What bear market? This token is quietly making new highs, up 300% against Bitcoin in 2022

Unus Sed Leo (LEO) has not only survived the crypto market bloodbath in the first half of 2022 but has actually posted major gains, bucking the big crypto crash.

LEO beats crypto kingpin Bitcoin

LEO, a utility token used across the iFinex ecosystem, finished the first half of 2022 against Bitcoin at 32,793 satoshis, up almost 300%.

The token also rallied 55% against the U.S. dollar in the same period, hitting $5.80 for the first time since February 2022. In contrast, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), the top two crypto assets by market cap, fell by over 60% and 70%, respectively.

Top-ranking crypto assets and their performances per timeframes. Source: Messari

That has made it the best-performing crypto asset in the top ranks so far into 2022.

What’s driving LEO price higher?

The crypto market wiped more than $2 trillion off its valuation in the first half of 2022, led by rate hikes, the collapse of Terra (LUNA) — now officially Terra Classic (LUNC), and systemic insolvency troubles across leading cryptocurrency lending platforms and hedge funds.

LEO/BTC daily price chart. Source: TradingView

LEO’s price also suffered a 25% decline after hitting its all-time high of $8.14 in February 2022. Nevertheless, it fared better than the rest of the crypto market, which fell nearly 60% in the same period.

The reason behind this outlier token could be its starkly different attributes compared to other digital assets.

IFinex, the parent company of Bitfinex, launched LEO in 2018 in a private sale round to raise $1 billion. In return, the firm committed to employing 27% of its revenues from the previous month to buy back LEO until all tokens are removed from circulation.

Also, iFinex pledged to buy back LEO tokens using funds it had lost during the August 2016 Bitfinex hack.

In February 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice recovered 94,000 BTC out of 119,754 BTC. That coincided with LEO rallying to its record highs in both Bitcoin and the dollar-based markets.

Overheated rally?

LEO’s run-up against Bitcoin risks exhaustion due to its price’s growing divergence with momentum.

In detail, LEO’s price has been making higher lows while its…



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