Trading Desk Market Update: 8/18

August 18, 2022

BTC is currently trading around $23,500 and ETH around $1,850. Notable gainers in the last 24 hours are CEL, EVMOS, and FLOW. The global crypto market cap is $1.18T, down 0.3% over the last day. DeFi Total Value Locked is ~$87b and BTC dominance is around 41%.

It’s a less volatile morning for markets with global equities up slightly, crypto down modestly, and mixed regional performance across bonds. Yesterday’s release of the Fed meeting minutes did not materially change investor perceptions. Futures are pricing in nearly equal chances of a 50 and 75-basis-point hike at the September meeting with a slight edge towards 50 bps. Eurozone inflation printed this morning in-line with expectations, but it showed no signs of receding as it reached an all-time high of 8.9% in July. 

Notable news includes: the Fed issued a letter covering the preliminary steps a Fed-supervised bank must go through before engaging in crypto activities; the ECB laid the foundation for the criteria it would be considering when harmonizing the licensing requirements for crypto in Europe; the ECB also expressed its view that the introduction of CBDCs is the “only solution” that will guarantee a “smooth continuation” of the current monetary system; Fed Governor Bowman touted FedNow as a CBDC alternative; the Netherland’s regulator said that developers could be punished for code created to commit crime; International Finance Corp, a World Bank affiliate focused on investment in less developed countries, revealed its backing a blockchain-based platform for carbon offset trading; South Korea revealed a crackdown on 16 unregistered crypto exchanges including KuCoin and Poloniex; Coinbase revealed it would likely shut down its Ethereum staking services if regulators asked it to censor transactions as a validator; the HUSD fiat-backed stablecoin lost its peg and dropped to $0.92; the Optimism token flash crashed ~10% following false rumors of a major hack after the team transferred $450m on-chain without first warning the community; data from Messari indicated that three cloud providers host over two-thirds of Ethereum nodes; Flashbots announced an accelerated open-source release of the relay code for its MEV-Boost software; a new StarkWare paper presented a method for verifying ECDSA from within the STARK ecosystem, potentially aiding Bitcoin scalability; Bitcoin ASIC manufacturer Canaan sees “prolonged headwinds”; Genesis Trading’s CEO stepped down as the firm restructures leadership; eToro announced the acquisition of options trading platform Gatsby; Snackclub gaming DAO is set to raise a $100m Series A; Paradigm led a $20m round for NFT protocol Fractional; MatchboxDAO raised $7.5m to build out on-chain gaming infrastructure on StarkNet; Sky Mavis’ Ronin sidechain expanded to 17 validators to bolster its security after its previous exploit; a gold Bored Ape sold for ~$1.5m despite the NFT market slump; the Australian Football League’s first limited edition NFT drop sold out in under 12 hours; Do Kwon hired a South Korean law firm in anticipation for a legal battle; the U.S extradited an alleged crypto money launderer from the Netherlands; and, Chainalysis’ midyear report shows scams are down but hacks are up.  

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