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Volatility's knocking 🌪️
Crypto wallets felt $55 billion lighter in August. KBank's diving into AI, and EY is going big. Grab and Circle: Cooking up for Singapore. LaLiga's NFT kick and Meta's Threads not coming together.
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The crypto world saw $55 billion whisked away from its coffers in August, says a deep dive by crypto exchange Bitfinex.
August wasn't a beach vacation for the crypto world. In fact, it was its grimmest month since Bitcoin's November 2022 bottom. Bitcoin and Ether saw a dip in value, erasing 7.3% and 6.9%, respectively.
📉 Dwindling Numbers Across the Board
The numbers suggest it's not just Bitcoin feeling the heat. Ether and even stablecoin liquidity got a hit.
August showcased the biggest dip for BTC since November 2022's bear market bottom—a drop of 11.29%.
🌪 Event-based Volatility
You know how sometimes, one big news story can send prices on a roller coaster? That's what happened twice in August. A sudden flash crash on Aug. 17 saw Bitcoin's prices tumble by over 11.4%.
Meanwhile, when Grayscale had a mini win against the SEC on Aug. 29, BTC prices soared 7.6% in just two hours.
Bitfinex's take? Though volatility seems low, the shrinking liquidity lets these singular events sway market movements more.
📈 Bitcoin vs Ether
Bitcoin's open interest has been on the upswing thanks to bigger institutional interest and some exchanges' wash trading.
But Ether? Not having a great year. Its futures and options shrunk to $14.3 billion per day in 2023. That's a stark 50% drop from its two-year average!
📝 A Bit on Open Interest
This metric shows the total open positions for contracts like Bitcoin futures or options, giving us a peek into the money currently poured into Bitcoin derivatives.
Bitfinex noted that this pattern in derivatives, especially the open interest in futures and options, seems to reflect the broader trend of lower liquidity.
Venture Capital's Retreat
VC inflows experienced a 42.7% drop in August from July, pulling in a mere $401.9 million across 77 deals. Despite the buoyant trend till May, investments in the crypto sphere have been sliding downhill.
Derivatives & Bitcoin 🎲
Speculation Peaks: August 25 saw the expiry of $1.9 billion in monthly Bitcoin options. Though Bitcoin's price remained relatively stable during this phase, the market's ears perked up at news of the SEC's legal setback against Grayscale. This news seemed to hint at a potential spot Bitcoin ETF down the road.
Short-lived Celebration: Bitcoin did leap to $28,000 briefly, but the festivities ended too soon, plummeting back to the $26,000 bracket. The silver lining? The $26,000 mark seems to have a solid backup of market support.
Jamie CS from Bloomberg Intelligence acknowledged concerns over potential Black Swan events, like a major crypto exchange like Binance facing issues, which could significantly impact Bitcoin's value.
The new jump 🦘
Bitcoin saw a 2% increase after the European Central Bank (ECB) hinted that its recent interest rate hike may be its last. The ECB says that its current interest rate level could help control inflation if maintained for a sufficient period. But, the current rate still falls short of expected inflation levels. The ECB also projected a contraction in euro area economic growth. Rising interest rates from central banks have impacted investments in risk assets, including cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes believes Bitcoin can thrive in both high and low-interest rate environments due to negative real yields on bonds.
Daily Ethereum Activity Shoots Up 💥
Santiment dropped some data: The Ethereum network's daily active addresses just hit their second-highest count ever.
Volatility's knocking: With this spike in on-chain actions, expect the winds of price swings to blow stronger. This buzz might not just be noise—it could herald a market resurgence for Ethereum.
Thai Banking Giant's In 🏦
Kasikorn Bank (KBank), Thailand's second largest bank, has unveiled its plan to champion the cause of AI. Named "KXVC", this fund is not just about AI. It's eyeing Web3 and deep tech startups, with its sights set particularly on Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
KXVC fund comes with a staggering $100-million war chest.
What the investment mix?
AI & machine learning tools: spanning deployment platforms, data annotation, model optimisation
Niche-focused AI startups
A kaleidoscope within Web3: From infrastructures, node validators, middlewares, to wallets, liquid staking derivatives, and the world of NFTs.
KBank has some history in the digital realm. They took their initial steps in 2021, exploring the decentralised finance (DeFi) landscape. Roll back to 2018, and they were in sync with Visa, leveraging blockchain for cross-border payments.
EY's AI Fund 💰
EY has invested $1.4 billion in AI technologies to develop its new EY.ai platform. The platform, based on EY's own large language model (LLM), aims to help organisations adopt AI. EY collaborated with Microsoft and Dell to gain early access to AI capabilities and simplify the adoption of generative AI.
The investment will also be used to embed AI into existing EY services and acquire additional technology supporting cloud and automation. EY has been proactive in integrating emerging technologies and has awarded 100,000 credentials to its employees for AI, data, and analytics.
ETFs are near, and financial advisors and investors will need to dive into the details of the different proposed funds, including how much they cost👇🏻
TTD HelloCrypto 👋🏻
Grab, often termed Southeast Asia's Uber for its multi-functionality, is working hand in hand with Circle to offer Web3 services to its vast user base of 187 million.
