By the end of this month, hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of previously locked crypto tokens will flood onto the market—in some cases dramatically increasing token supplies and potentially creating sell pressure.
Up first on Super Bowl Sunday is Aptos, which will see a substantial 7.32% of its total token supply released. The amount of APT released then will be worth roughly $224.82 million based on the current price, according to TokenUnlocks.
Proportionally, the largest token unlock of the month will come next week, on Valentine’s Day. That morning, over $96 million worth of metaverse gaming startup The Sandbox’s native token, SAND, will be issued for the first time—equivalent to 9.19% of SAND’s entire supply.
Why are such large swathes of already existing tokens being introduced to the market now? In most cases, crypto tokens follow elaborate road maps that, from launch, carefully plan the release of certain percentages of a given token’s supply into circulation, one batch at a time, in the hopes of ensuring a token’s stability and long-term health.
Tokens can be earmarked for a variety of purposes, including distribution to investors, team members, or as rewards to entire ecosystems. Often, token road maps are years or even decades long.
Routinely, crypto traders keep an eye out for token unlocks—especially proportionately significant ones—because such events can greatly increase token supplies and, subsequently, boost sell pressure, therefore impacting price.
Several more token unlocks worth tens of millions of dollars a piece are scheduled for the last three weeks of February.
On February 16, ApeCoin, the cryptocurrency of the Bored Ape ecosystem, will release 2.6% of its total token supply—roughly $21.84 million worth of APE. At writing, ApeCoin has only so far released about 60% of what it plans to be a billion-token supply.
Towards the end of the month, on February 21, a sizable $363.5 million worth of blockchain platform Avalanche’s native token, AVAX, will be released onto the market. But given AVAX’s relatively high price—$37.75 at writing, per CoinGecko—that chunk only constitutes a milder 2.6% of the token’s total supply.
And on February 28, the native token of Ethereum layer-2 network Optimism, OP, will grow its circulation by a similar 2.52%. That amount of OP is, at writing, worth $82.87 million.
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.