A third-quarter industry report from DappRadar citing on-chain metrics suggests cryptocurrency markets are showing signs of recovery from ongoing bearing market conditions.
A number of factors played their part in a busy third quarter of 2022, with Ethereum’s Merge marking a successful shift to proof-of-stake having a notable influence on layer-2 activity before the event. The report also highlights a slight recovery in the overall cryptocurrency market capitalization, which still sits below the $1 trillion mark.
Third-quarter data reflected an 8.5% increase in the total crypto market cap from July to the end of September 2022. The decentralized finance space also showed signs of consolidation, with the total value locked (TVL) in the space increasing by 2.9% in the third quarter to $69 billion. Ethereum continues to account for the bulk of TVL, with $48 billion locked in smart contracts.
DappRadar also highlights a 12% increase in unique active wallets across the cryptocurrency ecosystem quarter-on-quarter, adding up to 1.8 million. The blockchain gaming sector contributed significantly, with unique wallet addresses increasing by 8% from August to September.
ImmutableX saw its unique active wallets grow by 30% during the same time period and recorded an 87% growth in nonfungible tokenNFT trading volume from the previous quarter, while Polygon followed a similar trajectory, seeing its unique active wallets increase by 17% to 148,000.
The number of nonfungible token (NFT) trades increased by 11% from the second quarter of 2022 while Ethereum’s NFT trading volume was down by a large margin of 76%. The NFT trading volume totaled $2.71 billion during the third quarter, which still marks a significant 67% drop from Q2 2022.
Yuga Labs-owned NFT projects dominated the market in September, with Otherside, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks accounting for 46.21% of the entire NFT market cap.
The theft of cryptocurrency assets was also highlighted once again, with blockchain bridges still being targeted. DappRadar listed the $190 million Nomad exploit in August as a significant contributor to the $461 million worth of crypto assets stolen in Q3. Algorithmic market maker Wintermute also succumbed to a $160 million exploit during the same period.
The DappRadar report also highlights the effect of wider macroeconomic factors on the global economy. As central banks look to manage inflation to stave off recessionary effects by raising interest rates:
“Current macroeconomic conditions significantly influence the crypto market, making it impossible to foresee a worldwide expansion of cryptocurrencies without a general recovery in conventional financial markets.”
This slightly gloomy outlook was countered by a number of positive events during the third quarter of 2022. The European Union’s approval of the Markets in Crypto-Assets regulatory plan indicates that governments are looking to manage the industry carefully.
Similarly, the White House published the “First-Ever Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets” in September 2022 in a bid to protect investors, which indicates that cryptocurrencies have become a fully-established industry.