Biweekly Headlines 2023.7 W1-2

“Let’s be clear, bitcoin is an international asset, it’s not based on any one currency and so it can represent an asset that people can play as an alternative.”   – Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock

Biweekly News Roundup

A third straight week of positive digital asset inflows has fully corrected nine previous weeks of outflows for the market. Ripple wins the case against SEC on July 13 as the judge rules XRP is not a security and Ripple’s XRP surges 70% after the news. Bitcoin and crypto stocks like Coinbase soar as XRP ruling bolsters optimism. As BTC climbed to its highest level in 13 months, ETH also broke through the $2,000 threshold, with miners also joining in the upward trend. This continues Bitcoin’s crypto market dominance by extending its total market cap to a reported 51.66% share as of July 11.  However, perhaps affected by XRP’s victory in the lawsuit, the market value of altcoins has risen recently and the market value of Bitcoin has dropped sharply to 47.26%, which has fallen to a new low since June 20. Overall, this year has been strong for Bitcoin, with prices up 84% year to date and 74% of Bitcoin addresses in profit. Bitcoin miners made a lofty $184M from transaction fees in the second quarter of 2023 — far more than they pocketed throughout the entire year of 2022 — as Bitcoin’s price surged and BRC-20 tokens flourished. The number of wallets holding at least one bitcoin has reached an all-time high of 1,008,737M, according to data from Glassnode. The CoinDesk Indices Bitcoin Trend Indicator continues to signal that BTC is in a significant uptrend, a sign that short-term prices are moving higher than long-term averages.

In just the last four weeks, at least seven major institutional firms, including BlackRock, have applied for a spot in Bitcoin ETF in the US. Bernstein notes that the SEC had already allowed futures-based bitcoin ETFs, and recently approved leverage-based futures ETFs, so SEC’s stance on spot bitcoin BTC ETFs is a difficult one to hold and the probability for approval is fairly high. The price of Bitcoin shot upward of 20% in the days after BlackRock’s filing for a spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15, soaring to a one-year high at $31.7K on July 13. Blackrock’s CEO once called Bitcoin an “index of money laundering.” Now he’s changed his tune and said, “Instead of investing in gold as a hedge against inflation, a hedge against the onerous problems of any one country, or the devaluation of your currency whatever country you’re in – let’s be clear, bitcoin is an international asset, it’s not based on any one currency and so it can represent an asset that people can play as an alternative.” Grayscale CEO said, “To see, literally, the largest asset manager in the world publicly commit to advancing their crypto efforts only lends to the validity of the asset class and the staying power it has… Bitcoin is an asset that’s not going away. Investors want and deserve access to it.” Europe’s first spot Bitcoin ETF eyes 2023 debut after a year-long delay. Standard Chartered Bank said that Bitcoin could rise to $50,000 by the end of this year and up to $120,000 by end-2024.

ConsenSys rolls scaling network Linea, which delivered faster throughput and 15 times lower transaction costs than Ethereum’s layer 1. Similarly, Meta’s newly launched social app Threads accelerated growth and achieved 100M users within its first launch week, surpassing the growth rates of other leading consumer platforms such as ChatGPT and TikTok. Argentina’s first Bitcoin index-based futures contract went live this Thursday. The government of Indonesia is moving forward with its plans to launch a national cryptocurrency exchange and expects to debut the platform in July. From weighty accusations by U.S. regulators, to a French raid, to a denial of licensing by the Dutch, to this probe in Australia, Binance is facing legal headwinds in many parts of the world. Binance has laid off over 1,000 people globally in recent weeks amid its ongoing legal investigation from the SEC and other regulatory challenges. More than a third of the staff at Binance – which totaled about 8,000 prior to the layoffs – could eventually be affected by the job cuts, the source said.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose to a four-month high of 4.09% last week, with the two-year yield hitting the highest since 2006 following last Thursday’s blowout of U.S. ADP private payrolls data. China’s PPI, a measure of factory-gate prices, fell 5.4% year-on-year in June, the ninth consecutive monthly decline and the steepest drop in seven years. The Nikkei is reflecting a general plunge in the global financial economy as it saw a plunge on July 10 despite hitting a high last week, cementing a fifth consecutive losing plunge. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) survey reveals 24 central banks planning to introduce CBDCs by 2030. The survey gathered responses from 86 central banks from around the world, highlighting the growing interest in digital currencies and their potential impact on global financial systems.

July 15, 2023

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