Weekly Crypto Wrap: 11th April 2024

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Rachael Lucas
Weekly Crypto Wrap: 11th April 2024


  • Near Protocol (NEAR) is now live and available to trade on BTC Markets.
  • BTC Markets in the running to win global ‘Compliance Program of the Year Award.’
  • Blackrock dominates Australian crypto ETF market as US$18 billion floods in.
  • Deutsche Bank consumer survey indicates heighten confidence in Bitcoin.
  • Australian consumer confidence declines in April whilst business confidence increases.
  • March sees surge in U.S. Inflation, alongside addition of 303k jobs.
  • Japanese consumer confidence surges to highest level since April 2019.

BTC Markets announcements

New listing: Near Protocol (NEAR) is now live and available to trade on BTC Markets.

We are excited to announce that Near Protocol (NEAR) is now live and available to trade on the BTC Markets exchange.

Read more about Near Protocol on our blog, and stay updated on the latest developments by following us on X/Twitter or LinkedIn.

Trade NEAR today.

Ticker News: 'Crypto Corner' hosted by BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler.

In the latest episode of 'Crypto Corner' on Ticker News, Caroline Bowler and Mike Loader engage in an in-depth discussion with Robbie Coleman, Creative Director of the Litecoin Foundation. They discuss Litecoin's evolving identity often referred to as 'digital silver,' its practical applications in remittance payments and micro-transactions, and its commitment to permissionless technology.

Key topics include Litecoin's impact on broader cryptocurrency adoption, reflections on its recent halving, collaborations with traditional finance, and the Litecoin Foundation's global outreach efforts.

Tune in to our YouTube channel or Ticker News to watch the third episode.

Money 20/20 Asia: BTC Markets CEO, Caroline Bowler joins Standard Chartered on stage.

Join industry leaders at Money 20/20 Asia in Bangkok as they explore critical topics shaping the digital asset landscape. On Tuesday, 23 April, our CEO Caroline Bowler joins moderator René Michau, Global Head of Digital Assets for Standard Chartered, alongside fellow panellist Dina Mainville, President of Collisionless, to discuss ‘When the Earth and Moon Collide: Risk Lessons from DeFi’.

Then, on Thursday, 25 April, Caroline will join a panel discussion on the ‘Pros and Cons of Tokenisation’. Don't miss this opportunity to engage in thought-provoking discussions. Secure your pass today and save $250 with code SUPERSTAR250. Join us at #M2020ASIA.

AUD card deposits are now available at BTC Markets.

Did you know that you can now deposit AUD directly into your BTC Markets account using your Australian issued Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card?

This new deposit method makes it even easier and faster to fund your account, all without leaving the exchange. Simply log in to your BTC Markets account and enter your card details. Your funds will be available in your account instantly, ready for you to start trading.

Here are some of the benefits of using AUD card deposits:

  • Fast and convenient: Deposit funds instantly without having to leave the exchange.
  • Flexible: Use your Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card.
  • Secure: We use industry-leading security measures to protect your card information.

In addition to card deposits, we also offer a variety of other deposit methods, including:

  • Osko (PayID).
  • Direct deposit.

We are committed to providing you with a convenient trading experience and adding AUD card deposits will make it even easier for Australians to access digital assets.

To learn more about AUD card deposits, please visit our Help Centre.

BTC Markets in the news

BTC Markets in the running to win global ‘Compliance Program of the Year Award.’

BTC Markets is proud to announce that we have been nominated as a finalist in ‘Compliance Week's Excellence in Compliance Awards”. Being named as one of the top five companies globally for the 'Compliance Program of the Year' underscores BTC Markets' dedication to upholding a best-in-class compliance program. This recognition showcases measurable successes, cultivates cultural impact throughout the organisation, and underscores the integration of ethics and compliance into decision-making processes.

Alongside world leading finalists such as Herbalife, Mercari, and Albemarle Corp, BTC Markets is honoured to be acknowledged for its dedication to upholding compliance standards and promoting ethical practices within the industry. As the awards ceremony approaches, BTC Markets extends its best wishes to all nominees and looks forward to celebrating excellence in compliance.

The Bitcoin Halving

How investors are repositioning their approach ahead of the Bitcoin Halving.

