Optimism is up in the crypto market today, in more ways than one, as the Fed announced its smallest rate hike in a year.

Optimism (OP), is also the name of one of crypto’s leading “layer 2” scaling blockchains for the Ethereum ecosystem. So, uh, you see what we did there? Anyway, with a +30% increase it’s leading 24-hour gains in the top 100 by market cap right now.

Other surging altcoins at the time of writing include Synthetix (SNX) and ImmutableX (IMX). That could all change pretty quickly, natch, but it’s a good start to the day in the Aussie end of the Cryptoverse.

And, for a change, we have Jerome “Suddenly a Decent Bloke, Almost” Powell to thank. The US Federal Reserve boss announced what the markets had largely been expecting – another rate hike, but its smallest in a year: 25 basis points.

Yeah, he dribbled out some slightly “hawkish” statements after the statistical reveal. Markets clearly ain’t buying it today, though.

“Inflation has eased somewhat but remains elevated,” said Powell, adding that “ongoing increases” will be appropriate as it seeks to bring prices down and that the Fed has “more work to do”.

And you’d wanna hope so, give the salaries they’re paid.


Top 10 overview

With the overall crypto market cap at US$1.12 trillion, up about 3.3% since this time yesterday, here’s the current state of play among top 10 tokens – according to CoinGecko.

Mild stablecoin fluctuations aside, it’s a green day in the majors. Apart from you, Dogecoin – keep up, would you? Guess you had a pretty good day post Musk-commentary yesterday.

What’s the Crypto Fear & Greed Index telling us today, then? Ah yes, all you greedy so and sos seem to be rubbing your hands together slightly faster than yesterday. Will it last? Not sure, but can’t deny it’s quite nice to be back on the right side of this dial for a change.

Meanwhile Michael “Big Short” Burry, returned to Twitter with one word last night: “Sell”. Well, he was particularly early on calling the GFC, so if he’s right and more doom and gloom is on the horizon, then maybe the bulls can have some fun first.

Some traders probably did sell based on that tweet, and also upon hearing that CNBC’s Jim Cramer reckons we’re back in a bull market. Confusing times.

Cramer’s not the only one calling a bull market, though. Bitcoin’s not there yet but if it keeps going the way it has been today, it could well hit a six or seven-month high before too long. Probs best not get ahead of ourselves, though.


Uppers and downers: 11–100

Sweeping a market-cap range of about US$9.4 billion to about US$462 million in the rest of the top 100, let’s find some of the biggest 24-hour gainers and losers at press time. (Stats accurate at time of publishing, based on CoinGecko.com data.)


Optimism (OP), (market cap: US$594 million) +30%

Arweave (AR), (mc: US$633 million) +21%

Synthetix Network (SNX), (mc: US$843 million) +19%

Loopring (LRC), (mc: US$496 million) +17%

ImutableX (IMX), (mc: US$647 million) +12%


Just a reminder, what is Optimism again? It’s an “optimistic rollups”-tech-employing layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum and a blockchain in its own right.

Layer 2s are continuing to shape as one of the buzziest crypto narratives, which we’ll explore a little bit more in another article we’re aiming to publish today. (Note, many other prominent layer 2 projects, such as Arbitrum and zkSync, are yet to release tokens.)

Optimism is regarded as one of the leading new wave of projects that have recently poked their heads through the door in this sector. Its OP token has been performing particularly well as layer 2 adoption grows.

“2023 is shaping up to be the year of layer 2s,” noted Marc Arjoon, Ethereum research associate at CoinShares, recently, adding:

“For years Ethereum has been struggling to scale effectively while preserving decentralization and security and layer 2s have seemingly solved this trilemma.”



LEO Token (LEO), (market cap: US$3.2 billion) -3%

BitDAO (BIT), (market cap: US$610 million) -1%

Flare (FLR), (mc: US$478 million) -1%



Around the blocks

Some pertinence and randomness that stuck with us on our morning moves through the Crypto Twitterverse.

Hmm… the Crypto Twitter herd is definitely leaning bullish…

But there’s bullish, and then there’s Cathie Wood.