By Gregory Bilecki
TWIDW 4/19/22: Fed News & Market Impacts, Binance launches its first customer service center in Turkey, Tesla tech gets pulled to lead Blockstream’s renewable mining operation, Coinbase halts service in India, Iran moves towards their own CBDC, and finally – more of Wall Street goes digital.
Fed News & Market Impacts
In last week’s TWIDW, I pointed to signs that BTC could very well see the month end under $41k USD and it seems this is holding true so far, especially now with the Fear & Greed Index currently sitting at 24 – which is lower versus this same time last week, when it was seen at 32.
With the conflict in the former Soviet Republic seemingly far from over this week, North Korea adding themselves to the volatility fold now being the obvious link made this week to the Axie Infinity ‘WannaCry’ exploit that rocked Ronin in 2017, an exploit which sacked the credit protocol Beanstalk on Ethereum on Sunday morning to the tune of around $182 million dollars, massive amounts of volume in India just falling off of the table recently, and with the addition of bitcoin mining difficulty dropping by 1.26% this week, futures expiration next week is a mere blip on the radar comparatively, we’re headed for more turbulence it looks like before things even out.
And while crypto doesn’t seem like it can be pegged down yet to any another economic event consistently such as U.S. inflation, it was noticed this week that after interest rates took their first of many expected hikes, volume from investors from within the crypto ecosystem died down with aggregate 30-day MA across exchanges Coinbase, Bitfinex, Kraken, and Bitstamp being at its lowest level since August 2021. How long any related drop in volume will last can be anybody’s guess at this point, however since this seems to be the first reaction of its kind identified after having 0% fed rates for like an eternity, this seems to be an overarching near term risk strategy we’re seeing play out by market makers.
Binance Heads to Turkey for its First Customer Service Center
Through a new pilot initiative, Binance is setting up its first customer service operations in Turkey due to the country being one of the largest regions that the popular exchange receives in global activity at about 7% comparatively against other countries. Through the new program, Binance plans to provide its Turkish clients 24/7 support through its app with further plans to expand the new customer service initiative worldwide should the test run in Turkey prove to be successful.
A Positively-Charged Catalyst in Texas
In what seems like it could be a another industry first, and as one of the more iconic items of note at “Crypto Coachella” in Miami just a couple weeks ago, Blockstream, Block (formerly Square), and Tesla have designed a proof-of-concept 100% renewable solar-powered bitcoin mining facility which that will be soon on the verge of breaking ground in West Texas where it has the potential to be a boon to the already-volatile renewable power industry there. This addition will come as a means to further build out the renewable power grid within the state, as the project will also have the ability to scale with the potential of adding wind power to the mix should the project itself be deemed viable. Currently, West Texas has 34 gW of power, 5 gW of demand, and 12 gW of transmission. Now with an obvious financial incentive, miners can act as a load balancing installation as the West Texas renewable grid increases in stability. As one of the dampers on global climate in a lot of circles of debate recently, another use-case for crypto can now be seen from the mining side again as one of the drivers of climate change action.
Trading on Coinbase Slides to a Halt in India
Leading crypto exchange Coinbase has temporarily ceased trading activity in India over implementing India’s nationalized payment system – by seemingly bypassing authorization for its use entirely. The national measures which allow for the Universal Payments Interface (UPI) service to be used which allow for the ability of rupees to be deposited onto Coinbase, is overseen by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and also a relative of the country’s central bank. After hearing about the Coinbase’s announcement of expanding crypto trading in India while in tandem utilizing UPI as a means of transferring funds, the NPCI mentioned they were unaware of any crypto exchange in the country using UPI. Shortly after, the plug was pulled with users in the country losing the ability to transfer funds between their fiat accounts and Coinbase. As a country that’s rife with blockchain and Web3 startups featuring tech that’s already widely in use globally, this came as somewhat of a shock to investors worldwide. As of this blog post, currently users of Coinbase in India still lack the ability to move funds between the exchange and banking institutions, with Coinbase’s stock taking a large hit ($COIN -9%, -$14.06) over the last 5 days.
The CBDC Experiment
In a turn of events this week, Iran scrapped plans to move to a digital-only currency and is now moving forward with plans to adopt its own CBDC alongside, the rial. The new “crypto-rial” apparently has a form of implementation and regulation in place already as mentioned on the tokens already established on the new token’s website, way2pay.ir. The token will feature the already familiar distributed ledger system and additionally will feature the ability to implement smart contracts alongside it as well. Currently, Iran bans all forms of payment with other crypto tokens and no plans of lifting that ban even after the launch of the crypto-rial, which also has no current ETA date for implementation as of the moment.
iShares ETF, Intel, Disney, and MicroStrategy Hit DeFiChain
In another expansion to the dToken economy is the addition of the iShares MCSI China ETF dToken as well as those from Intel, Disney, and MicroStrategy. dTokens are based off of each respective namesake publicly traded on the stock market as a security, which offers investors a similar level of price exposure and risk, but being decentralized do not provide any actual form of ownership or voting rights but can be traded in a similar fashion on DeFiChain DEX where they can also be used for liquidity mining or used as collateral…as we inch just a few more steps towards digitization of the stock market as a whole.
Gregory Bilecki is a freelance editor at Digital Wealth News, as well as full-time finance, digital marketing, and sushi aficionado. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @omgreaktmedia.