With the Bitcoin Halving fast approaching, industry analysis suggests a need for investors to adapt their trading strategies to evolving market conditions. Previous halving cycles, known for significant volatility and subsequent price surges, have seen a shift in pattern due to the emergence of spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Bitcoin Halving price action

Source: BTC Markets Bitcoin Halving

The halving, occurring roughly every four years, entails a reduction in Bitcoin rewards for miners, effectively halving the rate of new Bitcoin creation. Dominic Basulto's analysis offers a comprehensive view, blending historical patterns with economic fundamentals.

Contrary to common belief, the halving does not directly enhance investors' holdings or returns like a stock split or dividend adjustment. Instead, it underscores Bitcoin's scarcity-driven algorithm and influences the supply-demand dynamics. Basulto emphasises the pivotal role of supply and demand in determining Bitcoin's post-halving price trajectory, driven by the dwindling supply growth, and increasing demand spurred by spot Bitcoin ETFs.

While historical data suggests post-halving price surges, caution is advised against relying solely on past performance due to potential biases. However, a focus on economic fundamentals highlights the potential for sustained value uptrends, propelled by the interplay between reduced supply growth and rising demand, especially with institutional investments in spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Investors are urged to conduct a nuanced assessment of historical trends and economic fundamentals before making investment decisions. Expectations of extraordinary returns post-halving may need adjustment, as the current market resembles traditional equities with lower volatility, attributed to increased institutional participation in spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Thus, investors are advised to adopt a long-term perspective akin to traditional equity investors and monitor ETF asset flows to navigate the post-halving market effectively, balancing potential returns with stability.

‘Guess the Bitcoin Halving’ date for your chance to win!

Join our ‘Guess the Bitcoin Halving Date’ promotion on X/Twitter. Click here to submit your guess for a chance to win AU$100 worth of Bitcoin!

Guess the Bitcoin Halving Date

The Bitcoin Halving countdown

Updated as of 11:57am AEST 11/04/2024.

CMC Bitcoin Halving countdown

Source: coinmarketcap

State of crypto

  • BTC spot ETF data drives demand amidst positive market outlook.
  • Blackrock dominates Australian crypto ETF market as US$18 billion floods in.
  • VanEck CEO emphasises transaction fees over Bitcoin or Ethereum ETFs.
  • Deutsche Bank consumer survey indicates heighten confidence in Bitcoin, yet concerns persist.
  • Uniswap Labs receives SEC Wells Notice, vows to continue innovation amid regulatory scrutiny.

BTC spot ETF data drives demand amidst positive market outlook.

Investor attention remains focused on BTC-spot ETF market chatter, US lawmakers' actions, and ETH-spot ETF-related news. Market flow data from BTC-spot ETFs on Friday fuelled buyer demand despite a hotter-than-expected US Jobs Report. Investor sentiment remained strong, aligning with gains in the Nasdaq Composite Index. The upcoming Bitcoin Halving, added to market optimism.

Recent news of the US government's plans to sell 30,000 BTC, originating from the Silk Road stash, initially led to a 5.95% loss before BTC rebounded above US$70,000 over the weekend. Senator Cynthia Lummis suggested that the US government's actions indicate a growing recognition of the value of crypto assets. Meanwhile, Genesis completed the sale of $US2.1 billion worth of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust shares, signalling improved outlook for Grayscale Bitcoin Trust outflows.

Spot Bitcoin ETF Total Net Flows


Blackrock dominates Australian crypto ETF market as US$18 billion floods in.

Investors in Australia have shown a strong preference for cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) managed by BlackRock, with over US$18 billion pouring into these funds listed in the United States in the past month alone. Despite the absence of a spot Bitcoin ETF on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), local buyers are accessing these funds through brokers such as CommSec, Stake, and SuperHero. The iShares Bitcoin Trust, owned by BlackRock, emerges as the most popular choice among investors, capturing almost two-thirds of the Bitcoin ETF activity on platforms like SuperHero and Stake.

While BlackRock solidifies its dominance in the crypto ETF space, global Morningstar data reveals that the fund has pulled in US$14 billion since its launch in January, nearly double that of its nearest competitor. Moreover, the strong inflows into major US-listed spot Bitcoin ETFs in March alone, totalling about US$12 billion, suggest that these products have established significant staying power.

