April 19, 2024

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Next FOMC meeting: May 1st 2024

  • Probability of a 25bps ease → 4%
  • Probability of a 0bps hike → 96%

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The News Room

IMF Report Analyzes Bitcoin's Impact on Cross-Border Financial Flows Amid Global Instability

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released a report titled “A Primer on Bitcoin Cross-Border Flows,” highlighting Bitcoin's role as a vital tool for cross-border financial flows amidst global financial instability. The report examines how Bitcoin’s decentralized nature allows users, especially in countries with economic distress and strict capital controls like Argentina and Venezuela, to bypass traditional banking systems, preserve wealth, and engage in global commerce. It notes significant transaction volumes from these regions, underlining Bitcoin's utility beyond mere speculation. However, the IMF also warns of the risks, such as the potential for money laundering due to the anonymity and lack of oversight in cryptocurrency transactions. The study, analyzing both on-chain and off-chain data, reveals that Bitcoin transactions correlate more with crypto-specific sentiments rather than traditional economic indicators, and larger transactions tend to be more secure on-chain. The IMF advocates for international regulatory cooperation to address these challenges while leveraging the benefits of digital currencies for economic freedom in restrictive financial environments.

Tether Expands to The Open Network, Launching USDT and XAUT for Telegram's Nearly 900 Million Users

Tether is expanding its offerings by launching the USDT stablecoin and its gold-backed counterpart, XAUT, natively on The Open Network (TON), which is closely linked to the Telegram messaging app. This integration, announced at the Dubai 2049 conference, aims to facilitate borderless peer-to-peer payments among Telegram's nearly 900 million users and enhance decentralized finance (DeFi) applications within the TON ecosystem. Currently, Tether's transparency page shows $10 million worth of USDT authorized on TON, with $3 million already issued. This move is expected to increase activity and liquidity on TON, furthering Tether's mission to power open financial infrastructure across blockchain spaces. The expansion comes as TON's ecosystem sees significant growth, with monthly active addresses rising sharply, and its native token, Toncoin, seeing substantial price increases this year despite recent volatility.

Avi Eisenberg Convicted in $110 Million Mango Markets Crypto Heist

Avi Eisenberg, a crypto trader, has been convicted by a Manhattan jury of fraud and market manipulation related to a $110 million heist from the decentralized finance protocol Mango Markets in October 2022. Arrested in December 2022 in Puerto Rico, Eisenberg faces up to 20 years in prison, with sentencing scheduled for July 29 by New York District Court Judge Arun Subramanian. Despite his defense team's attempts to portray his actions as compliant with Mango Markets' rules, the jury found his manipulation of the platform to illicitly "borrow" $110 million in cryptocurrencies to be a clear case of fraud. This verdict comes amidst a backdrop of other high-profile crypto fraud convictions, highlighting increasing legal scrutiny in the crypto space. Eisenberg's defense included attempts to negotiate with the Mango Markets decentralized autonomous organization to retain a portion of the stolen funds in exchange for returning the rest, which the prosecution used to bolster their case against him.

Trading Desk Insights

Bitcoin ascended past the $65,000 threshold on Friday, recovering from a recent dip below $60,000, as it braces for the imminent halving event, now merely 100 blocks away. The cryptocurrency's substantial appreciation over the past six months positions miners favorably for this upcoming adjustment. Historical trends suggest a potential surge in Bitcoin's value following the halving.

In the realm of Bitcoin ETFs, the market recorded a modest net outflow of $4.3 million, predominantly due to $90 million exiting Grayscale. However, inflows from other issuers hint at a possible reversal to net inflows by the day's end.

Magic Eden has clinched the top spot in the NFT marketplace hierarchy, surpassing competitors such as Tensor, Blur, and OpenSea. Their early pivot to concentrate on Bitcoin Ordinals has been instrumental, attracting 61% of their user base to engage with Ordinals, underpinning their market leadership.

The S&P 500 is on track for its most challenging week in nearly six months, marking a consecutive five-session decline—the first occurrence since October. This downturn, totaling a 2.2% loss for the week, stems from revised expectations regarding interest rate cuts, with the consensus now suggesting that the Federal Reserve may defer rate reductions until at least September, if not longer.

Geopolitically, the market dynamics were influenced by Israel's targeted military strike on Iranian territory early Friday, escalating the ongoing conflict between the two nations. This development spurred a 3% increase in oil prices due to heightened concerns over the conflict evolving beyond clandestine engagements. Concurrently, the surge in geopolitical tension propelled safe-haven assets, with spot gold prices reaching a new peak of $2,450 per ounce.

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This research is for informational use only. This is not investment advice. Other than disclosures relating to Secure Digital Markets this research is based on current public information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied on as such. The information, opinions, estimates, and forecasts contained herein are as of the date hereof and are subject to change without prior notification. We seek to update our research as appropriate.

Any forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be relied upon as advice or interpreted as a recommendation. The price of crypto assets may rise or fall because of changes in the broad market or changes in a company's financial condition, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. Past performance is not a guide to future performance, future returns are not guaranteed, and a loss of original capital may occur. Fluctuations in exchange rates could have adverse effects on the value or price of, or income derived from, certain investments. We and our affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, excluding equity and credit analysts, will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell, the securities or derivatives, if any, referred to in this research.

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Crypto and/or digital currencies involve substantial risk, are speculative in nature and may not perform as expected. Many digital currency platforms are not subject to regulatory supervision, unlike regulated exchanges. Some platforms may commingle customer assets in shared accounts and provide inadequate custody, which may affect whether or how investors can withdraw their currency and/or subject them to money laundering. Digital currencies may be vulnerable to hacks and cyber fraud as well as significant volatility and price swings.

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