August 9, 2023

Markets Insights

Next FOMC meeting: Sept 20th 2023.

  • Probability of a 0bps hike → 86.5%
  • Probability of a 25bps hike → 13.5%

The News Room

Microsoft and Aptos Labs Collaborate to Develop Innovative AI-Blockchain Solutions

Aptos Labs, founded by ex-Facebook staffers and inspired by Facebook's abandoned Diem project, is collaborating with Microsoft to integrate AI and blockchain technologies. Aptos plans to use Microsoft's tech infrastructure to launch new AI-powered blockchain services, including a chatbot named Aptos Assistant designed to aid developers and answer user queries. This chatbot is supported by Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Service. Furthermore, Aptos is incorporating its proprietary programming language, Move, into Github's AI tool, Copilot, to assist in contract development.

The companies are jointly venturing into blockchain-driven financial services, exploring areas such as asset tokenization and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Aptos will also utilize Microsoft Azure for its validator nodes, strengthening its network's security. The blend of AI and blockchain is becoming popular in the industry, as AI emerges as a focal point for venture capitalists and tech talent. Currently, Aptos' blockchain holds approximately $53 million in total value locked.

Paxos Pursues Multiple 'White Label' Stablecoin Opportunities Beyond PayPal USD

Paxos Trust, a crypto infrastructure provider, is developing stablecoin projects akin to PayPal's PYUSD, as revealed by Walter Hessert, Paxos’ head of strategy, on CoinDesk TV. Confirming that several "white label stablecoin opportunities" are in progress, he emphasized Paxos' ongoing conversations with major tech and financial firms about stablecoin integration and launch. Hessert considers PYUSD's launch a pivotal step for the digital asset domain since it introduces a novel trust standard, being fully regulated and bankruptcy-protected. This ensures its utility in cross-border and consumer payments. Hessert further highlighted Paxos' commitment to partnering with entities like PayPal that are capable of driving mass blockchain product adoption.

U.S. Federal Reserve Launches New Program to Enhance Oversight of Banks' Cryptocurrency Activities

The U.S. Federal Reserve has unveiled a new "novel activities supervision program" aimed at enhancing its oversight on banks' cryptocurrency engagements. While no existing rules have been altered, the initiative emphasizes banks under its jurisdiction must obtain prior approval before delving into digital assets. This includes stringent conditions for banks looking to engage with stablecoins, mandating proof of risk management capabilities and safeguard measures against vulnerabilities like money laundering and hacking. The move, reinforcing January's crypto guidelines, coincides with PayPal's recent announcement of its own stablecoin. The Fed assures that the initiative will foster innovations while maintaining a controlled environment in the financial sector.

Trading Desk Insights

U.S. stock futures were in green territory before trading lower at the open Wednesday morning, as Wall Street tried to rebound from the previous session's downturn. The decline was driven by Moody's recent downgrade of several regional banks, causing a ripple of caution among investors. While some market players view this as a potential precursor to further challenges in the market, many argue that a correction was anticipated, considering the substantial equity rally we've witnessed this year.

BTCUSDT has finally broken above the resistance level of 29,700 and is looking to test the next target of 30,400 which would send prices higher towards 31,250. Luckily for the bulls, prices are trading above their 20-day moving average but are still below the 50-day (near $30k). A break above the latter would trigger bullish implications for Bitcoin to test the yearly highs.

On the regulatory front, the U.S. Federal Reserve has provided further clarity on the framework for banks dealing with stablecoins. Banks will now require an explicit supervisory nod from the Federal Reserve prior to any stablecoin issuance. This development followed closely on the heels of PayPal's announcement to introduce its own stablecoin. As per the Federal Reserve's directive, banks are expected to exhibit robust risk management procedures, ensuring they are well-equipped to mitigate potential hazards, ranging from cybersecurity threats to issues of illicit financing.

Finally, altcoins are outperforming the overall market this morning after the recent pop on BTC. LINK +3%, Shib +5%, SOL +3%. One of the biggest movers would be APT +17% following the announcement that Aptos Lab, layer 1 blockchain started by former Facebook employees, is teaming up with Microsoft on new blockchain AI tools such as chatbots, asset tokenization, payment options and CBDCs.

Economic calendar:


  • China CPI at 9:30pm EST


  • GBP, EUR & US 10-year bond auction


  • China new loans + money supply
  • US CPI
  • US Federal Budget Balance


  • US PPI
  • US consumer sentiment and inflation expectations

Technical Charts

Altcoin Watch

Once perceived merely as a meme coin, Shiba Inu is now steadily carving its niche, challenging the skeptics.

The inclusion of a Self-Sovereign Identity within Shibarium has garnered significant attention from the community. This feature encompasses protocols and technologies that empower users to retain both their identity and validated credentials, alongside their assets in a dedicated wallet.

It's worth noting that trading volumes have peaked to levels not seen since February 6th, underscoring the momentum behind the recent upswing.

From a chartist point of view, SHIBUSDT has broken out of its trading range and is advocating for further upside. Shiba Inu is up 30% since the start of July. It’s possible that we witness a pull back towards the breakout level near 0.0000085 but as long as this level holds, we believe we could witness higher prices towards 0.0000012.


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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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