Despite the robust inflows, Bitcoin's price has remained relatively stable in recent weeks, trading sideways after reaching record highs above AU$110,000 in early March. Investors are adopting a cautious approach ahead of the scheduled halving of Bitcoin, which will further constrain the supply of the digital currency. Additionally, growing expectations of delayed rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve have impacted more speculative asset classes like Bitcoin.

Trading patterns indicate that institutions, rather than retail investors, are driving the bulk of flows into crypto ETFs since their launch. Analysts anticipate that rate cuts will act as a tailwind for the "crypto super-cycle," fuelled by the introduction of cryptocurrency ETFs, leading to significant price appreciation across digital assets in the coming years.

VanEck CEO emphasises transaction fees over Bitcoin or Ethereum ETFs.

Jan van Eck, CEO of VanEck, a global investment firm known for its Bitcoin Trust (HODL), believes that the cryptocurrency industry should shift its focus from Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) ETFs to transaction fees. In an interview with CoinDesk TV's Jen Sanasie, van Eck highlighted the unpredictability of transaction fees on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, making it challenging to build applications within those ecosystems.

Van Eck emphasised the importance of affordable transaction fees provided by platforms like Solana and layer 2 solutions. He compared high gas fees on Ethereum to filling a car with fluctuating fuel prices, indicating the deterrent effect on developers and users. Solana, often dubbed as an Ethereum competitor, offers cheaper costs and faster transaction speeds, while layer 2 solutions aim to mitigate scalability issues faced by layer 1 chains like Ethereum.

According to van Eck, the availability of lower and more predictable transaction fees enables developers to build more useful applications. He predicts a shift towards building real-world applications on scalable databases in the coming years.

Regarding Ethereum ETFs, van Eck expressed scepticism about their approval by the May deadline, citing the unresponsiveness of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to filings by prospective issuers. VanEck's own filing for an ether ETF has yet to receive feedback, indicating potential delays in the approval process.

Deutsche Bank consumer survey indicates heighten confidence in Bitcoin, yet concerns persist.

A recent survey conducted by Deutsche Bank indicates a shift in consumer sentiment towards Bitcoin, with a slight reduction in scepticism observed. While over half of respondents now view cryptocurrencies as an important asset class and method of payment transactions, just under a third anticipate a significant price drop for Bitcoin by the end of 2024.

Key findings from the survey reveal that consumer confidence in cryptocurrencies is on the rise, with fewer people considering them to be a passing fad. However, only a small percentage of respondents expect Bitcoin's price to surpass US$75,000 by year-end, reflecting lingering uncertainties about its future trajectory.

Despite Bitcoin's recent recovery and reaching a three-week high, concerns persist regarding its price volatility. A significant portion of U.S. respondents still anticipate Bitcoin to dip below US$20,000 by the end of 2024, albeit this group is gradually shrinking.

The recent resurgence in Bitcoin's price is attributed to factors such as excitement surrounding spot Bitcoin ETFs and expectations of rate cuts. Analysts foresee continued support for Bitcoin's price, driven by upcoming events like the "Bitcoin Halving" and potential regulatory developments, including the approval of spot Ethereum ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari issues sceptical comments on Bitcoin amid inflation concerns.

Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari's recent comments on Bitcoin and inflation have garnered attention in the cryptocurrency community. Kashkari expressed scepticism about Bitcoin's utility, likening it to Beanie Babies and suggesting it lacks legitimate use in an advanced democracy. His remarks, characterised as "incredible" by some, underscored concerns about fraud and hype surrounding Bitcoin, particularly from a consumer perspective. Despite Kashkari's reservations, advocates argue that Bitcoin has numerous legitimate use cases, especially in countries experiencing hyperinflation.

Kashkari's comments come amid speculation about the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, with market expectations of potential interest rate cuts to address rising inflation. The recent surge in the Bitcoin price has been attributed in part to these expectations, as investors seek alternatives amid concerns about growing government debt. Overall, Kashkari's remarks highlight ongoing debates about the role of Bitcoin in the financial system and its potential implications for monetary policy and economic stability.

Bitcoin market sees 'extreme greed' despite June perpetual futures sell-off.

