So, I was specifically looking forward to yesterday's FOMC establishment and the subsequent conference. It passed without surprises, so we boldly begin the review of the second decade of March 2023. Let's build it in the already familiar format.
Since we started with Jerome Powell, we will continue with him. A truck with the slogan "Be your own bank" and a photo of the Federal Reserve Chairman with a "Buy Bitcoin" sign was parked in front of the office of the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. The collapse of SVB was described in detail in the last issue.
Against the background of the storm that is taking place in the banking sector on both sides of the Atlantic and the background to which I spoke in detail in the «Harry Potter and the Magic Bubble» digest, Bitcoin at first almost stepped over $30k. After yesterday's meeting, the Fed corrected a little, but without sudden movements.
It’s funny that back in 2017, the CEO of Credit Suisse warned everyone against buying BTC, saying that there are all signs of a bubble inflating. Such is the magic.
Ironically, since the beginning of 2023, the media and reputable analysts have managed to “bury” bitcoin 6 times already. And over the entire existence of BTC, the world has been invited to the funeral of the grandfather more than 450 times.
In the meantime, after the launch of the Ordinals protocol, the use of the BTC network continues to grow significantly. In the baseline forecast from Galaxy Digital Research, after the launch of the Ordinals protocol, the NFT market on the BTC blockchain could grow to $4.5 billion by 2025!
There is also a surge in whale transactions and BTC inflows to exchanges on the market.
However, I personally agree with the opinion of Morgan:
“BTC was created to store value and make transactions without intermediaries, but in practice the leading cryptocurrency is not isolated from the traditional banking system. This is because the price of bitcoin is backed by “bank liquidity” in US dollars, which makes trading BTC more like trading a speculative asset rather than a currency.”
Nothing to say. Except for one detail. The supply of BTC is still limited. But with banking liquidity, things are like this: the Fed's printing press has earned on new capacities and printed $ 300 billion. And this is just the beginning.
Tether is not far behind. Perhaps I missed something, but what I will list now looks more than large.
On March 14, Tether printed 2,000,000,000 USDT in just 5 minutes.
March 16, another 1,000,000,000 USDT.
On March 21 another 1,000,000,000 USDT.
On March 22, another 1,000,000,000 USDT.
At the same time, against the backdrop of problems with the stablecoin USDC, the market capitalization of USDT from rose to $74.7 billion, which is almost twice the stable from Circle.
According to analysts, the stability of Tether/USDT has made it the safest bet on stablecoins amid the US banking crisis.
In turn, Mastercard, in partnership with the Stables platform, will launch a service that will allow retail customers in the Asia-Pacific region to pay with stablecoins wherever Mastercard is accepted!
Financial conglomerate Goldman Sachs has filed for a blockchain-based patent to incorporate the technology into its settlement engine.
RippleX has launched an Ethereum virtual machine [EVM] sidechain on the testnet.
The implementation will provide a throughput of up to 1000 (!) transactions per second on the XRP Ledger. Great development!
The head of Messari praised Ripple for developing the XRPL network despite pressure from US regulators and praised the company for improving the traditional financial sector with liquidity-provided blockchain technology.
Meanwhile, the volume of issues of Digital Financial Assets in the Russian Federation reached 2 billion rubles in less than a year. This is reported by the CEO of Atomize.
The State Duma also adopted in the first reading a package of bills on the digital ruble. The bill establishes the concepts of "digital ruble platform", "digital account (wallet)", "participant of the digital ruble platform" and "user of the digital ruble platform".
The status of the digital ruble platform operator is assigned to the Bank of Russia, and the regulator will also be responsible for the safety of digital rubles, organizing and ensuring the functioning of the platform.
At the same time, according to the latest reports, the Law on the Digital Ruble will be adopted in April, and in May it will begin to operate.
Cuba is working on the initiative of the Russian Federation on the settlement center based on the digital peso. India and the UAE will conduct a CBDC pilot.
According to Juniper Research, CBDC payments will reach $213 billion per year by 2030, up from $100 million in 2023.
However, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (the same promising candidate for the role of the future US president) calls for a ban on digital CBDCs, and US Senator Ted Cruz re-introduced a new bill to ban them.
Senator Michael Bennet reports: the cannabis industry is more stable than cryptocurrencies.
In turn, the US Congressional Cannabis Coalition (there is such a thing 😅) noted that 2022 was a “historic year” in terms of cannabis industry reforms. There are strong expectations for the progress of further legalization of cannabis and the development of the industry in the United States in 2023.
At the same time, EU MP Johan Van Overtveld is indignant: “If the government bans drugs, it should also ban cryptocurrencies!”
From this statement, it is not entirely clear who Johan is more worried about, but we will closely monitor the situation 😅
Meanwhile, the European Parliament passed a bill to regulate smart contracts, as well as a bill on digital wallets, which includes the use of ZK-proof zero-knowledge proof technology to protect the privacy of EU citizens.
In turn, Binance's payment partner Paysafe has suspended deposits and withdrawals in pounds sterling for new users. For all others, the ban will come into force on May 22. The company said that "the UK regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies is too complex."
Also, due to the deteriorating “cryptoclimate” in the US, Coinbase is negotiating with institutional clients to open a new crypto exchange outside the US.
Shares of the exchange have already fallen by almost 16% after the found violations of the SEC and the ban on issuance of securities. The staking services Coinbase Earn, Wallet and Prime are targeted by the regulator.
Also, the US Securities Commission filed a lawsuit against the founder of the TRON cryptocurrency, Justin Sun. The SEC accuses him of market manipulation.
At the end of March, Taiwan will announce that exchanges and cryptocurrencies will be regulated by the Financial Supervision Commission. At first, the industry will self-regulate, while referring to international standards, later a special law will be adopted
At the same time, already on July 1, 2023, Hong Kong will become the first jurisdiction where everyone can officially buy cryptocurrency!
The blockchain IoT market will exceed $124 million by 2030, according to a study from CDI.
But Microsoft already this year began to develop a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet for the Edge browser.
Microsoft also plans to launch a new app store for games and plans to compete with the Apple store and Google play.
PlayStation manufacturer Sony has disclosed a patent application filed back in September 2021. The document describes the infrastructure through which players will be able to own and transfer NFTs between different gaming platforms.