News in brief
Fed’s governor Jerome Powell announced that there will be a half percentage point rate hike at the May meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee. The market is taking this as a clear signal of a serious situation regarding inflation. Cryptomarkets and European stock markets reacted with a heavy drop. The latest developments in Ukraine are also having a negative impact, with some shift in that Russia has clarified its objectives, and it is clear that the conflict in Ukraine will last for a long time. While the USD is the winner of the day, oil has been weakening and gold responded to the strengthening dollar by weakening as well.
Bitcoin tested $43,000 yesterday but was violently rejected at that point and dropped by almost $3,000 in hours. Most altcoins are also well in the red today, with Ethereum close to breaking below $3,000, with the exception of PlatonCoin, which has added more than 9% over the last day thanks to increased interest of buyers to purchase at a discount price.
Bitcoin (BTC) is now trading at 40,558 USD down by 4,1% in 24h
Ethereum (ETH) is now for 3,014 USD down by 3,9% in 24h
PlatonCoin (PLTC) is now for 0,690 USD up by 9,6% in 24h
Total marketcap is currently at 1.982 trillion USD down by 3.3% in 24h
(all data valid at the time of publishing, from Coingecko.com)
Cryptocurrencies and correlation with stock markets: With inflation surging, stocks collapsing, and investors clueless on how rapidly the central bank will hike interest rates, many would argue that now is the optimal time to invest in Bitcoin and other crypto. Nonetheless, the world’s most valuable digital asset has shed almost 20% of its value thus far this year, dipping as low as $33,000 on January 25 before recovering. Bitcoin reached an all-time high of roughly $69,000 on November 8, last year, just over three months ago. Cryptocurrencies instead have continued to track the tech industry’s recent decline, as the Nasdaq fell 2% Friday, the most since middle of March.
Binance and Axie hack: Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of the Binance crypto exchange, said his team was able to seize $5.8 million from North Korean hackers who last month stole $600 million from the Axie Infinity play-to-earn game. After the theft, US regulators identified the hackers to be the Lazarus Group, a North Korean entity associated with the regime.
Ukraine and Bitcoin: The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) continues taking measures to prevent capital outflows amid martial law by enforcing major restrictions on cryptocurrency purchases. The Ukrainian central bank officially announced Thursday a set of restrictions on cross-border operations, prohibiting individuals from buying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) with the national fiat currency, the hryvnia (UAH). Ukrainians are now allowed to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies only with foreign currency, with total monthly purchases limited to 100,000 UAH ($3,300). The relevant limit also applies to international peer-to-peer transactions.
Crypto mining and EPA: A group of 23 U.S. legislators, led by a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Jared Huffman, have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to analyze whether crypto mining firms were adhering to the country’s environmental protection laws. Specifically, they voiced their “serious concerns” in a letter addressed to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on April 20, including those that crypto mining companies in the U.S. might be operating without compliance with the laws such as the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act.