Despite a recent sell-off in June Bitcoin perpetual futures contracts, the cryptocurrency market remains in a state of "extreme greed," according to the Crypto Fear and Greed Index (CFGI). Bitcoin's value has experienced a modest increase against the U.S. dollar, hovering above US$69,000, while market sentiment swings between "greed" and "extreme greed." Despite the optimistic mood, Bitcoin's market performance has dipped slightly in the past week. Additionally, there has been a notable increase in the sale of June perpetual futures contracts for both Bitcoin and Ethereum, leading to a flattening of the forward curve in the derivatives market.

Coinbase warns Bitcoin halving faces challenge, amidst seasonal market weakness.

As the eagerly anticipated Bitcoin halving event approaches, Coinbase cautions that it will coincide with a traditionally sluggish period for the cryptocurrency market. Despite expectations of a potential price surge driven by the halving, Coinbase highlights historical trends showing lower returns during the summer months. Additionally, the exchange notes a slowdown in overall crypto volumes as the market searches for new catalysts for growth.

However, Coinbase remains optimistic about increased investor interest in Bitcoin, particularly as it gains recognition as a digital store of value. The report suggests that dips in Bitcoin's price may be less pronounced as more investors enter the market, potentially leading to more aggressive buying during price corrections.

Uniswap Labs receives SEC Wells Notice, vows to continue innovation amid regulatory scrutiny.

Uniswap Labs, a leading U.S.-based software company renowned for its transformative decentralised finance (DeFi) solutions, has been served a Wells notice by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This notice signifies the SEC's intention to recommend legal action against Uniswap Labs. Despite this regulatory challenge, Uniswap Labs remains steadfast in its commitment to innovation, asserting the legality and transformative nature of its products.

The company, known for pioneering the Uniswap Protocol, emphasises that tokens are not intrinsically securities but rather digital formats capable of storing various forms of value. It criticises the SEC's lack of clarity and refusal to establish a registration pathway for compliant businesses operating within the U.S. regulatory framework.

Uniswap Labs underscores the significance of its products in empowering global economic participation through transparent, verifiable markets and reducing reliance on traditional intermediaries. It highlights the Uniswap Protocol's role as essential blockchain infrastructure, facilitating over US$2 trillion in transactions without compromise.

Despite the legal scrutiny, Uniswap Labs remains resolute in its belief that its products comply with existing laws. It challenges the SEC's jurisdictional claims and legal interpretations, citing recent court decisions and emphasising the decentralised nature of its technology ecosystem.

The weekly crypto close on Tradingview*.

Crypto market momentum pauses, as all majors close in the red on the weekly close.

Bitcoin (BTC), closed the week with a decline of 2.75%, mirrored by Litecoin (LTC), which experienced a decrease of 3.67%, and Ethereum (ETH), registering a loss of 5.26%.

(XRP) closed down 5.62%, Chainlink (Link), down by 6.63%, Avalanche (AVAX), exhibiting a more pronounced decline at 8.83%.

The total crypto market capitalisation lost 3.96% on the week, closing at a valuation of US$2.513 trillion.

Weekly crypto close

*The weekly trading stats as of Monday, April 8th at 10:00 am AEST, based on data from Tradingview in USD.

Year-to-date in the crypto space from TradingView*.

The year-to-date performance summary for selected cryptocurrencies is as follows:

  • Solana (SOL) leads with an impressive gain of 69.38%, demonstrating strong momentum.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) follows closely behind with a solid increase of 66.06%, maintaining its status as a store of value.
  • Ethereum (ETH) shows resilient performance with a gain of 55.46%, driven by its utility in decentralised applications.
  • Litecoin (LTC) rises by 32.75%, indicating renewed investor interest.
  • Avalanche (AVAX) gains 21.32%, attracting attention with its high throughput platform.
  • Chainlink (LINK) increases by 16.53%, reflecting steady growth in its oracle network.
Year to date

*Year-to-date performance as of Thursday, April 11th at 12:20 pm AEST approximately. Based on data from Tradingview in USD.

Crypto Fear& Greed Index

Fear and greed index


Crypto news

Ether soars 8% and USDC integrates with Ethereum's zkSync.

Ether surged 8% in spot crypto markets on Monday, reaching an intraday high of US$3,722 on April 9 and outpacing Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. Social intelligence firm Lunar Crush noted a significant rise in social activity, accompanied by strong price action and market volume, contributing to Ethereum's momentum.

