April 22, 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

Michael Saylor Sells $370 Million of MicroStrategy Stock Amid Bitcoin Surge

Michael Saylor, co-founder of MicroStrategy Inc. and a well-known Bitcoin advocate, has reportedly sold about $370 million worth of his company shares under a pre-arranged stock-sale plan initiated last summer, which allowed him to sell up to 400,000 shares by April 2024. Saylor, who had been granted a stock option in 2014 that was set to expire in April next year, has sold over 90% of these shares as planned. His sales come at a time when MicroStrategy’s stock value has significantly increased, following a surge in Bitcoin prices to an all-time high above $73,000, and the company's recent acquisition of an additional 9,245 Bitcoin, bringing its total holdings to 214,246 Bitcoin.

FTX Estate to Auction Locked Solana Tokens Following High Demand

The FTX estate plans to auction off its next batch of locked Solana tokens following strong buyer interest and a previous sale that netted $1.9 billion from industry firms like Galaxy Digital and Pantera. Unlike the prior sale which offered tokens at a set price, this auction aims to capitalize on the robust demand for these tokens, which are discounted due to their locked status, preventing immediate resale. The last sale price was around $60 per token, significantly below Solana's current market price of approximately $150, reflecting a potentially lucrative deal for buyers despite the inherent volatility of cryptocurrency values. Figure CEO Mike Cagney announced plans to facilitate the auction, including forming a Special Purpose Vehicle to allow non-US and accredited US investors to participate, reflecting continued strong interest in these assets.

Thailand to Block Unauthorized Crypto Platforms to Combat Online Crime

Thailand's authorities are set to block "unauthorized" cryptocurrency platforms as a measure to enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement against online crimes, following a directive issued after a meeting of the Technology Crime Prevention and Suppression Committee. The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been instructed to compile and submit details on these unauthorized services to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, which will then restrict access to these platforms. The SEC aims to minimize impact on users by allowing them sufficient time to manage and withdraw their assets before the restrictions take effect. This move aligns with actions taken by other nations such as India and the Philippines and reflects Thailand’s ongoing efforts to balance fostering the cryptocurrency ecosystem with safeguarding against fraud, including allowing certain investor groups to engage with crypto ETFs while enforcing stringent requirements on custodians.

Trading Desk Insights

Bitcoin has rebounded impressively, surging over 5% since last Friday. The broader cryptocurrency market is also experiencing robust gains, particularly meme coins which are seeing double-digit increases. Should Bitcoin surpass the $67,000 resistance level, it could set the stage for a rally towards the year's high of $74,000.

The latest Bitcoin halving occurred this past Friday, significantly reducing the issuance of new bitcoins. The first block post-halving generated a notable $2.6 million from fees and rewards, with ViaBTC mining the landmark fourth halving block, which included a substantial 37.6256 BTC in fees. Historically, such supply reductions have catalyzed significant price rallies for Bitcoin.

In the realm of Bitcoin’s layer 2 solutions, tokens like STX, native to the Stacks network, have outperformed Bitcoin following the anticipated halving event. These layer 2 projects enhance scalability and transaction speeds by operating atop the Bitcoin blockchain, facilitating off-chain transactions. STX, for example, has climbed nearly 20% to $2.95.

Turning to ETFs, the market welcomed net inflows totaling $59.7 million on Friday, primarily driven by significant contributions from Fidelity and Blackrock. Meanwhile, Grayscale has seen a reduction in outflows, marking the lowest level since April 10th.

In contrast, the ETHBTC pair remains stagnant, hovering near its yearly low with an unclear future direction.

On the equity front, stock futures are on the rise as Wall Street attempts to recover from last week's sharp declines, particularly in the tech sector. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each endured significant losses last week, extending their losing streaks to six days. Notably, the Nasdaq fell 2% on Friday alone, with major companies like Nvidia experiencing substantial declines. These movements reflect growing investor recognition of the enduring high-interest rate environment.

The Federal Reserve's next meeting is scheduled for April 30-May 1, during which policymakers are currently in a mandated quiet period.

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