Market Roundup: $APE Surges in a Bummer of a Month for Crypto

April hasn’t been kind to crypto. But there is one unlikely bright spot: ApeCoin (APE), the native token for the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has surged 37% as investors prepare for Yuga Labs’ upcoming virtual land sale on April 30.

For just about everything else, the end of April can’t come fast enough: only nine of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization have posted gains this month, according to data from CoinGecko.

The damage wasn’t limited to crypto, however. Global equities have softened as inflation concerns take center stage. The S&P 500 is down 7% this month and the tech-heavy Nasdaq has plunged over 12%. In fact, crypto has outperformed major tech stocks this year

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spiked geopolitical risk and commodity prices, with consumers feeling the pinch at the pump.

The U.S. dollar continues to surge higher on the back of expected interest rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve and is approaching levels last seen during the Covid-19 crash of 2020. A rising dollar is generally considered a headwind for risk assets such as stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Tax season in the U.S. also likely played a role as investors could have sold crypto assets to meet their obligations to Uncle Sam.

‘Walk-to-Earn’ NFT sensation STEPN is up 237% this month. At the current price of $4.09, the project is valued at $2.5B.

FXS, the governance token of algorithmic stablecoin Frax Finance, is the best performing DeFi token, up 27%. Frax announced a partnership with UST issuer Terra earlier this month.

WAVES was the worst-performing Top-100 crypto asset. Investors seem to have lost confidence after its USDN stablecoin lost its dollar peg on Apr. 4. It’s lost two-thirds of its value this month and is trading at $16.5.

GameFi has been battered this month. Axie Infinity’s $AXS token is down 43%. Its Ronin bridge was exploited for $600M in March. Gala Games (GALA) and Decentraland (MANA) have crashed by a third.

Layer 1 blockchain Fantom is down 30% to $0.98. Total Value Locked (TVL) has fallen to $5.93B from a peak of $14B on Mar. 3, just days before developer Andre Cronje announced his departure from DeFi.

That’s down 9.3% from $288B on Apr. 4. Much of the decline can be attributed to the fall in crypto prices.

Sharded Layer-1 Near Protocol saw TVL rise 278% in the last 30 days. The project raised $350M earlier this month and is planning to launch its own stablecoin to compete with Terra’s UST.

Meanwhile, in NFT land, collectors have a new obsession with three and four-digit ENS (Ethereum Name Service) domains.

All domains from 001.eth to 9999.eth have now been registered and are flying off the shelves on secondary markets. ENS is in eighth place on OpenSea’s volume leaderboard with 870 ETH traded in the past day.

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