Additionally, Ethereum's derivatives markets showed bullish sentiment, with substantial open interest at strike prices of US$4,000, US$3,700, and US$5,000 on Deribit. This indicates a positive outlook leading up to the end-of-the-month options expiry on April 26, at that time around 900,000 Ethereum contracts worth US$3.8 billion will expire.

Circle, a financial services firm, has introduced a new version of the USD Coin (USDC) that operates on Ethereum's layer 2 scaling solution called zkSync. This collaboration aims to address Ethereum's scalability issues by utilising zkSync's technology, which enables faster and cheaper transactions while maintaining security. The integration of USDC with zkSync is expected to improve the efficiency and accessibility of stablecoin transactions on the Ethereum network.

Trade ETH/AUD on BTC Markets.

Solana memecoins surge in popularity, outperforming SOL.

Solana memecoins, which are a subset of cryptocurrencies built on the Solana blockchain, have seen a surge in popularity and value, outpacing the performance of the native SOL token. This trend is exemplified by the successful Slothana Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which raised an impressive US$10 million in less than two weeks. This achievement underscores significant investor enthusiasm for memecoins within the Solana ecosystem and suggests a promising outlook for their future growth potential.

New memecoins like White Coffee Cat, CatWifHat, and Silly Goose have seen significant gains, up 153%, 96%, and 25% respectively, further fuelling enthusiasm. The trend extends over time, with Dogwifhat leading since its launch in December 2023, offering substantial gains compared to Solana (SOL).

Ash Crypto, a prominent analyst, credits Solana's memecoin success to a better user experience compared to networks like Ethereum, primarily due to lower fees.

Buy SOL/AUD on BTC Markets.

Ripple enters stablecoin race: new USD-pegged coin on the way.

Ripple, a leading provider of enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions, announced plans to launch a stablecoin pegged 1:1 to the US dollar (USD). This stablecoin will be fully backed by USD deposits, short-term US government treasuries, and other cash equivalents, with regular audits by a third-party accounting firm and monthly attestations by Ripple.

Given the growing demand for stablecoins that offer trust, stability, and utility, as evidenced by the market's US$150 billion valuation today and projected US$2.8 trillion valuation by 2028, Ripple aims to leverage its decade-plus years of experience in developing real-world financial solutions to meet this demand and cater to institutions globally. The new stablecoin acts as a more trustworthy alternative to assets like Tether’s (USDT) and Circle’s (USDC).

Ripple's stablecoin combines Ripple's enterprise blockchain expertise with regulatory compliance, liquidity on the XRP Ledger's DEX, transparent 1:1 reserve backing, and multichain compatibility, initially on XRPL and Ethereum, to enable stable and trusted transactions across different blockchain platforms.

Trade XRP/AUD on BTC Markets.

The week ahead: economic events

April 11th: China Inflation Rate, Euro Area Deposit Facility Rate, and Interest Rate. United States Producer Price Inflation MoM.

April 12th: China Balance of Trade. United Kingdom Monthly GDP MoM.

April 13th: United States Michigan Consumer Sentiment.

April 15th: U.S. Retail Sales.

April 16th: China GDP Annual Growth Rate, Industrial Production and Retail Sales YoY. United Kingdom Unemployment Rate. Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment Index. Canada Inflation Rate. United States Building Permits.

April 17th: Japan Balance of Trade. United Kingdom Inflation Rate.

Source: Economic Calendar

Market reflections


Australian consumer confidence dipped as business confidence rose. New home loans increased by 1.6% in February, driven by purchases of newly built dwellings. Australia's retail sector showed modest growth amid varied sales trends. Export declines of 2.2% in February were led by metal ores and minerals. In the U.S., March 2024 saw a surge in inflation alongside the addition of 303,000 jobs. Japanese consumer confidence hit its highest level since April 2019. Germany's trade surplus narrowed in February due to an export slump and import surge, while Canada reported a trade surplus despite a simultaneous surge in unemployment.


  • Consumer confidence declines in April, whilst business confidence increases.
  • New home loans rise 1.6% in February, led by purchase of newly built dwellings.
  • Mixed performance in Australian retail sector, with modest growth amid varied sales trends.
  • Australian exports decline 2.2% in February, led by metal ores and minerals.

Aussie consumer confidence declines, whilst business confidence sees modest increase.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index fell in March, indicating renewed concerns about the economic outlook and family finances. This decrease follows a trend of fluctuating sentiment, with consumer confidence averaging 0.11% since 1974.

