Welcome Hodler, to the latest edition of our weekly digest. As always, there is a lot to digest and we’re here to decode the intricate matrix of crypto news, bringing you the latest developments hot off the press. This week, we’re covering everything from Bitcoin’s Zen-like composure in the face of rate hikes, altcoins throwing a rave, Binance’s toxic flirtation with Germany, US lawmakers wrestling over crypto legislation, all the way to Elon Musk’s latest strategy to give crypto engagement a turbo-boost. Ready? it’s time for your weekly crypto briefing. Let’s hit the gas and get started!
Market Overview: Rates Up, Bitcoin Steady, Altcoins on the Run
Up for some sweet price action? Look no further. Here is how markets behaved in the past week.
Bitcoin (BTC) continues to nap like a baby at just above $29,300 after the Federal Reserve did what we all knew it would – raised the fed funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 5.25%-5.50%. To say it mildly, Bitcoin reacted to this news as if it just watched season 8th of Game of Thrones – just a quiet 0.3% sigh. Traditional markets mirrored this quiet action as well, because who doesn’t like a good midweek nap?
But while the Bitcoin giant slept, altcoins have been throwing a party. Leading the charge is Origin Protocol’s OGN token, pumping iron with a 28% advance. Compound’s COMP, Convex Finance’s CVX, and Solana’s SOL also joined the party with 14.4%, 7%, and 8.4% growth respectively. Meanwhile, the hodlers of the aforementioned tokens also deserved a party.
Binance: On Again, Off Again – The German Edition
Binance, Binance, Binance… The beloved crypto exchange has been through more ups and downs recently than Flappy Bird (nobody misses that game). Ahem, back to our topic. Binance has decided to take its ball and go home in Germany, withdrawing its cryptocurrency custody license application.
Now, now, don’t be too hasty to judge. This comes hot on the heels of reported rejections from the stiff-upper-lip regulators at The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). Now read it out loud. There is a tongue twister for you.
After a month of whispers about rejections, Binance confirmed that it has indeed formally withdrawn its application. But hodl onto your hats, because this isn’t a sign of surrender. Far from it. Binance, it seems, is just taking a breather, and plans to reapply with an application better suited to the evolving regulatory environment. As their spokesperson put it, “The situation, both in the global market and regulation, has changed significantly.” We can only hope their new application comes with a side of bratwurst.
Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, assured everyone that the company is still eyeing the European market, intending to be compliant with the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations. However, these aspirations have met with speed bumps, what with their regulatory wrangling in the United States.
With ongoing investigations in the U.S. and a recent addition of France to their probe party since early 2022, it’s been a rocky road for the crypto exchange. In addition, it bid auf Wiedersehen to the Dutch market and applied to pack up its bags in the United Kingdom and Cyprus.
Well, one thing is for certain: All this moving around will earn Binance some serious frequent flyer miles.
US Crypto Lawmaking Drama Continues
This week, the House Financial Services Committee found themselves navigating the loops and turns of six crypto-related legislations. The main thrill of the ride: The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act. This legislation is set to redefine the grey zones surrounding the authority of SEC and CFTC over payment stablecoins. Who is in charge of stablecoins? Committee chair Patrick McHenry was hoping it would prevent repeats of the sort of mishaps that have beleaguered FTX exchange. However, some lawmakers, like Maxine Waters, were a bit apprehensive, suggesting that it might not avert the kind of incidents allegedly witnessed between FTX and Alameda Research.
Adding a sharp twist to the ride, Massachusetts Representative Stephen Lynch called it the “worst piece of legislation” that has been on the block during his extensive political career.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers were daring, proposing a hefty $120 million to enhance the CFTC’s regulatory resources for crypto. For those who just yawned at the CFTC reference, let’s break it down: the CFTC is the watchdog of the futures and options markets. It’s the entity that keeps the market’s bullies in check and maintains a level playing field. However, some Democrats, playing the role of the cautious parent, expressed concern that this hefty sum was being drawn from the SEC’s piggy bank, potentially leaving this equally important agency rummaging through the couch cushions for spare change to maintain its enforcement capabilities.
As the lawmakers were busy with their ride, the SEC wasn’t enjoying a leisurely day at the office. They’ve been active, launching lawsuits against major crypto entities like Coinbase, Binance, and high-ranking executives at FTX and Celsius. The rollercoaster ride of crypto legislation seems far from over.
Musk’s Advertising Reboot: Can it X-cite Crypto Engagement?
When Elon Musk isn’t rocketing toward Mars, he’s busy shaking things up on Earth. A 50% price slash on Twitter’s new ad bookings, aiming to boost the platform’s cash flow was the latest shockwave sent by Musk. The catch is, if advertisers don’t spend at least $1,000 on ads within 30 days, they risk losing their verification tick.
And the cherry on top – the introduction of a new Explore tab, enabling advertisers to secure a 24-hour placement atop the trending list. This revitalized advertising strategy seeks to cash in on the Women’s World Cup.
Although Musk ruffled some feathers a while back by limiting post visibility, the feature was retracted, and damage control has begun with these new reforms. In fact, he already added some firepower to the team, bringing in former NBC executive Linda Yaccarino, to help boost ad revenue.
But, this isn’t just a Twitter revamp, it’s an “X” formation. A sign of the company’s aspirations to transcend social media and hint at the integration of cryptocurrency payments.
So, what’s in it for us, the hodlers? After the FTX’s spending splurge and subsequent fall, crypto ads are expected to be more strategic. FTX’s $135 million stadium naming spree and Crypto.com’s $700 million rights for the home of the Los Angeles Lakers set a high bar, but with the engagement dip reported by Sensor Tower in May, a new approach seems imminent.
With Twitter’s ad discount program, crypto companies now have an opportunity to advertise in a more cost-effective manner. Plus, new regulations in Hong Kong, South Korea, and the UK provide a sense of legitimacy, allowing these companies to advertise with increased confidence.
Will Twitter’s “X” factor reignite the fire of crypto engagement? Or will it fall short of its ambition? Nobody knows yet, but it’s worth a shot.
As we wrap up this week’s digest, let’s take a step back to look at all the ups and downs we’ve journeyed through in the crypto world. From Bitcoin barely blinking at rate hikes, to altcoins partying hard, the market has once again shown us it’s full of surprises. We’ve also watched Binance navigate choppy waters in Germany and the US. Plus, Musk’s big move might just bring a much-needed energy boost to the crypto scene.
In this 24/7 world, it’s the grit of projects, the guts of exchanges, the hard work of lawmakers, and the bold ideas of people like Musk that make the crypto landscape so thrilling. Until our next rendezvous, remember, hodl on tight and keep an eye on the markets.