The SPOT token officially launched in December 2022, resulting in a massive monetary expansion of the AMPL protocol as hype returned to the Ampleforth ecosystem. Q1 2023 represents the first full quarter of SPOT’s existence and initially came with a lot of unknowns.
Ultimately, what started as a theory by the core development team in the ecosystem turned into a proven, workable concept on-chain as SPOT has since successfully maintained near-unshakable stability in price without a peg or over-collateralization.
This stability is shown in the graph below, with SPOT represented by the green line and AMPL by the red. Despite significant deviations in AMPL, SPOT remained stable throughout Q1:
In addition to on-chain performance, there is now comprehensive documentation behind the SPOT project, including the whitepaper and SPOT docs, which are linked below:
Documenting AMPL has also put out several papers detailing the SPOT token launch over the course of Q1, which are available in the link below:
Q1 Content includes the following papers:
- Beyond Speculation: How Can Crypto Provide Real World Value?
- How the SPOT Token Achieves a Stable Value
- How the SPOT Token Offers Gains Without Staking
- Have Stablecoins Failed? Analyzing the USDC Depeg
- Ampleforth’s Recession-Resistant Monetary System: Reducing Risk in Crypto
AMPL Token Performance
The AMPL token market cap experienced a significant expansion following the launch of the SPOT SoV at the end of 2022, leading to a growth of over 2x over the course of only a few short weeks. Since this expansion, AMPL has largely cooled off and depreciated for much of Q1.
Today, at the end of Q1 2023, AMPL holds a market capitalization of just under $40 million against a circulating supply of 36.4 million tokens.The market cap remains down 59% from one year ago.
Due to the rate of inflation still being high in the US, each AMPL token is targeting a CPI-adjusted rate of $1.15. Inflation rates in the United States remained elevated above 6% throughout Q1 2023, though the Federal Reserve has continued to raise interest rates to 4.75–5% which is expected to slow the rate of inflation down. It is important to note that AMPL will continue to appreciate in its targeted value unless CPI inflation ever goes negative — something that has not occurred in decades.
SPOT Token Performance
The SPOT token began to solidify itself in the broader crypto market during Q1 2023, seeing its overall liquidity jump to over 637,000 SPOT tokens in the outstanding supply. SPOT, due to its collateral set model, roughly tracks that of the price of 1 AMPL, meaning that SPOT is approximately worth $1.15. This is approximate due to the complex mechanics of dynamic market pricing.
This means that going into Q2 2023, the SPOT token holds a valuation of ~$732,900, closing in on the $1 million market capitalization benchmark for the project. SPOT’s collateral set includes a rotating set of AMPL-A tranches (senior tranches, less risk exposure) with upcoming maturity dates in Q2 set on April 12, 19, and 26.
The SPOT token has demonstrated an incredible ability to remain relatively stable (will never be 100% volatile-free, like any currency) since its inception back in December 2022. This is primarily a result of SPOT lacking any peg mechanism to the USD, allowing it to freely trade without any possibility of price failure.
After declining slightly from an inflated launch price (due to the major run that AMPL experienced from market hype surrounding SPOT launch), SPOT settled into a relatively predictable range, experiencing some short spikes and declines depending on the broader market demand for AMPL.
Overall, pricing on data aggregators like CoinGecko is not 100% accurate (as SPOT does not rely on an oracle to determine its value), though paints a relatively solid picture of the token’s price stability.
The only major blip to note in Q1 2023 was during the USDC depeg event. During this event, SPOT actually followed (relatively speaking) the decline of the USDC token, falling from a stable $1.14 to a price of $1.01. Interestingly, during this decline in the price of SPOT, AMPL actually rallied hard, rising from a price of $1.01 all the way up to $1.50 per token. This equates to a 43% increase in its market cap.
Because SPOT is subject (at least in part) to market demand concerning price, the best explanation for this is that holders were selling all “stablecoins” (SPOT is not a stablecoin, but bear with me) out of fear, hence the exchange price for SPOT began to decline.
However, this created a major arbitrage opportunity on SPOT. Whereas USDC did have a hole in its collateral ($3 billion lost by Circle in the Silicon Valley Bank collapse), SPOT’s underlying collateral set did not change. To reiterate, SPOT does not rely on the USD in any way. The decline in price was merely a side effect of broader market dynamics, which is also what allowed SPOT to rally back to its fair value without a bailout like USDC needed.
As SPOT fell, some holders chose to rotate into AMPL, which helped AMPL rally in price. This meant that the collateral behind SPOT was appreciating against SPOT’s own falling token value — quite the spectacle.
Nevertheless, SPOT rebounded back to its fair market value and AMPL has remained up in market capitalization since the event — a true win-win for the Ampleforth community.
Looking Forward in Q2 2023
The global economy is undoubtedly winding down into a recession as we move deeper into 2023. According to a paper that came out in Q1, there are hundreds, if not thousands of banks at risk of insolvency should the current economic environment not improve bond prices.
This banking crisis comes at a time of rising unemployment and relatively high inflation — the makings of a stagflationary environment. With this in mind, AMPL is expected to continue appreciating its target value of a 2019 CPI-adjusted USD, meaning that SPOT will also appreciate in its relative value.
Ecosystem and Community Updates
The team over at Buttonwood released a blog post recapping the events of ETH-Denver. There are some extremely exciting developments currently in the works within the elastic finance ecosystem since the SPOT token launched in December 2022.
This includes an upcoming launch of a Buttonwood automated market maker (AMM) that will be able to accurately price elastic, rebasing, and interest-bearing assets — something that has the potential to truly revolutionize DeFi and its scope of utilities.
Check out the full blog post here — ETH Denver Recap: Bills of Exchange with Beanstalk, DYAD, & Ampleforth
I would also like to highlight a post within the AMPL Governance forums by coldpress that outlines the potential behind an application that could integrate AMPL-A tranches into SPOT. The creation of a Z-tranche market has also been bringing about discussions within the community.