Unpacking the Rise of Crypto Points: Opportunities, Challenges, and Market Dynamics

As the bullish momentum persists in the crypto market, despite intermittent pullbacks and consolidations causing temporary halts in the upward trajectory of bitcoin and ether prices, the sector remains dynamic, introducing new products and services.


One notable development attracting investor attention is the emergence of crypto projects boasting over 115 billion points. Rapid growth prompts a need for additional analysis and critical examination, particularly in the crypto domain. Bullish cycles, like the one witnessed since the launch of bitcoin spot ETFs, often evoke memories of past markets fostering innovation.

However, the introduction of new products and services does not universally guarantee sustainability or reflect the overall health of an asset class. The previous bull market, marked by record-high values for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, coincided with the ascent of the non-fungible token (NFT) market, a surge in decentralized finance (DeFi) initiatives, substantial growth in staking services, and the prominence of platforms like FTX.

Bull markets can mask flawed business models, enable exploitation by bad actors amid positive sentiment, and potentially harm investors.

This isn’t to imply that the crypto points phenomenon is inherently detrimental to investors, but it warrants closer inspection. Let’s delve into the specifics of these new products.

Understanding Crypto Points
The definition and attributes of crypto points vary across projects, but a general working definition characterizes them as off-chain tokens awarded to platform or project users as incentives for specific activities.

These point rewards are often implemented ahead of potential airdrops, ensuring users are informed about actions that will be rewarded, even if airdrops are not guaranteed. In essence, these points can be likened to rewards points, miles, or existing offers from vendors to customers based on usage or other actions.

Several considerations arise, such as 1) the taxable nature of off-chain point issuance, 2) methods to verify total points issued, 3) the existence of a central repository for point recipients to track individual status and total holdings on a permissionless blockchain, and 4) the availability of a whitepaper or reviewable mapping illustrating the connection between points, actions, and subsequent airdrops. Each project and point issuance system varies, but ambiguity is a prevailing trend in addressing these aspects.

Are Points Contributing to Crypto Volatility?

Similar to other bullish phases and rapid surges in crypto valuations, the swift ascent of the crypto points market has triggered trading, secondary markets, and volatility-driven activities by profit-seeking investors. While not necessarily indicative of unethical behavior, traders engaging in these activities can result in losses and raise questions about the stability and practical utility of these still-nascent assets.

This pattern aligns with past marketplace trends, such as the closure of CoinDesk’s DESK token due to traders establishing secondary markets against terms of service. Points trading exhibits similar trends, primarily on platforms like Whales Market and Pendle Finance.

Complications arise from traders not always seeking rights to the points themselves but often trading tokens tied to them. Additionally, leverage magnifies trading patterns, with some traders reaching 74x leverage.

Potential Recurrence of Past Mistakes
Crypto investors exploring points should be alert to signs that the points market mirrors past pitfalls observed in bull markets.

Limited information on total point issuance, redemption ratios for airdrops, and data regarding specific actions driving token issuance contribute to an opaque marketplace. The existing leverage, coupled with the perpetual pursuit of yield inherent in crypto projects, raises concerns about encouraging riskier behavior.

While this doesn’t imply that the points market is destined to fail, investors should adopt an objective perspective, analyzing market trends and the actual impact of these instruments in the crypto landscape


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