Themes, statistics, and analysis from the second quarter of 2023
The second quarter of 2023 has been quite a ride with both positive and negative headlines swirling all quarter. On the negative side, central banks have continued to tighten financial conditions and the failure of Credit Suisse marked the beginning of Q3. The NFT market has seen significant drawdowns across major collections, starting from Bored Ape Yacht Club and transitioning to the Azuki ecosystem following a highly-dilutive Elementals launch. Further negative findings were disclosed by FTX and crypto custodian Prime Trust showed signs of stress before ultimately filing for bankruptcy. Perhaps most notably, the SEC has taken an aggressive approach to regulation by enforcement with recent actions against both Coinbase and Binance. Several major crypto projects, notably Solana, Cardano, and Matic were caught in the crossfire and delisted from several platforms, and some regional markets, most notably in Europe, have been exited by Binance.
But throughout the depths of these recent lows and negative events, when the fear of “it’s so over” washed over many participants, a resounding “we’re so back” has quelled their concerns. As the quarter ends, Bitcoin nears its 2023 high against the backdrop of a strong stock market rallying off AI innovations driving performance in large tech stocks. Despite all of the regulatory enforcement actions, major asset managers like BlackRock have filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States and many market participants believe this time it really may be different. Spreads on Grayscale’s close-ended products have come in significantly, from almost 50% discount at peak lows to roughly 30% presently. Q2 has left the market poised for potentially significant moves in the coming months, with many anticipated developments on ETF approvals, regulatory action, and new product launches on the horizon.
The past few months have been a transformative period for WOO Network. WOOFi continues to flourish with significant user adoption driven by strong ecosystem partners like LayerZero, Polygon, and zkSync. Q2 marked a significant turning point for WOO X, with the business model transformation via staking program changes and progress towards multiple market makers for perpetual futures. Altogether, Q2 has set WOO Network up for explosive growth in the second half of the year.
WOO X took a significant step forward with a revamp that featured streamlined staking tiers, a conventional fee-based business model, and the elimination of rebates paid in WOO. The Zero Fee Zone was introduced for around 60 major spot assets, helping WOO X remain true to its feeless history. This move paves the way to onboarding more market makers, better liquidity, more flexible listing strategies, reduced risk concentration, and a more transparent and robust business model. We anticipate these benefits translate to significant retail and institutional adoption throughout the remainder of 2023.
Further improvements will be made to WOO tokenomics by strengthening connectivity between the staking program and new product launches, and most importantly, incentivizing users to stake 1,800 WOO and beyond.
WOOFi has enjoyed a thundering quarter propelled by a strong tailwind of new partnerships, strategic initiatives, and product upgrades. Headlining these successes was WOOFi Stake 2.0 with its incorporation of LayerZero technology to enable anyone to stake WOO on any supported chain and earn WOO or USDC rewards distributed on Arbitrum. Since its introduction in late May, more than 2750 wallet addresses are already staking a combined total of 141m WOO on WOOFi.
In tandem with the upgrade to WOOFi Stake came the welcomed addition of three new brokers including Hera Finance, ThorSwap, and KalmySwap. Additional order flow from these integrations combined with heavy usage from WOOFi cross-chain swaps pushed WOOFi’s total trading volume over $5B in early June, later peaking in July when WOOFi breached the ranks of the top 10 DEXs by 24-hour trading volume.
WOOFi’s presence in DeFi has become more prominent than ever, with more than 650,000 unique active users and 1.5m+ transactions for consecutive months. Coverage by the Defiant recently highlighted how WOOFi has emerged as one of Avalanche’s most used dApps following a 28% increase in active users. This comes off the back of WOOFi’s sponsorship of the Avalanche Summit which spotlighted our position in the ecosystem as a top venue for swapping blue-chip assets.
New friendships were also forged with Okto Wallet and Trader Joe, the former making WOOFi Supercharger vaults available natively in their app, and the latter becoming home to the first-ever WOO-ETH liquidity pool on Arbitrum. Both of these have borne substantial fruit with WOOFi’s TVL now sitting above $12.5m TVL, and Trader Joe's pool now generating $100K+ volume/day.
Last but not least came the beta launch of perpetual futures on WOOFi DEX, taking the offering WOOFi’s product suite to the next level. The latter half of the year should see the product mature even further with the addition of more markets, enhancements to the UI, and eventually, expansion to additional chains.
The WOO token
WOOFi growth and the emergence of WOO as an omni-chain asset had a heavy impact in Q2. In total, the quarter ended with 1.71b WOO tokens in circulation, representing 76.7% of the total supply. On-chain, the amount of unique WOO-holding addresses ballooned from 40k to 75k, an increase of over 87%. Dramatic increases in addresses were observed on networks where WOOFi cross-chain swaps are deployed including Avalanche, Fantom, Polygon, and Optimism. BNB Smart Chain now holds 24% of all addresses, with Ethereum following with 20%.
However, Ethereum is still king with 81% of the circulating tokens still sitting on the mainnet. BSC is second with 9.5%, followed by Avalanche (3.7%) and Arbitrum (3%). With WOOFi launching on even more Layer 2 networks, it will be interesting to observe the flow of WOO over time. In the wake of the Multichain bridge incidents on Fantom, additional actions may be taken in Q3 to reduce exposure to third-party bridges.
There are roughly 278.5m WOO staked on WOO X, with another 141m staked on WOOFi. Cumulatively, this number comprises 24.5% of the circulating supply. Combined with the 546m ecosystem rewards vesting as part of the January update, over 56.3% of the circulating supply is currently locked in staking or vesting. Furthermore, the vesting ecosystem reward tokens will return to cold storage as they vest and may even be locked up again in the future.
With major updates to WOOFi Swap being implemented in June, the focus should shift to how staking on WOO X can be optimized. Q2 saw the number of WOO stakers on WOO X (Tier One or higher) drop to around 5k as assets flowed into WOOFi Stake V2. In Q3 and beyond, a large priority will be placed on researching and redesigning mechanics for incentivizing users on WOO X, aimed at giving the token even more utility.
The talent and acquisition team filled 16 positions across business development, marketing, engineering, and ecosystem departments, bringing the total number of WOO employees to 180. Q3 is expected to be just as busy with the continued expansion of the BD and engineering teams, and also the head-hunting of more hires for growth, exchange operations, and design.
Branding will be a key topic in the second half of the year as WOO Network looks to simplify messaging across an increasingly complex product line. That involves a more consistent look and feel, to better supplement new features such as staking improvements on WOO X and WOOFi, potential launchpads, social aspects, and NFTs.
Community and Ambassadors
Q2 set the stage for the bright future of WOO Network’s community, brand awareness, and platform growth - with billions in volume being brought in by WOO X ambassadors and WOO Force. WOO X launched multiple new partnerships with thought leaders and proven traders, such as CryptoCred and DonAlt from TechnicalRoundup, giving WOO X exposure in front of 1m+ followers across their social accounts. WOO Network will continue to work alongside high-quality individuals, helping bring WOO products to the masses through product feedback, brand awareness, and driving users and volumes to the platform. Importantly, the business model revamp now enables WOO Network to sustainably pay ambassadors and other affiliates rebates based on the trading volume they help bring to the platform.
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 Q2, with hundreds of thousands of impressions across localized Twitter accounts. WOO Force covers over 20 regions across the globe, offering individuals a chance to work closely with the WOO team and support ecosystem growth within their languages and communities.
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