Crypto Markets Still Stuck in the Woods

By ulriklykke | Bitcoin Global Macro | 1 Jun 2023

Global markets continue to face headwinds as developed economies grapple with persistent inflation, remaining above the desired 2% level.

Notably, Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, has entered into a recession. The country's economy contracted by 0.3% between January and March, following a 0.5% decline in the previous three months of last year. 

This downturn has raised concerns about the overall economic outlook in Europe.

Meanwhile, in the United States, analyst expectations of a 25 basis points interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in June have surged to 67% amidst the ongoing impasse over the debt ceiling.

Fortunately, there is some progress on the horizon. A bipartisan deal to suspend the US debt limit until after the 2024 presidential elections is set for a House vote this week.

While the standoff continues, credit rating agencies such as Fitch, Moody's, and S&P have placed the US "AAA" credit rating on "rating watch negative."

Time is now of the essence as the US Treasury's resources approach depletion.

Ethereum Stakers on the Rise 

It has been almost two months since the implementation of Ethereum's Shanghai upgrade, which allowed users who had staked ETH on the beacon chain to withdraw their funds.

Following the upgrade, there was a noticeable increase in demand for unstaking, with over 20,000 validators requesting full withdrawals within the first two weeks.

However, there has been a significant shift in the trend since early May, with a new wave of deposits and validators waiting to be activated. 

The entry queue has now reached its highest level since the genesis of the Beacon Chain in December 2020, with a total of 64,000 validators eagerly waiting to participate.

Industry Shakers 

  • Nvidia's valuation briefly crosses $1 trillion 

    Nvidia briefly reached a market capitalization of $1 trillion but later pulled back below. The chipmaker's shares experienced a significant boost last week following better-than-expected quarterly earnings results fueled by the artificial intelligence frenzy. Nvidia's graphics processing units (GPUs) play a critical role in powering generative AI platforms like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard.

  • Hong Kong to open crypto exchange access for retail users

    The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has made an announcement stating that licensed platforms will soon be permitted to cater to retail investors. According to the SFC's May 23 announcement, virtual asset trading platform operators who are willing to adhere to the SFC's proposed guidelines can apply for a license.

  • F1 Ticket Provider Platinum Group Introduces NFT Tickets

    Leading Formula 1 ticket issuer, Platinium Group, has introduced non-fungible token (NFT) race tickets, beginning with the Monaco Grand Prix held last weekend. The tickets will be minted on the Polygon blockchain, granting access to the race and additional benefits to holders after the event, including hospitality perks and discounts on future races. 

  • U.S. Treasury Sanctions North Korean-Owned Binance Wallets

    US officials sanctioned crypto-holding wallets allegedly tied to the North Korean government. The blacklisted wallets, belonging to North Korean citizen Sang Man Kim, contained bitcoin, ether, USDT, and USDC. These wallets were hosted by Binance, but the exchange does not control them as they appear to be automatically-generated addresses available to any user. 

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