SushiSwap, the blockchain-based market-making platform, saw its governance token, SUSHI, climb to an all-time high price early Tuesday as part of a broad-based rally in “decentralized finance,” or DeFi, tokens.
SUSHI traded at a record $20.42 during Asian hours, surpassing the $19.45 high reached on Feb. 21, according to the data provider Messari. Prices have risen sixfold this year.
Denis Vinokourov, head of research at London-based prime brokerage Bequant, foresees a continued rally on speculation that institutional participation in DeFi coins is poised to grow.
“I think it’s going much higher,” Vinokourov said. “The launch of DeFi-focused trusts by Grayscale Investments and the narrowing of the GBTC premium will likely encourage flows,”
Last month, Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital asset manager, applied for a new cryptocurrency trust for decentralized finance platform Yearn Finance (YFI). New York-based Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, the parent company of CoinDesk.
The GBTC premium, or the gap between the GBTC share price and the implied price of the underlying bitcoin, recently turned negative, having peaked around 35% in December, possibly due to increasing competition among providers of bitcoin-focused exchange-traded products.
Vinokourov said the recent launch of an exchange-traded product (ETP) for the polkadot (DOT) cryptocurrency highlights growing institutional interest in assets other than bitcoin and ether.
At press time, SUSHI was changing hands at $19.60, representing a 15.7% gain on a 24-hour basis. Other DeFi coins such as COMP, CRV, LINK and Uniswap have also chalked out double-digit gains in the past 24 hours.
February’s GameStop saga and the resulting instability in legacy markets underscored what some say is the need for democratization of finance, drawing more investors to the DeFi space.