Trading Desk Market Update: 5/18

May 18, 2022

BTC is currently trading around $29,400 and ETH around $2,000. Notable gainers in the last 24 hours are XCN, UST, and CHZ. The global crypto market cap is $1.32T, down 4.2% over the last day. DeFi Total Value Locked is ~$111b and BTC dominance is around 45%.

Risk markets are reversing downwards following yesterdays gains as inflation continues to be front and center on investors’ minds. Jay Powell delivered some of his most hawkish comments yet yesterday afternoon, stating that the Fed will keep pushing until “inflation is coming down in a clear and convincing way”. He further noted that the Fed would not hesitate to raise rates beyond the “broadly understood levels of ‘neutral’” if required, acknowledging the possible pain that combatting inflation may cause. Retail giants Walmart and Target were down badly this week as both firms highlighted their inflating cost structure. On the data front, both the UK and Eurozone CPI came in just under expectations, but both data points are still challenging at 9.0% and 7.4%, respectively. 

Other notable news includes: Norway’s Central Bank tapped Ethereum layer-2, Nahmii, for its CBDC pilot; EU regulators criticized stablecoins to promote a Euro CBDC; the head of the French Central Bank said the G7 plans to discuss crypto regulations; Binance confirmed that they are working on regulatory approval in Germany; a report commissioned by South Korea recommended adopting a licensing system for crypto exchanges and token issuers; the chair of the CFTC reiterated claims that both BTC and ETH are commodities; voting has begun on Do Kwon’s most recent proposal to fork Terra into a new chain without an algorithmic stablecoin; Do Kwon is being sued by major Korean law firms; Terra’s legal team resigned; Citi proclaimed that the fallout from Terra is unlikely to hit the wider financial system; Goldman Sachs argued algorithmic stablecoins need mass payment adoption to succeed; Tether’s supply plummeted nearly $8b amidst depegging concerns; Cointelegraph launched their Research Terminal; Ledger unveiled a browser extension to connect hardware wallets to Web3 apps; Robinhood unveiled plans to release a new Web3 wallet catering to advanced crypto users; E&Y unveiled their supply chain manager built on Polygon; FTX hinted at a Lightning network integration; the Wormhole bridge expanded to Algorand; Web2 giant Cloudflare revealed plans to run ETH2 validator nodes; Haun Ventures invested in TaxBit at a ~$1.3b valuation; Ethereum analytics platform Nansen acquired DeFi tracker Ape Board; former Fed Chair Bernanke issued harsh criticisms of crypto; and, a federal judge stated crypto anonymity is a myth following charges of an American citizen using crypto in an attempt to evade sanctions. 

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