Bulls are back, but regulatory fears hamper the DeFi and altcoin recovery

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Bitcoin is staging a comeback, but the lingering threat of regulation continues to weigh on DeFi tokens and select altcoins.

On May 19, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization nosedived by 19% and has since failed to recover to the $1.8 trillion mark. More than 40 days have passed, and investors have begun to question what could happen to altcoins if the current bear market takes longer than expected to recover.

Before digging into that, analysts first need to understand whether specific sectors held out better than most, and more importantly, they should distinguish which cryptocurrencies have managed to stay afloat over the past 30 days.

Cryptocurrency total market capitalization (in billions). Source: TradingView

Although the total crypto market cap is down 5% in 30 days, nearly 44 of the top 100 coins are down 19% or more during this period. This data is a strong indicator that investors have been cutting losses on some altcoins.

Worst performers among the top 100 in the last 30 days. Source: CoinMarketCap

The list of worst performers displays an impressive number of tokens from smart contract platforms. In fact, five out of the top six fall under that category. One key aspect could be the sharp drop in Ethereum network gas fees, which is causing less demand for alternative solutions.

Another pattern that has emerged is the synthetic assets category, represented by Synthetix Network Token (SNX), UMA and Perpetual Protocol’s PERP token. Investors could be sensing potential issues, as the World Economic Forum recently published a policy toolkit for decentralized finance regulation. Furthermore, Dan Berkovitz, commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, stated that DeFi is likely illegal.

On the other hand, the list of outliers over the past month is significatively shorter. Only 12 of the top 100 managed to present positive performances.

Top performers among the top 100 in the last 30 days. Source: CoinMarketCap

This time around, it is difficult to find a common trend among the top performers. Both Flexa’s AMP token and Quant’s QNT were recently listed on Coinbase Pro. Meanwhile, Theta is expected to launch its Mainnet 3.0 on June 30. Lastly, Solana Labs, which is behind the popular SOL token, raised $314 million through a private token sale.

Therefore, some conclusions can be drawn from the analysis. The fact that only 12 tokens could present gains over the past 30 days shows that diversification into altcoins may not have paid off. Meanwhile, bets on “Ethereum killers” offered higher losses, as the bear market itself managed to curb excessive gas fees.

Lastly, the regulatory uncertainty around DeFi is realistically not going to be solved over the next 30 days. There is reason to believe that July’s Ethereum network upgrade and the reverberatons of El Salvador’s decision to make Bitcoin (BTC) an official currency will likely concentrate investors’ attention and money on BTC and Ether (ETH).

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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