Digital-asset markets in October brought what might be the first signs of a thaw in the industry deep freeze known as “crypto winter,” which has depleted project funds and led many companies to cut staff, as reported in prior editions of The Protocol. It’s been widely reported that bitcoin (BTC) had a strong month, buoyed by optimism that one or several new spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds or ETFs might soon win approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Among smart-contract platforms, Ethereum’s native token, ETH, was up for the month, but the gains were much more subdued, and analysts at Coinbase Institutional cited “the lack of a strong fundamental narrative.” Much more powerful were the gains for INJ, the native token of Injective, a layer-1 blockchain built for finance, as well as the SOL token from Solana, which is having its Breakpoint conference this week in Amsterdam. (The analysis firm Messari recently noted that the Solana blockchain, once the butt of jokes for frequent outages, has now gone 234 days without one, its second-longest streak.) Among members of the CoinDesk Smart-Contract Platform Index (SMT), laggards for the month included SUI, METIS and SEI.