February 15, 2024

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Next FOMC meeting: Mar 20th 2024

  • Probability of a 25bps ease → 10%
  • Probability of a 0bps hike → 90%

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The News Room

Citibank Tests Tokenization of Private Equity Funds on Avalanche

Citibank has ventured into the tokenization of private equity funds using the Avalanche blockchain's Spruce Subnet, aiming to innovate within capital markets. This proof-of-concept, in collaboration with financial giants WisdomTree and Wellington Management, was carried out on Spruce, an Evergreen subnet tailored for major financial institutions to leverage public blockchain infrastructure. This initiative underlines Avalanche's growing reputation among financial services firms as a leading institutional blockchain, as noted by Morgan Krupetsky of Ava Labs. Citi's trial showcased the potential for smart contracts to significantly automate processes, enhance compliance, and establish better controls for both investors and issuers. This exploration into tokenizing private assets signals Citi's interest in developing new operational models and achieving market-wide efficiencies, according to Nisha Surendran of Citi Digital Assets.

Telefonica Partners with Chainlink Labs to Boost Blockchain Security with Telecom Tech

Telefonica, a Spain-based telecommunications giant, has entered a strategic partnership with Chainlink Labs, aiming to enhance blockchain network security by integrating real-world telecom capabilities. This collaboration will initially focus on the SIM SWAP API, a tool for fraud prevention that checks for recent modifications to a SIM card. By leveraging Chainlink Functions, this API will allow developers to verify SIM card data directly on blockchain platforms, adding a critical layer of security to transactions and smart contracts. This integration represents a significant step in securing digital assets and user information, showcasing the potential for advanced telecom services to bolster blockchain technology. Telefonica's involvement in this initiative underlines the company's commitment to exploring innovative web3 solutions across its extensive European and Latin American network.

Klaytn and Finschia Merge to Create Asia's Largest Web3 Ecosystem

Klaytn and Finschia, layer-1 blockchains backed by South Korea's Kakao and Japan's LINE respectively, have received approval from their governance members to merge, aiming to form the largest Web3 ecosystem in Asia. This merger is set to bring together governance from over 45 companies, 420 dApps and services, and a user base exceeding 250 million Asian wallet users. The two networks, which already have a presence in several Asian countries and Abu Dhabi, plan to establish a new foundation in Abu Dhabi to oversee the merger, creating a blockchain mainnet compatible with both EVM and CosmWasm. The integration will see the merging of tokens and governance structures in the second quarter of this year, including the introduction of a new native token and the burning of 22.9% of the existing token issuance, valued at $384 million. Additionally, the merged entity aims to boost Web3 innovation in Asia by launching a native stablecoin and developing large-scale DeFi and blockchain adoption infrastructure for Web2 companies.

Trading Desk Insights

Bitcoin continues its upward trajectory, hitting a peak of 52,800 in today's session, igniting a rally in altcoins. Notable movers include APT surging by 11%, SEI by 10%, OP by 3%, and more.

BTC ETF flows disclosed a net inflow of $339 million yesterday, marking the 6th consecutive day of inflows surpassing $100 million. Despite this positive trend, Grayscale experienced outflows totaling $131.2 million, marking its highest since February 2nd.

ETH broke through the $2,700 barrier, a level not seen since May 2022, accompanied by open interest soaring to over $9 billion, signifying a 30% surge since the beginning of February. The potential upside in ETHBTC is on the radar, as market participants likely position themselves bullishly ahead of the ETH ETF approval deadline in May.

SOL remains on an upward trajectory, with open interest skyrocketing by over $700 million since the start of February, reaching a total of $1.7 billion. Notably, 63% of these contracts are based on long positions.

In the equities market, Thursday's stock futures saw an uptick as Wall Street aimed to extend its modest recovery from Wednesday. Although Wednesday witnessed a rally, it didn't entirely erase the losses from Tuesday's sell-off prompted by an unexpectedly high inflation report. The S&P 500 reclaimed the 5,000 level, closing just above it. Investors are evaluating whether the Federal Reserve can curb inflation without disrupting an economy that continues to exceed expectations in growth.

Today's update on the U.S. economy revealed a 0.8% decline in January retail sales, surpassing expectations of a 0.3% decrease. This has raised concerns about the resilience of the U.S. consumer amid persistent inflation and elevated interest rates, leading to a decline in Treasury yields.

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