August 3, 2023

Markets Insights

Next FOMC meeting: Sept 20th 2023.

  • Probability of a 0bps hike → 82.5%
  • Probability of a 25bps hike → 17.5%

The News Room

Direxion and ProShares File for ETFs Combining Bitcoin and Ether Futures Contracts

Direxion and ProShares have filed applications with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for ETFs that would hold futures contracts tied to both Bitcoin and Ethereum. This move comes after several fund groups, including ProShares, recently filed for funds focusing solely on Ethereum futures.

In 2021, the SEC permitted ETFs holding Bitcoin futures contracts, with the first, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), gaining $1 billion in assets under management within days of launch. Despite the SEC's history of rejecting spot Bitcoin ETFs, fund issuers continue to look for alternative methods to offer investors crypto exposure.

Hong Kong Opens Cryptocurrency Trading to Retail Investors with New Licenses to HashKey Exchange and OSL Digital Securities

Hong Kong has officially opened cryptocurrency trading to retail investors, granting its first licenses under a new regime to HashKey Exchange and OSL Digital Securities Ltd. Both entities previously had licenses from Hong Kong's opt-in licensing regime for crypto asset service providers, likely expediting their new approvals.

The HashKey Exchange can now expand its business from serving professional investors to retail users. Similarly, OSL Digital Securities now allows retail investors to register on its platform and access digital asset products, starting with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The move indicates Hong Kong's growing interest in re-establishing itself as a hub for cryptocurrency trading and financial services.

Kenyan Government Halts Worldcoin Operations Over Public Safety and Data Privacy Concerns

Worldcoin's operations in Kenya have been temporarily halted by the government due to public safety concerns and financial integrity. The country's Interior Cabinet Secretary announced that Worldcoin activities will remain suspended until public agencies can confirm there are no risks to the general public.

Worldcoin requires users to undergo iris scans to obtain a digital ID (World ID) for its "proof of personhood" verification services, which has been met with controversy regarding the handling of sensitive biometric data. In light of these concerns, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, Germany's data authority, and France's privacy watchdog have launched their own investigations into Worldcoin. The company intends to work with local officials to increase understanding of their privacy measures during this pause in services.

Trading Desk Insights

On Thursday, stock futures experienced a decline following the significant selloff on Wednesday, which was triggered by Fitch's downgrade of the U.S. Wall Street has also been evaluating the most recent collection of quarterly results to gain insight into the current state of corporate America.

There were noteworthy downturns in the tech industry, with chipmaker Qualcomm suffering a 9% loss after failing to meet revenue expectations for the third quarter and providing lackluster guidance. Meanwhile, PayPal saw a similar 9% slump despite meeting expectations with its financial results. Two tech heavyweights, Apple and Amazon, are scheduled to release their financial reports after market close.

In other financial developments, the Bank of England took a step to curb inflation by increasing interest rates by 25 basis points early today. This is part of a broader trend of actions taken by global central banks in response to inflationary pressures.

Moving on with the cryptocurrency market, BTCUSDT is trading back in the previous trading range with most of the price action taking place between 28,800 and 29,700. If the equity market continues to slide lower, this may continue to place additional pressure in the overall cryptocurrency market. We are currently trading below the 50-day moving average which isn’t ideal for bulls to take control.

If we zoom out to the daily chart, we can see that it’s very possible for BTC to continue lower towards the rising trend line that has lifted prices since the start of the year, acting as great support. This area also intersects with the 200-day moving average, thus reinforcing its psychological importance.

According to a study by K33 Research, the five-day volatility of Bitcoin is currently lower than that of prominent conventional assets, including the Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Gold. As we have previously reported, this volatility has declined to historically low levels. It's a characteristic of volatility to tighten before widening again, implying it's highly unlikely these reduced levels will persist for a significant duration. As a result, we are led to anticipate that a major market catalyst will emerge in the ensuing few months, which would reinvigorate this volatility.

Economic Calendar:


  • BOE decision
  • US unemployment + ISM services PMI
  • Earnings → Amazon, Apple, Block & Coinbase


  • US Non-farm payrolls + unemployment

Technical Charts


According to a report by CCData, there was a notable increase in July in the assets under management (AUM) of investment funds connected to Stellar’s XLM, Ripple’s XRP, and Solana’s SOL. This surge in AUM is reportedly tied to a ruling that determined XRP tokens held on exchanges did not equate to investment contracts. This decision triggered significant price spikes across the cryptocurrency industry, with XRP and other altcoins, including XLM and SOL, experiencing substantial gains.

The AUM for XLM-oriented products saw a remarkable rise of 62.7%, reaching $17.3 million. Meanwhile, XRP-focused products saw their AUM rise by 33.2% in July, amounting to $65.7 million, and AUM of SOL-related products surged by 55.7% to $87.8 million.

Stellar’s XLM, in particular, has seen a positive trend over the past month, fuelled by the progression of its partnership with Circle's USDC and strategic alliances with entities like MoneyGram.

From a technical perspective, XLMUSDT surged by 100% after the positive news from the XRP ruling. Since then, both XRP and XLM have been pulling back. It seems that XLM will continue its trend lower towards the breakout area. The first target would be 0.128. If prices continue lower then we would be looking at the next targets of 0.112 and 0.096 in extension.


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.

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