Newsletter

Weekly Crypto Wrap: 30th May 2024

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Rachael Lucas
Weekly Crypto Wrap: 30th May 2024

TLDR

  • Pendle (PENDLE) will be live on BTC Markets on June 4th.
  • Bitcoin briefly breaks through the US$70,000 barrier on Monday.
  • 21shares launches crypto exchange-traded notes on London stock market.
  • Bitcoin ETFs reach 1 million BTC milestone amid anticipation of price surge.
  • Two BlackRock funds add IBIT spot Bitcoin ETF to portfolios.
  • Australian economic indicators show flat growth, construction decline, & rising inflation.

BTC Markets announcements

New listing: Pendle (PENDLE) is coming to BTC Markets on June 4th!

We are excited to announce that BTC Markets will be listing Pendle (PENDLE) on our platform. As of Tuesday, June 4th, you will have access to the PENDLE/AUD trading pair.

Read more about Pendle on our blog and follow us on X/Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook for the latest updates on new asset listings.

BTC Markets at Consensus 2024 in Texas.

BTC Markets' CEO, Caroline Bowler, is attending Consensus 2024, the world’s largest and most influential gathering for the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Web3 community.

This event is a vital forum for industry leaders to engage in critical discussions, share insights, and collaborate on the future of the digital asset space.

Follow Caroline on X for the latest updates.

Explore our OTC Desk for global liquidity, tighter spreads, and personalised service.

Over the past year, our OTC desk has been instrumental in assisting a diverse range of clients as they realign their SMSF holdings, navigate the complexities of EOFY, and free up additional capital during the tax season.

We've worked in close collaboration with businesses actively engaged in crypto payments, ensuring they optimise their frequent conversions to AUD. Whether you're an experienced trader seeking a discreet execution of substantial positions or a business in need of a seamless solution to manage your crypto portfolio, our OTC team is fully equipped to assist you today.

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Our expert team of traders is at your disposal, ready to help you navigate the world of crypto trading with confidence. Book a call today.

Ticker News ‘Crypto Corner’ segments

Welcome to Crypto Corner, a ground-breaking collaboration between BTC Markets and Ticker News, where we dive deep into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Below is a recap of all our episodes to date.

BTC Markets in the news

Livewire Markets: SMSFs embrace crypto: a new era in retirement portfolios.

As the digital asset industry continues to evolve, Australian Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) are increasingly turning towards cryptocurrency to diversify and bolster their retirement portfolios.

With significant growth in crypto holdings among SMSFs, it's essential to understand the motivations behind this shift and the potential benefits and risks involved.

Read the full article here.

Bloomberg: Bitcoin Retreats as Traders Mull Risk of Sales Linked to Mt. Gox.

Our CEO Caroline Bowler recently spoke with Sidhartha Shukla from Bloomberg Crypto about the potential price impact of the returned Mt. Gox crypto.

She mentioned that while there might be a short-term price adjustment if a significant volume hits the market, the primary focus has shifted to the US due to recent regulatory changes.

Read the full article here.

The Australian: Snap! Ethereum ETFs approved by SEC. ‘It was inevitable,’ says BTC Markets boss.

Ethereum ETFs have just been approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in huge news for crypto.

Stockhead caught up with BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler to discuss the current crypto state of play.

Read the full article here.

Investor Daily: Crypto enthusiasts cheer as SEC clears path for Ethereum ETFs.


BTC Markets chief executive Caroline Bowler said the SEC’s decision will enhance investor awareness of this asset and its “remarkable role” within the blockchain ecosystem. She believes ETFs will be able to offer a tailor-made vehicle for investors to gain crypto exposure and will bolster crypto’s profile towards the mainstream.

Read the full article here.

Financial Standard: SEC approves eight Ethereum ETFs.

"ETH is now firmly on the path towards ETP status. Although already the second largest crypto asset, this will expand investor awareness of this asset and its extraordinary role within the blockchain ecosystem," BTC Markets chief executive Caroline Bowler said.

Read the full article here.

State of crypto

  • Bitcoin briefly breaks through the US$70,000 barrier on Monday.
  • 21shares launches crypto exchange-traded notes on London stock market.
  • Bitcoin ETFS reach 1 million BTC milestone amid anticipation of price surge.
  • BlackRock's IBIT becomes world's largest Bitcoin ETF.
  • Two BlackRock funds add IBIT spot Bitcoin ETF to portfolios.
  • Mt. Gox moves US$9.62 billion in Bitcoin ahead of repayment plans.

