April 3, 2024

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Next FOMC meeting: May 1st 2024

  • Probability of a 25bps ease → 3%
  • Probability of a 0bps hike → 97%

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The News Room

Global Central Banks Launch Project Agorá to Explore Tokenization in Financial Systems

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), representing 63 global central banks, is pioneering Project Agorá to explore the potential of tokenization in enhancing financial systems' efficiency. This initiative aims to digitize real-world assets and integrate tokenized commercial bank deposits with tokenized wholesale central bank money, leveraging smart contracts for automatic transactions. Project Agorá involves monetary authorities from the U.K., Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Switzerland, New York, and Europe, alongside private financial entities. This collaborative effort seeks to develop a programmable financial platform that could streamline the monetary system, retaining its two-tier structure. The project underscores the growing interest in tokenization, as seen in the U.K. government's encouragement for local firms and HSBC's venture into tokenized gold in Hong Kong. Project Agorá's outcomes could lead to a more interconnected and efficient payment infrastructure, with plans to involve more private financial institutions actively.

SEC Requests Public Comments on Grayscale, Bitwise, and Fidelity's Spot Ethereum ETF Proposals

The SEC is inviting public feedback on proposed spot Ether ETFs from Fidelity, Grayscale, and Bitwise, with comments due in 21 days. This request for input signals ongoing regulatory considerations for ether-based investment products but also reflects growing skepticism regarding the SEC's readiness to approve such ETFs. Bloomberg analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart noted a significant decrease in the likelihood of a spot Ethereum ETF approval by May, highlighting the uncertain regulatory environment and the impact of the SEC's silence on the prospects for these ETFs.

Relm Insurance Launches Comprehensive Crypto Coverage Suite Amid Growing Industry Need

Relm Insurance, regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, has introduced a comprehensive suite of insurance products tailored to address various cryptocurrency-related risks, ranging from wallet security to investment management within the digital asset sector. This suite includes cyber coverage, crime coverage for hot wallets, coverage for investment managers of digital asset funds, and specialized coverage like reimbursement for Ethereum staking losses due to inactivity. Highlighting the traditionally limited availability of adequate crypto insurance, focused mainly on commercial crime and high-value item storage, Relm's offering signifies a potential shift towards greater insurance capacity for the crypto industry. Marsh's recent announcement of an $850 million cold storage and custody solution insurance product parallels this trend. Relm, which also insures emerging sectors like cannabis and psychedelics, aims to fill gaps in crypto insurance by providing coverage for exchanges, payment platforms, custodians, software developers, and DAO foundations, addressing complex exposures with tailored insurance solutions.

Trading Desk Insights

Bitcoin has been experiencing a phase of sideways price action since the equity markets wrapped up yesterday. The release of disappointing ISM services PMI figures seemed to inject some volatility, propelling BTC to climb past the session's highs. This movement suggests we might be stabilizing at a short-term floor, especially as the price nudges closer to the 50-day moving average and touches the lower boundary of a symmetrical triangle formation on the daily chart. Also, the "kimchi premium" spiked, reaching a peak of 10.88% on March 16th, as per Cryptoquant, marking its highest surge since May 2021.

The upcoming release of significant jobs data on Friday holds the potential to sway market sentiment. Outperforming the job estimates could place downward pressure on risk assets at large, whereas underperforming could buoy market prices.

On the ETF front, Tuesday witnessed a net inflow of $40.3 million despite Grayscale and Ark registering outflows of $81.9 million and $87.5 million, respectively. Reflecting on the month's activity, Bitcoin ETFs saw a substantial increase in trading volume in March, reaching $111 billion—nearly threefold the volume seen in February and January, predominantly led by BlackRock, Grayscale, and Fidelity.

In the equities market, futures dipped on Wednesday, underscoring the challenges Wall Street faces as it enters Q2 of 2024. The release of the ADP jobs report earlier today, which indicated a stronger-than-anticipated growth in private payrolls for March, underscores the economy's durability. This development has pushed bond yields up, reflecting growing investor apprehension about the Federal Reserve's interest rate trajectory.

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