The cryptocurrency market doesn't sleep and investors were bidding up a number of altcoins on Saturday. This comes only a week after the weekend left altcoin holders looking at losses early in the weekend.
Decentraland (MANA 0.44%) was one of the biggest movers, climbing as much as 14% in the last 24 hours as of 2:40 p.m. ET. Chainlink (LINK) was up 11% as much as the same timeframe while Avalanche (AVAX 0.22%) was up 6.8% and Polygon (MATIC -0.01%) jumped 9.1%. The four cryptocurrencies are up 9.6%, 7.5%, 3.8%, and 6.1% respectively as I'm writing.
The biggest news out of this group is that investment manager VanEck is launching exchange-traded notes (ETNs) in Europe for Avalanche and Polygon. The firm already has ETNs for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, and Solana, so this move puts these cryptocurrencies in exclusive company.
One unique aspect of these ETNs is that they will hold actual cryptocurrency, as opposed to futures contracts. The U.S. SEC has so far rejected crypto funds that hold crypto directly, although Europe is allowing ETNs in the market.
Decentraland is rising as metaverse projects get more exposure in the market. Nike buying RTFKT was a clear acknowledgment that big brands are starting to put more value on digital assets that could be used in the metaverse, like RTFKT's digital shoes and apparel.
Polygon got another boost starting yesterday when Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian's venture capital firm Seven Seven Six and Polygon Network created a $200 million initiative to invest in social media and "Web 3" projects for the cryptocurrency. As all cryptocurrencies try to scale their ecosystems, Polygon has gained a lot of backing with over 3,000 decentralized apps in operation.
Altcoins are typically more volatile than their larger rivals and weekend trading has been all over the map the last few weeks. We saw a flash crash of all cryptocurrencies and a drop and then recovery last weekend. But with all of the volatility, there doesn't seem to be a clear trend either higher or lower to end the year.
What investors should be most excited about is the fact that cryptocurrency ecosystems are getting hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from big names to build out better functionality. So far, we've seen NFT marketplaces and some small utility projects but the long-term vision for cryptocurrency is to be a disruptive force in finance and business. That levy may be starting to break right now.
What I see as the most bullish today is Polygon's investment, which could help dozens of projects get off the ground. If Polygon is going to be one of the winning cryptocurrencies long-term it needs a better ecosystem and this is a sign that it's moving in that direction.