Weekly price action.

This week, Bitcoin briefly broke through the US$70,000 barrier, reaching a high of US$70,687, but failed to sustain this level and is currently down 1.40% since Mondays open.

Ethereum saw its biggest weekly green candle since May 2021, registering a 24.59% gain, following favourable news on spot ETH ETFs out of the U.S. It peaked at US$3,977 during last Monday's trading session and is now consolidating around US$3,750, showing a 1.76% loss.

Solana remains in the green with a weekly gain of 3.04%, having hit a high of US$188.89 last week. While XRP continues to see strong volume on the BTC Markets exchange and has been trading in the US$0.50 range since early April. Currently, XRP is trading at a slight loss of week with a 0.30% decline.

21shares launches crypto exchange-traded notes on London stock market.

21Shares, the world's largest issuer of crypto exchange-traded products, has listed four new Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded notes (ETNs) on the London Stock Exchange.

This move marks the firm's entrance into the UK market, furthering its global expansion. Co-founder Hany Rashwan stated, "The UK has been on our list since the very beginning and was one of the first three markets we had conversations with when we started."

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has permitted crypto asset ETNs for professional investors, noting improved trading history and data. Rashwan added that 21Shares aims to work with regulators to broaden access to these products.

Bitcoin ETFs reach 1 million BTC milestone amid anticipation of price surge.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs have reached a significant milestone, now holding 1 million BTC, which represents 5% of the total Bitcoin supply. The leading holders of Bitcoin ETFs are Grayscale, BlackRock, and Fidelity, with a combined holding of 737,746 BTC.

This milestone, highlighted by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, was achieved just over four months after Bitcoin ETFs launched on January 10.

US-based Bitcoin ETFs hold the largest share, totalling 855,619 BTC. Offshore ETFs have also seen substantial growth, with the Purpose Bitcoin ETF in Canada leading with 27,110 BTC. Other notable holders include Germany's BTCE with 20,837 BTC.

This achievement comes at a time when Bitcoin’s price action has been bolstered by recent pro-crypto comments from Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Over the weekend, Trump reiterated his support for the cryptocurrency industry, pledging to make the United States a leader in the field if elected. He also made history by accepting campaign donations in Bitcoin, a first for a major US presidential candidate.

Blackrock's IBIT becomes world's largest Bitcoin ETF.

BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) has overtaken the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) as the world’s largest Bitcoin ETF. On May 28, IBIT saw inflows of US$102.5 million, bringing its total holdings to 288,670 Bitcoin, while GBTC experienced a US$105 million outflow, now holding 287,450 Bitcoin.

This shift marks a significant milestone, as both ETFs launched in January. BlackRock's ETF now holds US$19.68 billion worth of Bitcoin, surpassing Grayscale's US$19.65 billion. This achievement underscores BlackRock's dominance in the Bitcoin ETF market, with IBIT capturing most inflows among all 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs.

The increased inflows highlight growing investor confidence in BlackRock's offering, bolstered by recent purchases from BlackRock’s income and bond-focused funds.

Spot Bitcoin ETF Total Net Flows

Two BlackRock funds add IBIT spot Bitcoin ETF to portfolios.

Two BlackRock funds, Strategic Income Opportunities and Strategic Global Bond, purchased shares in the firm's IBIT spot Bitcoin ETF during Q1 2024, according to SEC filings. The Strategic Income Opportunities fund acquired nearly US$3.6 million worth of IBIT shares, while the Strategic Global Bond fund bought US$486,000.

Since its launch in January, BlackRock’s IBIT has attracted more fresh capital than any other spot Bitcoin ETF, despite Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF having more assets under management. This surge reflects growing institutional interest, with over 400 financial firms reportedly buying into BlackRock's ETF.

Mt. Gox moves US$9.62 billion in Bitcoin ahead of repayment plans.

Mt. Gox has moved US$9.62 billion worth of Bitcoin into a new wallet, marking the first significant on-chain movement from its wallets in five years, likely in preparation for creditor repayments by the October 2024 deadline.

The transfer involved 141,686 Bitcoin to wallet "1Jbez" from various cold wallets. Trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi confirmed this move is part of the repayment plans, though the exact timing remains unclear.

