The News From Planet Ruby—Friday, August 11, 2023
Far away on Planet Earth, the apes are pushing forward adoption of decentralized technologies apace. The primary drivers of this endeavor are large centralized entities, including a black rock that has assumed particular importance in their culture (it is probably some sort of religious totem). As ever, details are sketchy.
CPI Comes In (Slightly) Cool
Thursday's CPI data came in more-or-less on-target: 3.2% vs the expected 3.3%. There was little effect on the crypto markets, since it does not fundamentally change the picture or the outlook for rate rises.
Many of the largest increases have now fallen off the back of the year-long data set, meaning inflation is much lower than it has been. However, this also means that further progress will be harder, since this statistical effect will not play a part any more. This is why the Fed wants to hold rates "higher for longer".
The FOMC does not meet in August, so there will be further CPI data on September 13 before their next meeting on September 19-20, as well as another NFP print. Core inflation remains a particular concern.
Meanwhile the DXY climbed to a one-month high, after Fed board member Michelle Bowman suggested that more rate hikes might be needed to bring inflation back down to the target 2%.
Bitcoin Nears Breakout
Having dropped as low as $28,700 on Monday ($100 higher than its local low a week earlier), bitcoin recovered and staged a $1,500 rally, at one point touching $30,200: A local high, and a higher high after a lower low on the 4h chart. However, this minor volatility was just a blip, with BTC still stuck in its limited range and awaiting the trigger for a real breakout. Price is currently sat just below $29,400. Volatility is at all-time lows.
Well-known cycles trader Bob Loukas identifies $42k as a possible target for the end of October, with the set-up being invalidated should BTC drop much below $25k.
Overall, analysts are expecting a large move very soon, probably within the next week or two at the latest.
Is PayPal Really Your Pal?
The big news this week is that PayPal is set to launch its own stablecoin on Ethereum, assisted by Paxos, the issuer of USDP. One point of note is that Paxos was recently targeted by the SEC, which shut down BUSD, Binance's white-labeled version of USDP. But, just as BlackRock partnered with Coinbase (also going through the courts with the SEC) for its ETF, it's possible that PayPal is big enough to have the clout to get this over the line despite opposition from the regulator. Less positive, though unsurprising, is that PayPal will have the ability to freeze transactions.
Demonstrating the headwinds for crypto in the US, neobank Revolut is shutting down its crypto operations in the States due to ongoing regulatory uncertainties.
MakerDAO's Spark protocol has grown rapidly, thanks to its 8% return on DAI, helping the Maker Protocol claw back market share from other DeFi platforms that have enjoyed high rates of growth in recent times. Spark now has over $400 million TVL.
Security researchers revealed that crypto payments company CoinsPaid was most likely hit by North Korea's Lazarus Group, in a well-planned attack that netted the organization $37 million.
Finally, that trigger for a breakout? Well, this came close. Mike Novogratz has quoted contacts at BlackRock and Invesco, who put a "four to six month" timeline on ETF approval.
What's New In The SKALEVERSE?
Ruby has made a few minor updates to its website, to streamline the UX and remove pages that have become redundant as new features have launched.
We also have a new website for Europa, stored fully on-chain on the Europa SKALE Chain itself!
That's all for this week!