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SEC On The Back Foot


The News From Planet Ruby—Friday, July 21, 2023

The Decentralized Ape faction has struck a blow to the heart of the Centralizers. The Ape Gary is wounded. But we know from our experience on a thousand other planets that this war is far from over...

Inflation Cools

The DXY appears to have stabilized after its falls earlier this month, as US CPI data gave hope that inflation is under control and fewer interest rate rises would be needed. The DXYs currently around 100, a level it hasn't seen for 15 months.

In the UK, the GBP also fell as inflation came in cool, as a sharp drop in "petrol" (aka gas) prices led to a drop to 7.9%, against the expected 8.2%. At the other end of the scale, China's GDP figures grew only 0.8% in Q2, down from 2.2% in Q1. Households are consuming less and saving more in anticipation of more pain, leading the government to mull further stimulus.

China's economy, of course, underpins demand for key commodities—which may help inflation in other countries, but isn't ideal domestically, or for the longer-term health of the global economy.

Bitcoin Does Precisely Nothing

Bitcoin is firmly range-bound. Dips below $30k have quickly been bought back up, and a brief trip above $31k last week was sold off.

TradingView chart, BTC/USD
Bitcoin has just dipped out of its medium-term range (Chart: TradingView)

It's fairly predictable that BTC should spend so much time around this level. Zooming out, over the last two years a large amount of BTC were bought at $30k on various dips (January 2021, May-July 2021, May 2022), before the market crashed lower (thanks, Do Kwon and SBF).

A lot of traders are therefore taking the opportunity to break even on their holdings. Others are taking profits at this natural resistance level, having bought at any point in the last year.

Absent any catalyst, BTC will probably continue to grind around this range until enough coins have changed hands for bearish sentiment to wane. These things take time. At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at $29,800.

Politicians Line Up Against Gensler

There's been little in the way of major news since the dramatic Ripple ruling last Friday. The market continues to digest the implications of XRP (and therefore, likely many other tokens) not being a security in its own right.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has professed he is "disappointed" at the court's verdict, and will not say whether the SEC will appeal.

Microscopic tardigrade playing a violin.
The crypto community crowdfunded a very small violin for Gensler.

Politicians have been quick to respond to the ruling. Democrat Representative Richie Torres called Gensler's approach "the weaponization of the SEC against the crypto industry" and "an abuse of power".

Two further Republican US Congressmen, French Hill and Dusty Johnson, have waded into the fray, sending a letter to SEC chairman Gary Gensler about the SEC's current unworkable approach of regulation by enforcement, and the need for a comprehensive digital asset framework.

Elsewhere, Binance has completed integration for the Lightning Network, allowing users to deposit and withdraw smaller amounts of BTC efficiently.

However, this news has been overshadowed by rumors that the exchange is in trouble. Crypto venture capitalist and analyst Adam Cochran has been conducting a crusade against CZ and Binance, claiming the exchange is losing money, that CZ has lied to employees and users, that some reserves (e.g. BCH) aren't adequately backed, and much else besides.

That's all for this week!

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