTrade. The product's arrival was described as a “significant milestone” by Woo X Chief Operating Officer Willy Chuang. “For the first time, retail users on a centralized exchange can instantly access an interest-bearing account backed by U.S. Treasury Bills,” Chuang said in an email. “This initiative bridges a crucial gap between traditional financial securities and the dynamic world of cryptocurrency, offering our users an unprecedented opportunity to engage with low-risk, high-quality financial assets in a seamless, secure, and efficient manner.”

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows the average annualized three-month basis or spreads between prices in bitcoin futures and spot markets on Binance, Bybit, Deribit, and OKX.
  • The premium has declined sharply to under 10% from 30% on March 31, denting the appeal of the cash and carry arbitrage strategy.
  • Source: Glassnode

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Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Lyllah Ledesma

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

Omkar Godbole

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

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