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digital daily: Resilient Adoption

Resilient Adoption: Hostile markets showcased the resilience of digital assets in the third quarter. The One River Digital Core Index is up, and bitcoin is roughly flat despite substantial gains in the US dollar, a surge in real interest rates, and sharp declines in commodity markets. The pain to digital asset markets was a precursor. Without any false hope of policy support, digital asset markets were left to fend for themselves as market strains emerged. They are a throwback to pre-interventionist markets, only with a lot more data to appreciate the micro dynamics. There are two notable features behind the recent resilience. First, longer-term holders are mostly indelible. The percentage of bitcoin supply held for more than one year, at 66%, is an all-time high. There is a long enough history now to observe this behavior with conviction. Long-term holdings reach high levels when bitcoin prices are forming a bottom. Periods of speculative excess lead to a sharp rise in short-term holders, which reverses in a bear market. No magic. Just data. Second, structural adoption of digital is on the rise. The tired narrative of bitcoin and its base-layer peers as “slow” is being extinguished by scaling solutions. Nodes in the Lightning Network, the payment scaling solution for the Bitcoin protocol, have been one-way traffic – up. To run a node on the Lightning Network, you need bitcoin. And the bitcoin locked in the network has increased by 47% this year. It is too small to matter immediately for asset valuations. After all, Lightning locked bitcoin is only 2 basis points of terminal supply. But there is no denying the read of the trend. The digital ecosystem is resilient, and so is adoption.