The crypto market experienced a month of widespread corrections, adjustments, slow NFT marketplace activities, and more, in the month of May, according to on-chain data released by The Block.
A bearish May
In a recent tweet, Lars H., the research director at The Block, shed light on the performance of the crypto markets in the past month. The data reveals a mostly corrective phase, marked by fluctuations in on-chain volumes, stablecoin supply, miner revenue, NFT marketplace activity, and trading volumes across various platforms.
Per the researchers, total adjusted on-chain volume experienced a decline of 5.3%, amounting to $196 billion. Notably, bitcoin (BTC) witnessed a significant decrease of 13.3% in on-chain volume, while ethereum (ETH) managed a modest increase of 3.2%.
The adjusted on-chain volume of stablecoins also decreased, dropping by 4.2% to $464.6 billion.
Additionally, the issued supply of stablecoins contracted by 1.4% to $122.4 billion. Among them, tether (USDT) saw its market share rise to 68.2% and achieved an all-time high supply of $83.5 billion, whereas, Circle’s USD coin (USDC) experienced a 22.2% decrease in market share.
In the bitcoin mining space, miners had a lucrative May, as revenue increased by 13.7% to reach $916.6 million. However, ethereum stakers faced a decline in revenue, witnessing a significant drop of 34.5% to $157.2 million.
In May, a total of 204,576 ETH, equivalent to $380.1 million, was burned. This ongoing deflationary trend has been in effect since January 2023.
On-chain data also shows that since the implementation of Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559 (EIP-1559) in August 2021, a remarkable 3.36 million ETH, worth approximately $9.76 billion, has been burned.
Ethereum-based NFT marketplaces experienced a significant setback in May, with a decline of 48.7% in monthly volume, totaling $652 million. Surprisingly, a relatively new player named Blur managed to surpass OpenSea in market share for the fourth consecutive month. The shift in dominance can be attributed primarily to the BLUR token incentives offered by the platform.
Moving on to centralized exchanges (CEXs), legitimate spot volume faced a decline of 23.2%, hitting the lowest level since November 2020. Notable players in this space include Binance with a dominant market share of 71%, followed by Brian Armstrong’s Coinbase at 8.7%, BTSE at 5.1%, and Kraken at 4.5%.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), experienced a significant drop in daily average volume, declining by 38.2% to $26 million, marking its lowest level since December 2019.
Open interest in BTC futures decline
Turning to futures trading, open interest in bitcoin futures witnessed a slight increase of 2.9%, while Ethereum futures saw a more significant rise of 5.7%. However, the monthly futures volume for BTC decreased by 15.3% to $778.5 billion.
In the regulated futures market, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) reported an 8.4% decline in open interest for bitcoin futures, amounting to $1.85 billion. Additionally, the daily average volume experienced a drop of 30.1% to $1.22 billion.
For ETH futures, the monthly volume declined by 24.3% to $408 billion, indicating a decrease in trading activity for ethereum futures contracts.
In the options market, open interest for BTC options experienced a decrease of 10.6%, while ETH options saw a modest increase of 5.6%. However, trading volumes for both BTC and ETH options declined. Specifically, BTC monthly options volume decreased by 12% to $16.8 billion, while ETH options volume dropped by 8.5% to $10.7 billion.
The data offers valuable insights into the performance of the crypto market over the past month, revealing a market undergoing a corrective phase, characterized by fluctuations and adjustments across various metrics.
One notable trend is the decrease in on-chain volumes, with BTC experiencing a significant decline of 13.3%. This suggests a slowdown in transactional activity on the bitcoin network during the period under review. Conversely, ETH managed a slight increase of 3.2%, indicating a relatively more resilient performance in terms of on-chain transactions.
Stablecoins, which play a crucial role in the crypto ecosystem, also witnessed a decrease in on-chain volume. The overall supply of stablecoins contracted by 1.4%, indicating a reduction in their circulation within the market.