February 27, 2024

Markets Insights

Economic Calendar

Next FOMC meeting: Mar 20th 2024

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

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The News Room

Peter Thiel's Founders Fund Co-Leads $27M Seed Investment in Polygon's Modular Blockchain Spinoff Avail

Avail, a blockchain initiative emerging from Polygon, secured $27 million in a seed funding round led by Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and Dragonfly, with contributions from SevenX Ventures, Figment Capital, Nomad Capital, and undisclosed angel investors. Specializing in modular blockchain technology to enhance rollup efficiency and scalability, Avail, having spun off as an independent entity from Polygon in March 2023, is gearing up for its mainnet launch. It aims to address the demands rollups place on Ethereum for data availability through its "Trinity" offerings: Avail DA, Nexus, and Fusion Security, each designed to support a unified and secure blockchain ecosystem. With a focus on providing a scalable data availability layer and enhancing user experience amid rollup proliferation, Avail differentiates itself by offering a comprehensive approach to modularity in blockchain infrastructure. Currently in testnet, Avail DA's mainnet is anticipated in April, with Nexus and Fusion Security to follow. The project, now employing 43 people primarily based in Dubai, is on a hiring spree to expand its team.

FSB Highlights Need for Enhanced Crypto and AI Regulation in Global Financial Stability Report to G20

The Financial Stability Board (FSB), in a letter to G20 finance ministers, emphasized the importance of monitoring crypto assets, tokenization, and artificial intelligence (AI) for global financial stability. Chair Klaas Knot highlighted the board's efforts to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, responding to the industry's recovery from a significant downturn marked by notable failures like FTX. The FSB, working with 24 countries, plans to release reports on the financial stability implications of crypto and tokenization in October, followed by a report on AI in November. This initiative underscores a commitment to the effective implementation of regulatory and supervisory frameworks for crypto activities and global stablecoin arrangements, as endorsed by G20 leaders at their summit in New Delhi, marking a strategic focus for 2024 and beyond.

Circle Partners with Krafton and Naver Z for USDC Integration in Upcoming Metaverse Platform Overdare

Circle Internet Financial has partnered with Overdare, a joint venture between South Korean gaming and metaverse giants Krafton and Naver Z Corporation, to leverage Circle's programmable wallets for a new user-generated content gaming platform. This collaboration aims to enable game content creators to receive USDC payouts directly into in-game wallets. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire revealed plans for a "large-scale, Roblox-style" metaverse, Overdare, which will use Circle's wallet infrastructure and USDC, and is set to launch in the second half of 2024. Overdare will feature artificial intelligence-generative tools and will integrate the Cosmos-based layer-1 blockchain Settlus for its revenue distribution model, aiming to foster an innovative Web3 environment for digital entertainment. Circle's USDC, the second-largest dollar-pegged stablecoin, has a market capitalization of $28.2 billion.

Trading Desk Insights

Bitcoin demonstrated significant growth, surging over 10% across two days and breaking the $57,000 threshold on Monday, marking its first achievement since December 2021 and yielding a year-to-date gain of 34%. This robust performance coincided with a decline in the dollar's value on Monday and Tuesday. In the BTC perpetual futures market listed on Binance, the annualized funding rate surpassed 100% for the first time in over a year, presenting an arbitrage opportunity for non-directional traders.

Bitcoin ETFs registered a record trading volume of $2.4 billion yesterday, slightly exceeding launch day figures but doubling their recent daily average. IBIT accounted for $1.3 billion of this volume, marking a 30% increase over its previous record. The market observed its fourth-largest net inflow in USD terms, amounting to $519.8 million. IBIT is also gaining traction in pre-market activity, with $80 million in trades already executed. Among ETFs, only five have experienced greater activity ahead of the market open.

ETH continues to gather momentum, with the U.S. market appearing to be the primary catalyst for the recent rally, as evidenced by the surge in demand indicated by the "Coinbase premium" metric. Many traders are optimistic about the potential approval of a spot ETF, prompting them to increase their exposure to ETH in anticipation of the approval.

Altcoins are experiencing a surge, with numerous tokens seeing double-digit gains and increasing volume, including STX, LDO, LINK, MATIC, AI tokens (AGIX, RNDR, etc.), and others. Notably, PEPE (+65%) and WIF (+75%) have seen significant surges since Monday, reigniting interest in Ethereum and Solana memecoins.

Stock futures remained flat on Tuesday as the market rally paused, with investors awaiting key data releases scheduled for later in the week. These movements followed a day of losses on Wall Street, which pulled the S&P 500 off the record highs achieved last week. Market participants are eagerly awaiting U.S. economic data releases this week, which could provide insights into the Federal Reserve's potential interest rate adjustments.

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