What's Driving Token Prices? December 20, 2023

Katie Talati
Dec 21, 2023

Join Katie Talati, Arca’s Head of Research, weekly on Wednesday at 4PM EST / 1PM PST as she shares notable token activity over the past week and her insights on what market events drove these token price movements.

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  • ZEC (-4.8%) - On Monday, the founder of Zcash, Zooko Wilcox, announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of Electric Coin Company which backs the project. Zcash, founded in 2016, is a layer-1 cryptocurrency project focused on providing users optional privacy using zero-knowledge proofs to mask transactions. While the industry has moved away from layer-1 projects that provide privacy at the base layer, Zcash has been one of the few privacy-focused projects that chose to operate within the law and developed some of the leading privacy technology adopted by other projects today. The news took the price of $ZEC down about 7%, and it is now down 4.8% for the week.
  • AR (+10.4%) - Permanent storage solution, Arweave, faced some drama in the past week as its layer-2 solution, Irys, reportedly decided to fork the Arweave’s codebase to create its own blockchain without maintaining the data and tokens already on Arweave. The trouble started late Sunday when Sam Williams, Arweave’s founder, tweeted that Irys planned to fork the Arweave network and not maintain its data set. As a result, access to Irys’s front end was disabled by another project, Ar.io Network, and a backup layer-2 solution was implemented. Irys published a response declaring that the project was being censored for simply “exploring” a fork, and these statements have been supported by other players, including one of Irys’s venture backers, Framework Ventures, and one of Arweave’s leading developers, Dmac. The community remains relatively split on which party is correct, but more importantly, there is concern that Irys leaving the ecosystem could mean less usage for Arwaeve. While Arweave claims that most projects using Irys have already migrated to the layer-2 solution offered by Ar.io, Irys is currently responsible for most transactions and data stored on Arweave’s blockchain. Transactions on Arweave have yet to see any discernible change in their direction, with monthly transaction growth up 36% on average in the last six months. 
  • SOL/BONK (+12%/+44%) -  The Solana mania continues with last week’s hot commodity, the Solana Saga phone. Released this summer, early sales for the Saga phone were sluggish and even incited a price cut of $400. However, a new promotional offer last week caused the phones to sell out everywhere. The promotion offered new customers an airdrop of 30 million BONK tokens, the Dogecoin of Solana, preloaded on the phone. As the price of the newly released memecoin BONK rose, so did the value of the airdrop. At one point last week, the airdrop was worth about $700, while the Saga phone list price was $599. The phone has continued to fly off of shelves, with some of the phones reportedly selling on eBay for as much as $2000.  

DISCLAIMER: This commentary is not intended to be investment advice, investment research, or a recommendation. Please consult your investment professional for your own circumstances."

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Disclaimer: This commentary is provided as general information only and is in no way intended as investment advice, investment research, legal advice, tax advice, a research report, or a recommendation. Any decision to invest or take any other action with respect to any investments discussed in this commentary may involve risks not discussed, and therefore, such decisions should not be based solely on the information contained in this document. Please consult your own financial/legal/tax professional.

Statements in this communication may include forward-looking information and/or may be based on various assumptions. The forward-looking statements and other views or opinions expressed are those of the author, and are made as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated and there is no guarantee that any particular outcome will come to pass. The statements made herein are subject to change at any time. Arca disclaims any obligation to update or revise any statements or views expressed herein. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results and there can be no assurance that any future results will be realized. Some or all of the information provided herein may be or be based on statements of opinion. In addition, certain information provided herein may be based on third-party sources, which is believed to be accurate, but has not been independently verified. Arca and/or certain of its affiliates and/or clients may now, or in the future, hold a financial interest in investments that are the same as or substantially similar to the investments discussed in this commentary. No claims are made as to the profitability of such financial interests, now, in the past or in the future and Arca and/or its clients may sell such financial interests at any time. The information provided herein is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities, or a solicitation to provide investment advisory services.

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