In early 2014, the Tokyo based exchange was handling over 70% of global Bitcoin transactions. It abruptly ceased operations that year after it was revealed that millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin, had been lost or stolen.

The weekly crypto close on Tradingview*

The crypto market remained strong, with most major assets closing in the green over the week.

Ethereum (ETH) surged by 24.59% following recent announcements by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding spot Ethereum ETF listings.

XRP gained 3.75%, Bitcoin (BTC) rose by 3.32%, Avalanche (AVAX) increased by 3.21%, Chainlink (LINK) climbed 2.78%, and Litecoin (LTC) posted a 1.85% gain.

Solana (SOL) and Cardano (ADA experienced slight decreases of 3.88% and 1.93%.

Overall, the total crypto market capitalisation rose by 6.73% over the week, reaching a valuation of US$2.491 trillion.

Weekly crypto close

*The weekly trading stats as of Monday, May 27th 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 the pack with an impressive gain of 65.73%.
  • Ethereum (ETH) follows closely with a 65.14% increase.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) not far behind, holding onto a 59.47% gain.
  • Chainlink (LINK) is sitting on a 23.58% annual increase.
Year to date

*Year-to-date performance as of Thursday, May 30th at 10:00 am AEST approximately. Based on data from Tradingview in USD.

Crypto Fear& Greed Index

Fear and greed index

Source: alternative.me

The week ahead: economic events

May 30th: United States GDP Growth Rate.

May 31st: China NBS Manufacturing PMI. France Inflation Rate. Euro Area Inflation Rate. Italy Inflation Rate. India GDP Annual Growth Rate. Canada GDP Growth Annualised and GDP Growth Rate. United States Core PCE Price Index MoM, Personal Income and Personal Spending.

June 3rd: China Caixin Manufacturing PMI.

June 4th: United States ISM Manufacturing PMI.

June 5th: United States Job Openings. Australia GDP Growth Rate. Canada Interest Rate.

Source: Economic Calendar

Market reflections

Overview

Australian economic indicators show flat growth, a construction decline, and rising inflation. Consumer inflation expectations drop to the lowest since 2021. Retail sales inch up, manufacturing PMI stagnates, and services PMI grows steadily. U.S. durable goods orders rise by 0.7%. Japan's inflation eases, and consumer confidence declines. Germany and the UK present mixed economic signals.

Australia

  • Economic indicators show flat growth, construction decline, and rising inflation.
  • Consumer inflation expectations drop to lowest since 2021.
  • Retail sales inch up amid mixed regional performance.
  • Manufacturing PMI stagnates while services PMI shows steady growth.

Economic indicators show flat growth, construction decline, and rising inflation.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Economic Index for Australia remained flat in April, following a 0.1% decline in March. The six-month annualised growth rate in the index, which predicts economic activity three to nine months ahead, improved.

This suggests that the main economic pressures of the past two years, such as higher living costs, interest rate hikes, and increasing taxes, are starting to ease.

Economist Matthew Hassan noted a significant moderation in inflation and the end of the RBA’s rate increases over the past six months. However, he added that growth is expected to improve modestly, with GDP forecasted to rise 1.9% annually in the second half of 2024. Up from 1.3% in the first half, but still below Australia's trend rate of around 2.5% due to slower population growth.

Total construction work in Australia fell by 2.9% quarter-on-quarter, in the three months to March. This reverses a revised 1.8% increase from the previous quarter and defies market expectations of a 0.5% rise, marking the steepest decline since Q2 2019. Annually, total construction activity increased by 1.8% during the quarter.

The monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Australia rose by 3.6% year-on-year in April, up from 3.5% in March and exceeding forecasts of 3.4%. This marks the highest increase since November, driven by faster price rises across multiple sectors. Inflation remains above the RBA's target range of 2-3%.

Australia's consumer inflation expectations drop to lowest since 2021.

Consumer inflation expectations in Australia decreased to 4.1% in May from 4.6% in April, marking the lowest level since October 2021. Despite easing cost pressures, the moderation pace is slower than expected due to persistent service inflation.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) projects that inflation will fall within the target range of 2-3% in the second half of 2025, reaching the midpoint by 2026. However, the RBA acknowledges that this adjustment period will face economic uncertainties. Australia's headline inflation was 3.6% in Q1 2024, the lowest in nine quarters.

