Next FOMC meeting: Sept 20th 2023.
Nodal Power has raised $13 million in funding to expand its efforts in converting landfill-produced methane gas into electricity, which is then supplied to local power grids as renewable energy. While a significant portion of this energy is sold, the company also uses some to mine Bitcoin in an eco-friendly manner, especially during periods of less favorable grid economics.
The company already has two mining data centers in the U.S. and plans to launch a third in early 2024. Daniel Batten of CH4 Capital highlights that 75% of landfills are currently using the methane produced on-site. A KPMG study indicated that the methane flared in the U.S. and Canada could power the entire Bitcoin network, suggesting the potential of such green initiatives.
Srettha Thavisin, formerly the CEO of real estate developer Sansiri, has been named the next Prime Minister of Thailand following a contentious election. Prior to his political career, Srettha was deeply involved in the digital asset sector, with Sansiri taking a 15% stake in Thai crypto service provider XSpring in 2021. The following year, Sansiri introduced the “SiriHub Token,” a tokenized real estate investment trust (REIT) model.
Central to Srettha’s campaign was a pledge to distribute a national 'airdrop' where every Thai citizen aged 16 and above would receive 10,000 Thai baht (approximately $300) in a unique national token. This plan, estimated to cost 500 billion THB ($14.3 billion), has faced criticism for its expense and the proposed use of blockchain technology when existing digital banking platforms are already operational in Thailand. Despite this, experts like Udomsak Rakwongwan believe the new leadership will promote more flexible crypto regulations, spurring growth in Thai crypto initiatives.
Nathaniel Chastain, OpenSea's ex-head of product, received a three-month prison sentence for leveraging insider information to profit from NFTs highlighted on the platform. Convicted of fraud and money laundering, Chastain was accused of netting over $50,000 from his illicit trades and is now mandated to return these profits. Despite his defense arguing that NFTs aren't securities and his actions weren't based on confidential info, the case proceeded, leading to his conviction. This landmark case represents one of the first instances of insider trading in the digital asset realm, paralleling another recent case where a former Coinbase product manager was sentenced for a similar offense.
European business activity contracted once again during August, to its lowest level since November 2020. The euro zone's flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index dipped to 47 for the month, falling short of anticipated figures of 48.8, and representing a decline from July's 48.6. A sectoral analysis showed services hitting a 30-month low at 48.3, while manufacturing demonstrated a slight uptick, moving from July's 42.7 to 43.7. It's worth noting that scores exceeding 50 indicate business expansion, while those below signify contraction. When discounting the pandemic-influenced months, the recent data signals the weakest performance since April 2013.
Stock futures were on an upswing this Wednesday in anticipation of Nvidia's quarterly announcements. Following a somewhat inconsistent session on Tuesday, traders were keen on recalibrating their strategies. Nvidia, having surged over 200%, stands out as 2023's top performer within the S&P 500, with the market expressing strong optimism about its AI-driven ventures. Forecasts suggest notable year-on-year growth in Q2 profits and revenues for the tech behemoth. Furthermore, the financial community will be closely monitoring the Federal Reserve's two-day summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, particularly awaiting insights from Fed chair Jerome Powell come Friday morning.
Bitcoin dropped further towards 25,330 as liquidations piled up by 140% in the last 24 hrs to reach $114 million. Prices are currently trading back in the previous trading range between 25,725 and 26,300. A break above 26,300 would be necessary to witness a rebound towards 26,900 and 27,500 which represent the 38.2% and 50% Fibonacci levels.
In the ETH options market, both short-term and long-term puts are consistently trading at a premium compared to calls, suggesting ongoing expectations of a potential price downturn. Meanwhile, Bitcoin options exhibit a sustained long-term bullish sentiment. BTC will continue to be the priority for institutional investors because of its liquidity, market cap, and relative stability. ETH might outperform BTC in the short term here and there, but BTC will be the main focus for market participants once macro investor funds start to take crypto positions. Also, Bitcoin is set to undergo its fourth halving early next year which should translate to higher prices in the long run.
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