The duo has launched a trial run for these Web3 services in Singapore. The new feature, dubbed the "Grab Web3 Wallet", allows Singaporean users of the app to dip their toes into the vast ocean of Web3.
This new venture is powered by Circle's innovative Web 3 Services platform which has seamlessly integrated into the Grab app. The purpose? Assisting conventional companies in navigating the world of stablecoins, digital assets, and the complexities of smart contracts.
What Can Users Expect? Grab app users can now set up a blockchain-centric wallet, garner rewards and collectibles, and even take advantage of NFT vouchers. For the F1 fans, there's a treat in store. Grab Web3 Wallet is rolling out SG Pitstop Pack NFT vouchers that can be used in popular stores in Singapore during the upcoming F1 Singapore Grand Prix.
Circle in Singapore: This partnership isn't Circle's maiden foray into Singapore. Earlier in June 2023, they bagged a Major Payment Institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. This came after Circle inaugurated its official office in the country in May. Circle's commitment to promoting Web3 in Singapore also saw them partnering with Tribe, a local blockchain initiative backed by the government.
Deutsche Bank + Taurus 🏻🏼
Deutsche Bank, one of the globe's leading financial institutions, is making its move into the world of cryptocurrency. Partnering with Taurus, a Swiss crypto safekeeping specialist, the bank aims to establish a stronghold in digital asset custody and tokenisation services.
Deutsche Bank's collaboration with Taurus isn't just operational but also financial. The bank was part of a $65 million Series B funding round for Taurus in February. This round, led by Credit Suisse, saw participation from other notable entities like Arab Bank Switzerland and Pictet Group.
Previously, in June, Deutsche Bank announced its application for a crypto custody license with Germany's financial regulator, BaFin. This wasn't their first indication of interest in the crypto realm. The bank had made its ambitions known as early as 2021 when the World Economic Forum reported on a digital asset custody prototype linked to the bank.
TTD NFT 🐝
LaLiga + GameOn = Fantasy NFT Soccer Game
Spanish soccer sensation LaLiga is teaming up with gaming startup GameOn to bring NFT-based fantasy soccer games to their US and Canadian fans.
How it Works
Collect 'Em All: Fans can snag packs of their favourite LaLiga players in NFT form.
Build Your Squad: Create fantasy lineups that rack up points based on real-world player performances.
Boost it up: Grab digital gear like jerseys, cleats, and hats to amp up your player avatars with point-multiplying bonuses.
More Than Just a Game: GameOn's LaLiga-branded web app is set to hit North American shores in 2024.
It's packed with perks
Social chat with fellow fans.
Score epic prizes like cash, VIP tickets, autographed goodies, and even face-to-face player meet-ups!
Dive into both top-tier LaLiga EA Sports and second-string LaLiga Hypermotion gaming action.
LaLiga's Growing American Affair: ESPN's 2021 deal with LaLiga ensures US fans can stream Spain’s top soccer showdowns on ESPN+ till the 2028-29 season. And let's not forget the Soccer Champions Tour that saw soccer giants like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid giving US fans a live-action treat.
The Story Behind GameOn: Bailey's brainchild originally kicked off as a white-label trivia and prediction game hub, creating gems for big names like WNBA, NBCUniversal, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. But Web3's allure was too strong to resist. GameOn jumped into the NFT game scene, partnering with the likes of the Professional Fighters League and Karate Combat.
TTD Meta ♾️
Meta's latest social media baby, Threads, is grappling to entice the crypto clan. Research reveals that the new platform has only managed to capture the attention of a tiny fraction of the top crypto brands.
Limited Adoption: A mere 10% of the top 151 crypto brands have shown activity on Threads, even two months after its debut.
Not Everyone's Signing Up: Just 40% of these crypto big names have bothered to make a Threads account.
Top Brass Numbers: Out of these, only 14 have actively posted content. In total, Threads can only boast a following of about 784,764 from the top 151 crypto brands.
Contrast this with X (Twitter), and the difference is day and night.
Musk's Xperiment with X: Ever since Elon Musk's blockbuster acquisition of Twitter (now X) for a whopping $44 billion in October 2022, the tech space has been buzzing about its future. The visionary has been shaking things up, adding a slew of changes and features to the platform. While Musk bagged a currency transmitter license, he's swatted away the buzz about an upcoming X token.
Why Threads Might Be Coming Apart: Experts reckon that X's deeply-rooted network effects and its pioneering position in crypto conversations make it a tough act to follow. Meta's not-so-stellar reputation concerning user privacy could also be turning potential users away from Threads.
So, even with Musk's unpredictable approach and challenges cropping up on X (like a barrage of fake accounts and bot mayhem), the platform remains a crypto magnet.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Luxury fashion startup SYKY, founded by former Ralph Lauren and Burberry executive Alice Delahunt, is launching its digital platform during London Fashion Week.
Web3 company Cool Cats Group has announced that characters from its NFT collection will be featured as balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Crypto startup Ramp Network has added the Brazilian Central Bank's Pix system as a payment method.
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