On a monthly basis, annual inflation stood at 3.5% in March, near its lowest in two years. Economic growth was modest, with a 0.2% quarter-on-quarter increase in Q4, the slowest in five quarters.

The RBA anticipates a sluggish recovery in China and a weaker outlook for household spending in Australia, highlighting ongoing economic challenges.

Retail sales inch up amid mixed regional performance.

Australian retail sales edged up 0.1% month-on-month in April, slightly below expectations. This rise reverses the 0.4% fall in March, influenced by the earlier Easter and varying school holiday schedules.

Manufacturing PMI stagnates while services PMI shows steady growth.

The Judo Bank Flash Australia Manufacturing PMI held steady in May, indicating continued marginal deterioration for the fourth consecutive month, driven by rising input prices and cost pressures.

The Services PMI Business Activity Index slightly declined but still showed solid growth due to sustained new business, including significant foreign interest. Despite rising costs, confidence remains above the 12-month average.

The Composite Output Index decreased, reflecting the fourth month of private sector expansion, with robust new business growth and accelerated job creation helping clear backlogged orders.

Global

  • U.S. durable goods orders rise by 0.7% in April, defying expectations.
  • Japan's inflation eases and consumer confidence declines
  • Mixed economic signals for Germany in May.
  • U.K. retail sales plummet in April, largest decline in four months.

U.S. durable goods orders rise by 0.7% in April, defying expectations.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in the U.S. increased by 0.7% month-over-month in April 2024, following a revised 0.8% rise in March and contrary to market expectations of a 0.8% decrease.

This marks the third consecutive monthly increase in durable goods orders, driven by strong demand for transport equipment, which rose by 1.2%.

These figures highlight ongoing strength in the U.S. manufacturing sector, with broad-based gains across multiple categories, indicating sustained business confidence and investment.

Mixed economic signals for Germany in May.

Germany's economic indicators for May present a mixed picture. The annual inflation rate rose to 2.4%, driven by higher service and food prices, while energy costs continued to fall.

The GfK Consumer Climate Indicator reached its highest point since April 2022, reflecting improved income expectations and economic prospects. The HCOB Flash Germany Manufacturing PMI also improved, despite ongoing contraction in factory activity.

Meanwhile, the Ifo Business Climate Indicator remained steady, with brighter future expectations but mixed sector performance. Overall, these signals suggest cautious optimism and the need for targeted recovery strategies.

Japan's inflation eases and consumer confidence declines.

Japan's annual inflation rate eased to 2.5% in April from 2.7% in March, marking the second consecutive month of moderation. Core inflation fell to 2.2%, the lowest level in 15 months, aligning with market expectations. On a monthly basis, the CPI rose by 0.2%, the steepest pace since last October.

Meanwhile, Japan's Consumer Confidence Index in May fell to its lowest point since November, falling below market forecasts and indicating deteriorating household sentiments across all components.

U.K. retail sales plummet in April, largest decline in four months.

UK retail sales fell sharply by 2.3% month-over-month in April, following a revised 0.2% decline in March, significantly exceeding forecasts of a 0.4% drop. This marks the most substantial decrease in retail sales in four months, with sales volumes declining across most sectors. Retailers attributed the drop to poor weather and reduced footfall. Over the three months to April, retail sales were down 0.7% compared to the previous period.

Crypto news

ENS to migrate to layer-2 for lower fees, faster transactions.

ENS, the Ethereum Name Service, is planning a major upgrade called ENSv2. The role of the ENS is to map human-readable names such as "john.eth" to a machine-readable name such as a wallet address like "8g978dl39ji9xl." This upgrade aims to migrate to a layer-2 network, moving away from the Ethereum mainnet to enhance scalability and functionality.

Proposed by ENS Labs on May 28, ENSv2 introduces a hierarchical registry system for managing .eth domain names. Users will have access to a unique name registry, allowing them to manage subdomains and configure resolvers. Additionally, name holders can customise governance terms such as expiration and transfer rules.

By transitioning to a layer-2 network, ENS aims to improve scalability, reduce gas fees, and enhance transaction speed, benefiting both users and developers. The ENS team emphasises that layer-2 fees are significantly cheaper, often 100 times less than Ethereum mainnet fees.Without this migration, users would miss out on these improvements in gas fees and transaction speed for .eth name registration and management.

