Weekly Research Report: NO SOFT LANDING

Crypto market has been quiet over the weekend. Cryptocurrency market cap stabilizing at $966 billion, with Bitcoin and Ethereum hovering around $19k and $1300. Upcoming CPI numbers continued to be the most crucial data for next Fed decisions. Without any independent pipeline on the crypto side, the risk assets are expected to follow the macro sentiments very closely. Only a consistently declining inflation number would suggest the Fed to lower its pace for tightening policy, otherwise the Fed will keep on being aggressive and the global markets will take further beating expectedly.

Crypto dominance remained unchanged (BTC 37.5%, ETH 16.2%, USDT 7.0%, USDC 5.2%).

General funding rates remained negative (BTC -5.8%) (Chart 1).

Ethereum funding rate reverted to normal a week after the Merge (ETH -12%).

General September futures and perpetual contracts continued to trade at discount, indicating a bear market sentiment.

On liquidation side (Chart 2), over $348m worth of crypto positions have been liquidated this week, including $92m on FOMC meeting day, with 1.84 Long/Short liquidation ratio this week.

Chart 1: 7dma of BTC, ETH Perpetual Futures Funding Rate (Source: FTX)
Chart 2: 4hr BTC liquidation chart (Source: Coinglass)
Major Crypto KPI (Sep 26, 2022)

Ethereum successfully upgraded to Proof-Of-Stake network. Without mining activities, the Ethereum supply issuance has dropped 98%. Before Merge, over 21,000 ETH would have been issued per day; After Merge, only 425 ETH was issued per day. However, the positive change in Ethereum fundamentals have not yet been reflected on its price ($ETH -2.9%).

Solana remained weak with TVL number dropped below $2 billion, currently at $1.96 billion. Market cap to TVL ratio is the highest (5.9) among other major blockchain networks, (ETH 3.4; BSC 5.9; TRON 0.9, AVAX 1.6). However, there was an increase for Solana token this week ($SOL +3.4%).

Outperformers over last seven days:
$DOGE +6.5%, $XRP +37.1%, $CHZ +10.6%

Compute North, a bitcoin mining data centre firm, filed for bankruptcy. The firm provides data centres for crypto mining giants, Company Mining and Marathon Digital.

$USDT stablecoin launched on Polkadot blockchain network. Tether described Polkadot as a full-stack web3 ecosystem built for the multi-chain feature.

Wintermute, a leading crypto defi market maker, got hacked for about $160m on its defi operations.

Harmony released update recovery plan on its $100m Horizon Bridge’s attack happened in June. The team has originally proposed to mint billions of ONE tokens to compensate the hack victims. Now the team will propose to use the foundation treasury instead of minting for recovery funds, in order to preserve the foundation of Harmony blockchain.

FTX EU secured Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) to operate as Cyprus investment firm (CIF) and expand its service in Europe.

The Bank of Russia and Russian Ministry of Finance agreed to allow the use of crypto for cross-border settlements.

The UK introduced Economic Crime and Corporate Transparent Bill to have easier and quicker crypto seizures, lowering the risk of money laundering and cybercrime.

The EU finalized the legal text for crypto regulatory framework under Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA).

US Colorado accepting crypto as tax payment. The crypto tax payments need to be made through PayPal with additional charges.

Israeli crypto exchange became the first crypto firm to receive a capital market license that enables the firm to work with local banks.

Coin Metrics, crypto intelligence firm, partnered with hedge fund, Two Sigma, to bring institutional clients into crypto industry.

JP Morgan expressed its concerns about Ethereum network being less decentralized after the successful Merge.

Alameda-backed Volmex Labs launched Bitcoin and Ethereum volatility indexes.

Valour, a subsidiary of Defi Technologies, will be listing its Bitcoin carbon-neutral ETP on Frankfurt stock exchange.

Sardine, a firm providing crypto fraud or compliance solutions, raised $51.5m in Series B financing round. The fund will be used for product development and marketing business.

Yellow Card Financials, an African crypto exchange, closed a $40m Series B funding round, led by Polychain Capital. The fresh fund will help the firm in expanding its products and forming new partnerships with other crypto institutions.

The Fed maintained its hawkish stance with another 75bps rate hike during last FOMC meeting to restore price stability as quick as possible. Falling pounds as UK cut taxes caused DXY index to climb higher (DXY trading at 114 +3.8%). With soaring bond yields, it is expecting less smart money to flow into risk assets in short future. Equities headed to June’s low under bearish market sentiment, with Dow Jones and Nasdaq trading below 30k and 12k respectively, (7d: DJI -4.1%, S&P500 -4.8%, NQ -4.5%). Most commodities also suffered (GOLD -1.7%, Oil -6.7%, Wheat -1.5%). On geopolitical side, EU implemented further sanctions on Russia following Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization last week.

Under bearish global market and Fed’s hawkish policy, risk assets require a longer time to heal. With lower cryptocurrency market cap level, venture capitals continued to pour smart money into the web3 and crypto space at a cheaper price. Regulations on crypto continued to be the major concern for governments and institutions. With proper regulatory framework, it is foreseeable for an increasing crypto adoption rate in coming years. SR will keep accumulating crypto assets at lower levels when there is a confirmation of easing on the macro economy.

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