The 12-month outlook for the economy saw a significant decrease although the 5-year outlook showed a slight increase. The index has remained below the neutral 100 mark since February 2022, marking the longest streak since the early 1990s recession. Matthew Hassan, a senior economist at Westpac, noted slow progress in lifting consumer gloom despite promising signs of improvement in the previous month.

Meanwhile, the National Australia Bank’s (NAB) Business Confidence Index saw a modest uptick, however this increase still left figures below their long-run average. Sectors such as retail, construction, and transport showed improvements in sentiment, though overall business conditions remained relatively stable. Key indicators like sales and employment remained steady, while profitability experienced a decline.

NAB's chief economist, Alan Oster, highlighted slight easing in cost pressures but emphasised that retail price growth remains elevated. He underscored the gradual progress expected in bringing inflation back to target, citing reinforced expectations from the Q1 CPI result in April.

Australian exports decline 2.2% in February, led by metal ores and minerals.

Australia's exports declined by 2.2% in February, largely due to decreases in metal ores and minerals. Major trading partners such as China, Japan, and Hong Kong also witnessed decreases in outbound shipments. Imports surged by 4.8%, driven by increased purchases of intermediate merchandise and consumption goods like food, beverages, textiles, clothing, and footwear.

Mixed performance in Australian retail sector with modest growth amid varied sales trends.

In domestic markets, retail sales in Australia saw modest growth, aligning with preliminary estimates but representing a slowdown from the previous month's growth. While sales in cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food decreased, department stores and clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing experienced accelerated growth. Sales performance varied across states and territories, with some experiencing slowdowns while others saw turnover falls.

New home loans rise 1.6% in February, led by purchase of newly built dwellings.

In February 2024, the value of new home loans for owner-occupied homes in Australia increased by 1.6%, reversing a previous decline. While falling short of market forecasts, this growth was driven by a 4.9% rise in the purchase of newly erected dwellings and a rebound in the purchase of existing dwellings by 1.7%. However, construction of dwellings saw a further decline. New home loans increased notably in states like Australia's Capital Territory, Tasmania, Queensland, Northern Territory, and New South Wales, with a 9.1% annual increase overall.


  • March 2024 sees surge in U.S. Inflation, alongside addition of 303k jobs.
  • Japanese consumer confidence surges to highest level since April 2019.
  • Germany's trade surplus narrows in February 2024 amid export slump and import surge.
  • Canada reports trade surplus as unemployment rate surges.

U.S. March 2024 inflation surges beyond forecasts, prompting market turbulence.

In March, both headline and core Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the United States surged beyond expectations, registering a 0.4% increase, surpassing forecasts by 0.1 percentage point. This marks the third consecutive month of 0.4% readings for the core CPI, indicating sustained inflationary pressures reminiscent of early last year.

Annual figures revealed a headline CPI acceleration to 3.5%, while the core CPI remained steady at 3.8%, both surpassing economists' forecasts. Housing and gasoline costs contributed significantly to the overall CPI increase, with shelter prices continuing to pose a persistent challenge to inflation management efforts. Despite expectations of moderation, rent and owners' equivalent rent both rose by 0.4%.

The robust inflation report presents a challenge to those anticipating an early interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve. Economists suggest that depending on forthcoming economic data, the CPI figures may delay the timing of any rate cuts.

Additionally, the U.S. added 303,000 jobs, marking the highest increase in ten months and surpassing forecasts of 200,000. This robust job growth, along with upward revisions to January data, resulted in employment levels for January and February combined being 22,000 higher than previously reported. The unemployment rate in the U.S. also dipped to 3.8% from the previous month's two-year high of 3.9%, surprising market expectations of no change.

Japanese consumer confidence surges to highest level since April 2019.

In March, the consumer confidence index in Japan rose, marking a significant increase from the previous month. This upturn represents the highest reading since April 2019, indicating improved sentiments among households. Key components contributing to this positive shift include increased confidence in income growth, employment, and willingness to purchase durable goods. Meanwhile, sentiments regarding overall livelihood remained unchanged.

Germany's trade surplus narrows in February amid export slump and import surge.