Trade ETH/AUD on BTC Markets.

Solana validators to receive more SOL as fee proposal passes.

Solana validators will now receive 100% of priority fees from transactions, as decided by a recent governance vote, with 77% in favour. This change aims to enhance network security and efficiency by eliminating the previous model's split of fees between burning and rewarding validators, which led to side deals with transaction submitters.

Validators play a crucial role in blockchain networks by confirming transactions and maintaining security. Solana's priority fees allow users to expedite transactions by paying additional fees. In the previous model, half of these fees were erased, leading to allegations of validators engaging in "side deals" with transaction submitters to receive more SOL tokens.

A proposal to allocate all priority fees to validators aims to ensure their focus on network security and smooth operation.

Buy SOL/AUD on BTC Markets.

Chainlink (LINK) surges 10% on Swift partnership & DTCC's Smart NAV pilot.

Chainlink (LINK) surged in value after announcing a partnership with Swift, an international payments platform, during the Consensus 2024 conference.

Chainlink's advancements across various blockchains, including its recent involvement in a tokenisation pilot with JP Morgan and BNY Mellon, contribute to the renewed interest and positive market performance.

Earlier this month, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the largest settlement and clearinghouse in the U.S., announced the use of Chainlink's cross-chain interoperability protocol in collaboration with JP Morgan and BNY Mellon for a tokenisation pilot called Smart NAV. This initiative aimed to make mutual fund data accessible on public networks.

Additionally, crypto investment firm 21Shares highlighted Chainlink in its weekly research newsletter, praising its role in revolutionising tokenisation and enabling over US$10 trillion in transactions across more than 2,000 projects on 22 separate networks.

Trade LINK/AUD on BTC Markets.

Regulation roundup

Argentina and El Salvador collaborate on cryptocurrency regulation and adoption.

The government of Argentina is collaborating with El Salvador to understand and draw inspiration from its experience with Bitcoin adoption and cryptocurrency activities.

Argentina's National Securities Commission (CNV) recently met with El Salvador's National Commission of Digital Assets (CNAD) to discuss crypto adoption and regulation. During the meeting, officials from both countries exchanged insights on cryptocurrency use in global economies, with a particular focus on El Salvador's pioneering adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender.

CNV president Roberto Silva emphasised El Salvador's leadership in Bitcoin adoption and the broader cryptocurrency industry, expressing a desire to strengthen ties and explore collaboration agreements with El Salvador.

CNV vice president Patricia Boedo highlighted the importance of leveraging El Salvador's expertise in the crypto industry, while CNAD president Juan Carlos Reyes commended Argentina's technological prowess and expressed willingness to collaborate on creating appropriate regulations.

Argentina has been making strides in regulating its local cryptocurrency market, with recent developments including the passing of registration requirements for crypto firms in April. This comes as the country embraces cryptocurrency following the presidency of Javier Milei, known for his support of Bitcoin.

Plans to legalise the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for payments under specific conditions were announced by Argentina's foreign affairs minister, Diana Mondino, in late 2023.

Compliance conversations

Social media fake cash scams on the rise.

The Australian Federal Police are actively investigating a disturbing phenomenon where criminals are utilising social media platforms to promote counterfeit cash transactions. This illicit scheme involves the exchange of AU$20,000 worth of fake currency for a mere AU$1000 of legitimate money, with sellers asserting that the counterfeit notes can be passed off at supermarkets, petrol stations, pubs, and even on Facebook Marketplace.

Despite the allure of easy money, potential participants in this scam face significant risks, including the likelihood of being caught. Graham Cooke, Finder's head of consumer research, underscores the difficulty in counterfeiting Australian banknotes, making it highly probable that counterfeit cash will be easily identifiable to those it is passed to.

The Australian Federal Police highlight a significant increase in counterfeit currency offers on social media platforms. However, while the scam is prevalent, much of the advertised counterfeit money may not actually exist.

To safeguard against falling victim to counterfeit currency scams, the Reserve Bank of Australia advises individuals to scrutinise banknotes for security features such as holograms, small text details, and a distinct plastic texture with a window.

Any suspicion of counterfeit money should prompt individuals to seek assistance from their local bank, where they can surrender the counterfeit notes without facing legal repercussions.

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 27/05/2024.

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