Themes, statistics, and analysis from the first quarter of 2023
The first quarter of 2023 has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs for the crypto industry, leaving very little time to sit back and relax with headline after headline. On the positive side, the industry led off with BTC having its best-performing quarter since Q1 2021, up nearly 70% YTD and outperforming nearly every major stock, bond, and commodity index. Ethereum has made substantial progress toward its major Shanghai update, which is slated for launch in mid-April. The community experienced an Arbitrum airdrop and many DeFi projects continued to launch new upgrades.
These positive developments were mirrored by many negative headlines and events experienced by the industry. From a macro perspective, financial conditions continue to tighten as the Fed raised its policy interest rate further following persistent inflation prints above 6%. The banking sector faced severe financial stress with the failure of Silvergate, Signature, Silicon Valley Bank, and most notably Credit Suisse. Beyond these bank failures, the crypto industry has broadly experienced more frictions in fiat on and off-ramps. These frictions culminated with USDC severely de-pegging and trading below $0.9 before ultimately returning to parity. Perhaps most notably, the industry experienced significant regulatory action throughout Q1. This includes more charges for SBF from the DOJ, the SEC settling with Kraken because its staking offering was deemed non-compliant, Coinbase was served a Well’s Notice by the SEC, Paxos was ordered to cease minting BUSD tokens and Binance was charged by the CFTC in late March. To top things off, the industry is facing several potential selling events with the Mt. Gox distribution, U.S. government Bitcoin sales related to the Silk Road, and the unlocking of ETH-staked assets post-Shanghai update.
But yet, Bitcoin remains hovering just below $30K and ETH is nearly back above $2K, with both assets nearly shrugging off all losses since FTX blew up. Moreover, the banking failures and loss of trust in fractional reserve banking have demonstrated the benefit of a non-sovereign store of value and self-custody. So all in all, the industry faces significant headwinds and uncertainty but the long-term outlook has rarely looked more promising.
From WOO Network’s perspective, the main priority remains innovation for both WOO X and WOOFi. Just as an example, WOOFi Swap has quickly adapted to the L2 narrative by launching support for both the zkSync and Base testnets. On the CeFi side, a strategic shift is underway to make WOO X one of the most robust trading platforms globally. This transition is driven by enhancements to its fee structure and staking program, which aims to better align incentives across all ecosystem participants. This includes more rebate incentives to compensate ambassadors, affiliates, and brokers for bringing users and trading volume to WOO X. Additionally, taker fees on perpetual futures markets will facilitate rebates for incentivizing more market makers to support liquidity on the platform. All together, innovation remains core to WOO Network’s expansion across CeFi and DeFi.
This quarter saw explosive growth for WOOFi on multiple fronts - from a record-breaking 7-day trading volume of $196M to a staggering 100M staked WOO. These milestones resulted from an influx of new users, following a deeper integration with Stargate driven by upgrades to WOOFi’s cross-chain swaps. The major improvements included cross-chain support for Ethereum, increased transaction speeds, more efficient routing, and two innovative features that allowed for greater convenience and flexibility.
This increased traffic catapulted WOOFi into the top eleven most used DeFi protocols on DappRadar out of more than 3,000 registered dApps. In addition, the total number of cross-chain swaps executed by WOOFi reached just shy of 100,000 since their inception only 10 months ago.
Further success came when 772,621 ARB tokens were delegated to WOOFi’s treasury by the Arbitrum DAO, which will be used to incentivize higher trading volumes and TVL. Not before long WOOFi then added support for ARB followed by USDT on all chains which propelled it beyond $4B total trading volume as well as 4 million total WOO bought back. Last but not least came two consecutive deployments on the Base and zkSync testnets alongside an additional integration with the Fireblocks network giving 1600+ institutions access to WOOFi.
The WOO token
The WOO token had a very formative Q1 with a major update implemented in January. As part of the first chapter of tokenomics improvements, nearly 25% of the initial max supply or 700M WOO was burned. In total, the quarter ended with 1.67b WOO tokens in circulation, representing 74.5% of total supply. On-chain, the amount of unique WOO-holding addresses ballooned from 32.4k to 40.2k, an increase of 24%. A big reason was the increase on Arbitrum, as it grew to over 6,000 holders, resulting in 15% of the total on-chain addresses on an L2. Ethereum mainnet holds the top spot with 36% of all addresses, with BSC followed next at 30%.
For the token itself, WOO-USDT perp markets launched on a number of venues, led by OKX, Huobi, BingX, and Kraken. Perp listings on key exchanges help to solidify WOO’s goal to become one of the most liquid exchange tokens. After the progress in Q1, nearly every major centralized exchange has a spot or perp market listed for the WOO token.
There are roughly 269m WOO staked on WOO X, with another 107m staked on WOOFi. Together, this number comprises 22% of the circulating supply. Combined with the 546m ecosystem rewards locked and vesting as part of the January update, over 54% of the circulating supply is currently locked in staking or vesting. Furthermore, the vesting ecosystem tokens will return to cold storage as they vest and may even be locked up again in the future.
WOOFi saw the largest jump with a 35% increase in tokens staked, largely attributed to higher real yields due to increased WOOFi Swap transaction volumes on Avalanche and Arbitrum. In order to provide a more consistent user experience, Q2 should see the release of a unified WOOFi Stake V2, featuring single-chain staking where all rewards are distributed.
WOO X, which has about 5.5k users staking 1800 or more WOO, will also be the beneficiary of staking updates, as WOO X seeks to better align products with the staking program. The fee revamp and improved staking program should be implemented before the end of Q2 and will better align the incentives of all major stakeholders, including users, team, investors, ambassadors, brokers, liquidity providers, and most importantly, WOO token stakers.
WOO Network continues to thrive with 11 new hires onboarded in Q1, bringing the total to 175 full-time employees worldwide. Our focus moving forward shifts toward acquiring more marketing and growth talents as we double down our efforts to scale brand awareness, capture greater market share, and further fuel WOO X and WOOFi’s explosive growth in the months ahead.
Community and Ambassadors
Q1 saw impressive growth for both WOO Network’s community and brand awareness. WOO Network’s ambassador program launched in Q1, seeing the WOO team work alongside renowned thought leaders and traders. Ambassadors such as Satsdart and Cevo work closely alongside the WOO team to improve products, increase brand awareness, grow userbase, and bolster ecosystem growth - with a focus on sustainable and meaningful collaboration. WOO Network will continue to work alongside high-quality individuals, growing its entourage of Ambassadors, and helping bring WOO products to the masses.
Alongside the work of Ambassadors, WOO Network community growth was led by its community empowerment program, WOO Force. Regional communities and Twitter pages also continued to grow across Q1, with a total of over 250,000 impressions across localized Twitter accounts. WOO Force now covers over 20 regions across the globe, offering individuals a chance to work closer with the WOO team and support ecosystem growth within their languages and communities.
The content above is neither a recommendation for investment and trading strategies nor does it constitute an investment offer, solicitation, or recommendation of any product or service. The content is for informational sharing purposes only. Anyone who makes or changes to their investment decision based on the content shall undertake the result or loss by himself/herself.
The content of this document has been translated into different languages and shared throughout different platforms. In case of any discrepancy or inconsistency between different posts caused by mistranslations, the English version on our official website shall prevail.