June 23, 2023

Bitcoin Price Surpasses $30,000 as Regulatory Developments Emerge

📰 News Organizations

  • Wall Street Seeks Bitcoin ETFs Following BlackRock's Filing. BlackRock's recent filing has sparked a rush among institutional asset managers to apply for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). WisdomTree and Invesco submitted filings to the U.S. SEC to seek permission for launching their respective Bitcoin ETFs.*

  • Binance.US Loses Market Share Amid SEC Crackdown. Binance.US, currently facing an SEC lawsuit, has experienced a significant decline* in market share, dropping from 8.2% to 1.5% of the total weekly trading volume among US crypto exchanges, based on data from Kaiko.

  • Deutsche Bank Pursues Digital Asset License for Custody Service. Deutsche Bank AG has applied for regulatory permission to operate a custody service for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, as part of its growth strategy* in the digital assets and custody business, according to David Lynne, head of the bank's commercial banking unit.

  • Bitcoin Miners Cease Operations During Texas Power Grid Crisis. As the Texas power grid faced potential collapse, the extent of intentional shutdowns by Bitcoin miners* to conserve power for critical needs such as residential air conditioners and medical centers was not yet determined, but it posed a significant threat to the grid in the second-largest US state.

  • Citadel Securities, Fidelity, Schwab-Backed Crypto Exchange Commences Operations. EDX Markets, a crypto marketplace backed by Citadel Securities, Fidelity, and Schwab, quietly initiated trade execution in recent weeks, signaling continued interest in cryptocurrencies* from Wall Street firms despite regulatory challenges.

🐦 Twitter

  • The surge in May housing starts ‘officially’ reported today mirrors what our home builder survey signaled several weeks back. Expecting similar pattern when the ‘official’ May new home sales results get released next week. Source.

  • Interesting environment where global central banks are generally delivering more rate hikes than expected even as the prospect for softer US inflation prints is going up. Might speak to how real 2-year yields keep grinding higher. Source.

  • There Were Fewer Homes for Sale in May Than Any Other Month on Record. The pool of homes for sale is shrinking because homeowners feel trapped by rising mortgage rates, with new listings down 25% to the third lowest level on record. Source.

  • Huge shift in just a few months for market's expectation of trajectory in fed funds rate this year ... some cuts still expected heading into 2024, but nowhere near as dramatic as in March. Source.

  • Nearly 27 million Americans have federal student loans in forbearance totaling $1.1tn or $41k/borrower. Interest payments are set to resume Oct. 1 after a 3-year moratorium. MS analysts see an economic hit in Oct. when spending levels shift lower due to higher debt service costs. Source.

A paradox of buying new construction apartment buildings for indefinite holds: In order to avoid losing pricing power when new supply comes on-line, you're trying to buy new buildings in precisely the areas where it's hardest to build them.

Moses Kagan

📓 Online Publications

  • Bitcoin Price Surpasses $30,000 as Regulatory Developments Emerge. Bitcoin's price surged beyond $30,000 following remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell recognizing stablecoins as money and the need for central bank approval. Additionally, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee hinted at forthcoming legislation facilitating the transition of digital assets from security to commodity status.

  • Bitcoin Traders Anticipate $28K Retracement for Profitable Entry. Data showed BTC/USD volatility calming overnight after rapid gains. Hopes were increasing over a modest correction next, enabling lucrative entry points for further long positions. Traders and analyst think $28k is a good entry point as it heads to $40k.

  • Casa Introduces Ether Vaults, Expanding Self-Custody Offerings. Casa, a self-custodial solutions provider, unveiled its new ether vaults alongside its existing bitcoin vault product, signaling its initial step towards a comprehensive self-custody solution. Feedback is being gathered for potential support expansion, including NFTs, stablecoins, and ERC-20 tokens.

  • Polygon Engineers Propose Zero-Knowledge Upgrade for PoS Chain. Engineers at Polygon, a prominent Ethereum scaling team, have put forth a proposal to transition their PoS sidechain into a more secure and high-performing rollup-like zero-knowledge-powered validium, a significant advancement within the Polygon 2.0 ecosystem.

  • Mastercard Expands Engage Program to Support Crypto Card Programs. Mastercard has extended its Engage program to assist cryptocurrency card initiatives by connecting potential card issuers with relevant technical expertise, leveraging its global network for the benefit of crypto firms, according to a press release.

  • Polygon Introduces Polygon Copilot, an AI Interface for Developers. Polygon has introduced Polygon Copilot, an AI interface powered by the GPT-4 large language model, enabling decentralized application developers to access analytics and insights tailored to the Polygon blockchain.

🎧 Podcasts

  • India’s Narendra Modi embarks on US state visit to deepen defence and tech ties. India’s prime minister Narendra Modi is on a trip to the US this week. He kicked it off on Tuesday, schmoozing with tech leaders like Elon Musk. And today, he’s addressing Congress. John Reed is the FT’s South Asia bureau chief, and he says Modi’s visit comes at a time when relations between India and the US are at a high point. Source(0:46)

  • FTC alleges Amazon ‘tricked and trapped’ customers with Prime subscriptions. The US Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over its Prime service. Prime is a paid subscription. It costs $139 a year here in the US, and it gives members access to certain benefits not available to other customers. The FTC is accusing Amazon of signing customers up for a Prime subscription without their consent. And the watchdog said Amazon made it harder for customers to unsubscribe. Source(2:19)

  • FDA Approves Lab-Grown Meat. Upside Foods and Get Meat have obtained approval from the US Department of Agriculture to produce lab-grown meats, making the United States the second country, after Singapore, to authorize their sale. While supporters highlight the reduced environmental impact and ethical benefits of lab-grown meat, skeptics remain cautious, citing safety concerns and the need for further evidence of its environmental advantages. Source(11:00)

  • Noticeable Shift Towards Quality In Commercial Real Estate. Commercial real estate, specifically office spaces, is experiencing a flight to quality driven by factors such as rising interest rates, remote work due to the pandemic, and the costs of complying with climate regulations. Retrofitting buildings to meet new standards carries financial implications, regardless of the political aspect of climate change. Source(2:59)