In March, top cryptocurrencies witnessed a surge in value, despite the month being notorious for bringing poor returns for top tokens in the past. This rally was remarkable, especially considering the negative news surrounding Silvergate Capital’s (NYSE:SI) downfall and regulatory actions against Binance, one of the leading crypto exchanges. Additionally, market instability caused USD Coin (USDC-USD) to momentarily lose its value against the US dollar during the same period. This lead to a reasonable amount of tumult for most cryptos on investors’ radar.
Now that we’re in April, and the dust appears to have settled, investors may rightly be on watch for major catalysts to consider. As it happens, these three tokens each have catalysts which have played out, or will play out. This makes these top cryptos worth a gander, in my book, right now.
When I started writing this column, the Etheruem (ETH-USD) Shanghai and Capella upgrades hadn’t happened yet. Thus, in some respects, this is a mega-cap cryptocurrency with two key catalysts already in the rear-view mirror.
These upgrades went live last week and like the Merge upgrade last year, they both went off without a hitch.
The Merge ushered in an era of more sustainable growth for Ethereum, with its network shifting to proof-of-stake from proof-of-work (PoW). This significantly reduces the amount of energy required to maintain the Ethereum blockchain, something critics have pointed to as a flaw for some time.
However, the staking process involved required investors to lock their tokens in, without having the ability to withdraw said staked tokens. The now implemented Shanghai upgrade put an end to that, allowing for more liquid staking processes to be put in place. Capella, the other recent upgrade, made key improvements to the network’s execution layer.
Overall, these are big enhancements for the world’s largest decentralized finance ecosystem out there. Indeed, it’s truly difficult to state how impactful these upgrades have been. Looking forward, they could pave the way for additional renovations and network developments investors will keep a close eye on. Thus, this is a catalyst that should keep on giving, for those with a long-term investing mindset.
Ethereum Classic (ETC-USD)
Ethereum Classic (ETC-USD), like its cousin Ethereum, has seen an impressive upward trend build this month. The token is up roughly 10% since the beginning of April, as investors price in how Ethereum’s upgrades will affect this Ethereum alternative.
In March, the most significant cryptocurrency development was the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) cautioning of Coinbase regarding its staking products. This warning came a month after Kraken, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, settled with the SEC. As a result of the agreement, Kraken ceased its staking offerings to American customers.
In 2022, following the ethereum’s Merge upgrade, SEC Chair Gary Gensler raised concerns about Ethereum’s staking products, stating that the cryptocurrency had essentially transformed into financial security. This implied that, like Coinbase and Kraken, Ethereum would require regulation. This warning was particularly noteworthy due to Ethereum’s significant impact on the cryptocurrency market.
Thus, many investors have sought out Ethereum Classic for its use of the older PoW consensus mechanism, which is no longer used by ethereum after its Merge upgrade. Some investors may be enticed to consider ETC as a hedge against Ethereum, if and when regulators come calling. Accordingly, Ethereum’s recent upgrades could be viewed as a catalyst that could shed more light on Ethereum Classic as a true alternative, for those concerned about such risks moving forward.
On any list of cryptos to buy on upcoming catalysts, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) usually gets allotted some space for discussion, for good reason.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency tends to have among the most robust development teams out there. There’s something going on with Bitcoin at any given point in time, with one of the most dedicated communities supporting this project since its inception.
Bitcoin has fluctuated in a restricted way after rising to its peak price in just over nine months, with rates lingering around $29,500 at the time of writing. However, investors remain focused on a key catalyst that could take this crypto significantly higher in the months to come.
Specifically, many investors are honing in on Bitcoin’s upcoming halving event in 2024. Suffice it to say, this halving event is quite a ways out. However, the historical trading pattern of Bitcoin heading into a halving is worth considering, and it appears investors are doing just that right now.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald has a position in ETH. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.