Germany's trade surplus contracted in February 2024, down from the previous month's record high. This decrease, below market expectations, was driven by a 2% decline in exports, notably to the EU. Conversely, imports unexpectedly rose, reaching a three-month high, with significant increases from non-EU countries like China and Russia. Imports from the US and the UK declined, while purchases from non-EU nations decreased.

Canada reports trade surplus amid rising exports, yet unemployment rate surges.

In February, Canada reported a trade surplus driven by a 5.8% increase in exports yet imports also rose by 4.6%. Despite this positive trade data, the unemployment rate surged to 6.1% in March, reaching its highest level since October 2021. Concurrently, the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) reached a yearly-high, but concerns about future challenges remain. The Bank of Canada (BoC) maintained its key rate at 5% in April, citing persistent inflation risks and an uncertain macroeconomic environment.

Regulation roundup

South Korea enforces tougher rules on crypto exchange listings.

South Korean financial authorities are set to introduce stricter guidelines for token listings on centralised crypto exchanges by late April or early May. The guidelines aim to prevent the listing of digital assets involved in hacking incidents unless the root cause is fully investigated. For foreign digital assets to be listed on domestic exchanges, they must have a white paper or technical manual specifically for the South Korean market. However, tokens already listed on licensed exchanges for more than two years may be exempt from these new criteria.

The upcoming directives for South Korean exchanges may also require them to delist cryptocurrencies if issuers don't provide sufficient disclosure, such as accurate information about circulating supply matching their disclosures.

In early February, South Korea updated its Virtual Asset Users Protection Act, introducing harsh penalties like imprisonment or fines for violators. This change came after the Terraform Labs crisis, which caused over US$450 billion in losses. The Gyeonggi Provincial Tax Justice Department collected US$4.6 million in non-declared taxes using a digital tracking system. Additionally, the Financial Intelligence Unit reported a 49% increase in flagged suspicious transactions in 2023 compared to 2022 and outlined its 2024 plan for regulating the crypto market.

Compliance conversations

ATO warns taxpayers about 'direct refund' scam emails on myGov.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a warning to taxpayers about a scam involving fake emails and text messages claiming to offer "direct refunds" through myGov. Scammers are attempting to trick people into providing personal information that can be used for tax fraud. These fraudulent messages often contain phrases like "You are due to receive an ATO Direct refund" or "You have a new message in your myGov inbox – click here to view," urging recipients to click on links that lead to fake myGov sites. The ATO advises taxpayers to stay vigilant and avoid clicking on suspicious links or providing personal information in response to unsolicited messages.

The ATO emphasises that they and myGov do not send SMS or email messages containing links to access online services. Instead, users should directly type or into their browser. ATO impersonation scams are increasing, evidenced by 1,461 reports received in February, marking a 1.2% rise from the previous month.

Australians are encouraged to use the myGov app for secure access to government services. Minister Bill Shorten highlighted the app's security features, such as fingerprint or face recognition login, reducing the need for user IDs, passwords, and SMS codes. The increase in scam websites, with over 6,000 attempts to impersonate myGov last year, underscores the importance of vigilance. The ATO introduced new fraud controls, including myGovID, to enhance security during sign-in. In 2023, Australians lost over US$476 million to scams, with phishing scams being the most reported.

The ASIC provides a checklist of common scams and ways to avoid them. To learn more, visit ASIC’s website.

Discover more on our ‘Compliance conversation’ blog page, where we share the latest updates on safeguarding against scams and protecting your assets. Stay informed and stay protected!

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is issued by BTC Markets Pty Ltd (BTC Markets, we, us, our). The information is general only and is not intended to constitute an opinion or recommendation with respect to its contents. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Any reference to past performance is intended to be for general illustrative purposes only. The information cannot be relied upon for any purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

The information does not purport to be complete, accurate or contain all of the information that a person may require to make a decision. It may also contain forward looking statements, which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors. We recommend you obtain professional advice before making any decision with respect to the matters discussed in this document. To the maximum extent permitted by law, BTC Markets will have no liability for any loss or liability of any kind: (i) arising in respect of the information contained (or not contained) on this page; or (ii) arising from a person relying on any information or statement contained on this page. The information provided is only intended for recipients in Australia. This information cannot be reproduced without our prior written permission.

Weekly prices are accurate as of 10:00 AM AEST on 08/04/2024.

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